Friday, May 17, 2024

Ronald McDonald Kills Michelin Man, Gets Oscar


Ronald McDonald kills the Michelin Man in a short film that won an Oscar on Sunday night for Best Animated Short film.

“Logorama” played at Sundance, but it unlikely to be seen’in many theaters. It possibly runs afoul of at least a thousand trademark violations by lampooning logos of well known companies from McDonalds to Michelin to Starbucks, Apple, Nickelodeon, and so on.

The film, made by Francois Alaux, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Houplain,won Best Short at the Stockholm Festival and the Kodak award at Cannes. But no one in America saw it until its Sundance screening and a few museum showings. Sacre bleu!

“Logorama” is a satire about branding, I guess. It’s animated, and propels Ronald and the Michelin Man, as well the kids from Haribo Candy, and the mustachoied Pringles man (voiced by director David Fincher of all people)’and many other well known brand characters into a bizarre story that is literally chock full of logos and a little violence. You might think it’s a product plug, but this is the antithesis of that. You have to give the animators credit: they’ve found just about every logo they could think of, even Atlantic Records. Dunkin Donuts is in there, as well as Avis, MGM and Best Western. You can get a taste of it at

“Logorama” is incredibly inventive. It reminded me of old cartoons from the 1950s that took regular swipes at topical subjects. Maybe the companies involved will have’a sense of humor and let it go. The Oscar should help. We can only hope.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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