Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: Disney looks chill, McDonald’s just looks ill

All those burgers are going to give someone a real case of dadbod

▲ Disney

Frozen: so hot right now

Disney character Elsa

The Walt Disney Company was widely expected to turn in a disappointing quarter when it reported results this week. It ‘s coming off a spectacular year that saw Frozen become a phenomenon, after all. With the hype dying down, analysts predicted a decline in earnings. Instead, the company reported a 10% increase in profit to US$2.1 billion, boosting the stock to an all-time high. Frozen is still a juggernaut. Sales of toys and other products related to the movie helped boost income in the consumer products division by 32%. (Expect Disney to milk Frozen for all it’s worth in the coming years.) The earnings also show the benefit of being a diversified company. Its theme park and cruise income also jumped 24% on the back of higher ticket prices, further proof that parents are willing to put themselves through hell to make their children happy. Walt Disney Studios did, in fact, post a decline, as Big Hero 6 proved to be less popular than Frozen. But given the fact that the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens caused grown men to cry when it was released last month, Disney’s prospects are looking excellent.

▼ McDonald’s

Just when I thought I was out…they drag me back in!

Hamburglar

The Hamburglar gave up beef theft years ago. It just wasn’t worth it any more, what with Officer Big Mac trying to bust him all the time under Mayor McCheese’s draconian tough-on-crime agenda. So he retired, and thought about what he really wanted to do with the rest of his life. He got married, had a kid, bought new shoes. He thought those long, dark nights of the soul prowling McDonaldland were behind him. But he can’t resist one last beef score. Something is pulling him back in: McDonald’s creatively bereft marketing department. The fast food chain revealed this week it’s reviving the Hamburglar character, reimagining him as a suburban dad with stubble and an air of lechery. The debut comes one day after new CEO Steve Easterbrook announced a turnaround plan. The company’s profits dropped 15% last year, as consumers opted for fast-casual chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, which allow for more customization and are generally perceived as healthier. “The reality is our recent performance has been poor. The numbers don’t lie,” Easterbrook said. His plan involves restructuring the company into four lean units, and promises to simplify the menu and the food preparation process. Reintroducing the Hamburglar is something of a distraction at best, given the scale of the challenges facing McDonald’s. At worst, the company has succeeded in sullying a nostalgic touchpoint for millennials. The chubby-cheeked, mostly toothless scamp of our youth is dead. He’s now a creepy, peacocking pickup artist.