For over forty years, the Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza parlors have entertained rowdy and hungry kids all over America. The combination of pizza, ice cream, video games, and singing animatronics in a kid-centric restaurant chain was a genius mash-up. And it was the brainchild of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Although good ol’ Chuck isn’t quite as ubiquitous a rodent as Mickey Mouse, we’d wager most American kids are very familiar with him.
Now, they may be about to become even more familiar, as Chuck E. Cheese is getting ready to star in both live-action movies and animated TV shows.
Chuck E. Cheese
In an interview with Business Insider, Chuck E. Cheese CEO David McKillips said that his company has just launched its own entertainment division. The goal of this new segment of the company is to get their brand mascot—whose full legal name is Charles Entertainment Cheese, by the way—into film and TV. At first, however, they are going to focus on merchandising and toys before making the jump into scripted entertainment. It looks like Chuck is ready for his spotlight.
The current pandemic hit the so-called “dinnertainment” company harder than most. Outdoors social distanced eating and food delivery isn’t really an option for this chain, known mainly for hosting kid’s birthday parties. Because of this huge disruption, Chuck E. Cheese recently filed for Chapter 11. Part of this expansion into merch and scripted shows and movies is to help keep the brand financially solvent in difficult times.
It’s kind of shocking that no fast food or cereal mascot has ever had their own film or TV show before. No offense to Mr. Cheese, but how are you getting a movie before Ronald McDonald or Tony the Tiger? Still, Chuck is iconic to several generations of American children. If you’re a Millennial or Gen-X kid, there’s a very good chance you had a birthday party at one of the Chuck E. Cheese locations or attended one. Maybe a movie or cartoon will hit you the right way in the nostalgia feels.
Featured Image: Chuck E. Cheese