By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — McDonald’s has given us plenty of iconic images and warm, fuzzy memories over the years.

“Happy”–the new Happy Meal mascot–doesn’t appear to be one of them, based on reaction to it on social media.

Why does the “Happy Meal” even need a mascot?

It’s really not hard to sell a cheeseburger, fries and cheap toy to a four-year-old.

Just ask any parent … anywhere.

So now we have Happy, which McDonald’s said it introduced to bring “fun and excitement to kids’ meals while also serving as an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.”

Oh, wait, parents need a mascot to get the kids to eat apples and yogurt, which are now offered as Happy Meal options.

Social media reaction was not kind to Happy.

(Credit: McDonalds)

(Credit: McDonalds)

Happy Meal

That’s a good idea. Mayor McCheese, too!

Somebody should start one of those petition drives and send it to the White House.

Actually, others on Twitter noted the original Grimace was pretty creepy, too.

There are fears that people will literally lose sleep over this.

Actually, Happy has been around for a few years, according to the Oak Brook-based food giant.

“Happy is an animated McDonald’s Happy Meal box who was first introduced in 2009 to children and families in France,” the company said in a statement. “Happy has since made its way to Latin America and other countries in Europe and is now set to make a grand entrance in the U.S.”

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