There won't be any raising of the glass at McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) . The burger giant is recalling 12 million of its Shrek-themed glasses after the Consumer Product Safety Commission detected cadmium in the painted designs.
This is a blow for Mickey D's, naturally, but it may be an even bigger blow for DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA ) .
Let's tackle the golden arches first. This isn't the first product recall at a fast-food joint. Burger King (NYSE: BKC ) had to call back the plastic balls that contained Pokemon kids' meal toys back in 1999 after a suffocation incident.
McDonald's routinely sells premium glassware on a promotional basis. Even if this is an isolated incident, people will be leery of forking over an extra $2 the next time that the world's largest restaurant operator offers up licensed glasses.
However, the real loser here appears to be DreamWorks Animation. Shares of the computer animation studio have already been reeling since the disappointing cinematic start to Shrek Forever After. Can flawed, 16-ounce glasses make things worse?
It's certainly possible. Naive parents who hear about a Shrek-related recall -- unaware of the distinct licensing partnerships that character-driven studios establish -- may avoid snapping up licensed toys in the franchise's product line.
"Put that down, sweetie. It's a Fiona!"
This didn't happen when Mattel (NYSE: MAT ) had to recall die-cast Sarge toys with impermissible levels of lead paint from Disney's (NYSE: DIS ) Cars franchise three years ago, but things are different this time.
This is McDonald's, one of the most ubiquitous brands in the world. Everyone will be talking about this over the weekend.
It may come as some relief that this is presumably the final installment in the Shrek franchise, but DreamWorks Animation is spinning off the Puss in Boots character for his own animated flick next year.
It may just be a voluntary recall by McDonald's, but there are plenty of negative implications if it's not communicated and carried out effectively.
Will this move hurt McDonald's or DreamWorks Animation more? Share your thoughts in the 2-D comments box below.