VIZ Media, one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announced that it has teamed with McDonald’s to launch a special NARUTO Happy Meal in Latin America. McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer. VIZ Media is the licensor for the NARUTO brand in North and South America.
In February, Mexico became the first country in Latin America to offer collectable figures for Naruto, Sasuke, Rock Lee and Gaara, who are featured main characters in the massively popular animated and manga graphic novel series. In March, McDonald’s locations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will begin offering the NARUTO Happy Meals. By April, restaurants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela will also offer the NARUTO premiums.
“We’re extremely excited to feature NARUTO with the Happy Meal brand as we feel that it speaks to the new generation of McDonald’s customers,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales, VIZ Media. “Happy Meals are enjoyed by millions around the world everyday and to launch this campaign with such a staple in the lives of so many families means a lot to the NARUTO franchise. The popularity of the animated series has exploded throughout Latin America, where it is seen in more than 16 territories, and we’re sure McDonald’s customers will look forward to collecting these fun premiums!”
Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 85 million copies to date. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and animated counterpart (rated ‘T’ for teens), is among VIZ Media’s most successful properties.
The storylines of both the NARUTO manga and animated series/features depict the adventures of a young boy named Naruto Uzumaki who trains to become a ninja. Naruto, cursed with the spirit of the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within his body, is bullied and discriminated against by his fellow villagers. But Naruto is resilient and undaunted and his determination often inspires those around him. Through the adventures, the young ninja learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right vs. wrong.