If you grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, then you were weaned on a cathode ray nipple that nurtured you with a steady diet of ads for McDonald’s. And since you were a kid, you were undoubtedly watching cartoons and seeing the McDonald’s ad campaign targeted directly at you. This means that you were inundated with visions of Ronald McDonald and his cast of friends, who all lived in a magical greasy disgusting “happy” place called “McDonaldland”. Since 70’s and 80’s nostalgia is all the rage in Hollywood these days, I propose that a studio could make a lot of money if they came up with a movie featuring the McDonaldland characters. I’m here to help. This is how I would cast such a movie.
To find someone to play Ronald, we’ll need to meet a few prerequisites. Ideally, they’d have red hair. It’s not mandatory. After all, wigs aren’t hard to find. Still, it makes it much more believable to the audience if the actor portraying our favorite evil hamburger-peddling clown already has red hair. Since we want to partially appeal to kids, we’ll also want an actor who’s familiar to children. In a perfect world, it’d be someone who has been in movies geared towards children in the past. But it can’t be a child or even a pre-teen playing Ronald. We need someone familiar to kids but who is also an adult. Last but not least, Ronald is always seen with a bright white face. Putting all of this together, we arrive at the only natural conclusion, the one actor who meets all of these requirements- Rupert Grint.
For the Mayor of McDonaldland who’s notoriously soft on crime, we’ll need someone with a bulbous nose. Far more importantly, the actor who takes on Mayor McCheese must be stately. He must have an air of class. He has to be comfortable wearing a monocle and a top hat. He also must possess just enough hubris that he has to let everyone know- via his sash- that he’s the MAYOR, dammit. After seeing HBO’s John Adams miniseries, there’s one ideal candidate who emerges. If Tom Wilkinson can put on 18th century garb and channel Benjamin Franklin, then cramming his head into a giant cheeseburger will be a breeze.
Officer Big Mac
The first inclination here is to choose Denzel Washington. If anyone can play a cop, it’s Denzel Washington, a fact he’s proven time and again. And again. And again. But I think you’ll all agree that Officer Big Mac is more of a throwback to the classic Irish cop. This brings one name to mind immediately- Brendan Gleeson.
He is the major villain of the film. It’s imperative that the actor portraying the Hamburglar be able to put on a nefarious show for the ages. He must be able to portray a vision of terror, a thirst for lawlessness and chaos and hamburgers. He must also be comfortable sporting outlandish period costumes, specifically one that puts Zorro in prison garb. My choice is Daniel Day Lewis.
The role of Grimace brings us comic relief, the oafish dim-witted sidekick to Ronald. It’d be awfully easy to fill this role with any of the various fat comic actors du jour, but that’s taking the easy way out. To successfully fill our dark vision in which the Hamburglar brings chaos to McDonaldland, there has to be an intelligent comedic balance to it. And that’s why I would choose Patton Oswalt. Despite lacking Grimace’s stature, he’d have the chops to make Grimace his own. Besides, everything is better when Patton Oswalt is involved.
Birdie the Early Bird
Birdie was generally portrayed as a clumsy, poor pilot. But there’s not a lot of female representation here, and we want to give young girls someone they can identify with, a positive character. Our Birdie will be heroic, loyal to the stoic ideals of McDonaldland, and integral to the plot. Since Birdie was also small, the ideal actress would be younger. This brings us to Elle Fanning.
This is the second villain who will help deliver the terrifying vision of a McDonaldland teetering on the precipice of a joyless world void of hamburgers and filet o’ fish sandwiches. Also, he’s a pirate with long stringy hair and a big bushy mustache. We already know how Jason Lee can do with a mustache, and he played evil so well in Dogma. I bet he likes fish sandwiches, too. He is our Captain Crook.
The Fry Guys
Eh… does this really matter? They were tiny mop-headed assholes who stole fries. Their squeaky voices make the voiceover actors irrelevant. We’ll use CGI.