Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Whenever a large corporation takes a step that appears altruistic, it's hard to resist applause.

It's as well, though, to keep one's hands to one's sides a little longer, just in case other snippets emerge.

Recently, for example, McDonald's announced that it was going to make parents happy by making Happy Meals a little healthier.

Gone were the cheeseburgers -- well, gone from the Happy Meals menu. You can still order them, if they're your child's must-have. 

In came healthier drinks, too.

What was not to like?

Yet today, a new announcement came down the PR chute.

After more than 10 years, McDonald's and Disney trumpeted that they will again be partnering on, oh, Happy Meals.

In 2006, Disney stopped working with McDonald's. At the time, it was said that the obesity aspect of the burger chain's food was a considerable factor in the decision.

Now, Tiffany Rende, senior vice president of corporate alliances at Disney, offered this statement: "McDonald's commitment to balanced Happy Meals allows our two companies to collaborate on new ways to bring the magic of Disney to McDonald's consumers."

This is magic, indeed.

A magic that surely won't hurt McDonald's business, especially as the new Incredibles 2 movie is to be released in June. 

Disney has had nutritional guidelines in place for many years. McDonald's seems to have been rather slower with its efforts to curb over-eating.

I contacted McDonald's to ask whether it seems a touch coincidental that it changed its Happy Meals and rather swiftly signed this potentially lucrative agreement with Disney.

A spokeswoman told me that the company has been working on changes to its meals for years.

"This coming together with Disney reflects the larger transformation occurring at McDonald's, one where we as a company are focused on building a better McDonald's by offering our customers new, balanced food choices, introducing modern experiences and using our scale for good to reflect our continuing commitment to the communities we serve," said the spokeswoman.

And a commitment to hopefully make more money, quite naturally.

One shouldn't carp, of course. 

Anything that even begins to reverse childhood obesity is a good thing.

But the renewed presence of Disney and its little toys might surely encourage some kids to want to go to McDonald's more often. 

You, oh parent, must decide whether that's a good thing or not.

I cannot confirm that the new movie's title has been changed to the Incr-edibles 2.

Published on: Feb 28, 2018
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