Chuck E. Cheese gets a crappy makeover

Like his eighties brethren Alvin and The Chipmunks, Chuck E. Cheese has been redesigned in a manner that removes all remaining crumbs of original loveable kitsch. What was once a heart-warming pastiche of "scary clown" meets "stoned furry" is now just another soul-less CGI belch. Is nothing sacred?

Bonus in this AP article: a bungled reference to Nolan Bushnell as the man who "co-founded Atari and Pong." Pong, of course, was an arcade game created by Allan Alcorn and manufactured by Atari, the video game and home computer company Bushnell co-founded.


  1. You’ve heard the expression, “let’s get busy”? Well, this is a mouse who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly.

    1. This. There’s no excuse for crummy CG these days, you could buy a better mouse than that from a 3D marketplace for $50. That said the model is fine, it’s the budget rendering that ruins it.


  2. Kkk-RAD EXTREME 80s VIDEO GAME MASCOT hooks up with Bubsy on his days off to chill with some ‘tude yo.

  3. It’s not a bad redesign to be honest. But i think they fail to take into consideration that ultimately some guy is going to have to wear the suit, which is why the portly lookin mascot works on different levels.

    1. In this age of Tupac Shakur holograms? I think we’re beyond dudes in suits at this point.

      Now we just need to get Chuck and ‘Pac to collab.

  4. Big mistake.  They should have stuck with the old plan of going upscale by rebranding as “Charles de Frommage”.

  5. The sound I imagine emanating from his guitar is the death knell of my childhood.

  6. I’m too old to have any fond memories of Chuck E Cheese. It seemed like a gimmick when I read about it in college, so it’s hard for me to buy the sacred argument.

    If the chain wants to really be leading edge, they’ll strap augmented-reality spex on their guests the moment they enter. The kids can run around waving their arms in the air playing in a fantasyscape that only they can see. The parents’ spex, meanwhile, would show a tastefully decorated room with no screaming moppets in it.

      1. well… they did make him cool… but not TOO cool.  At least he isn’t folding his arms and giving us the “cocked eyebrow” over the sunglasses look.

  7. My local Chuck E. Cheese’s used to be a strip club. No lie.

    This new mascot looks like he could be from either incarnation of the place.

  8. I’m the perfect age to have Chuck E. Cheese nostalgia, but I’m all for this redesign. The original was ugly as hell and creepy too, with its weird naked reverse-five-o-clock-shadow.

  9. But the “then” isn’t even that old.  I prefer the Brooklyn-ish Chuck E. of my youth, before the merger with Showbiz (which I also remember being better, when it was on its own).

    EDIT: see here

    1. Indeed, Showbiz’s animatronics were much better than the original CECPTT ones, which were essentially nothing more than the characters’ heads and upper torsos. (Granted, I had never heard of CEC until the local SBP went through concept unification.)

    2. To be fair though that looks more like a rat, not a fantastic connotation with a restaurant (if not honest). Mouse isn’t much better, but I think you have a stronger connection with the cheese side of things.

  10. I’m sorry but when I read the headline “Chuck E. Cheese gets a crappy makeover” my immediate reaction was “So…no change then?”

  11. Alvin and the Chipmunks were from the late 50s/early 60s. The 80s Chipmunks were lousy makeovers too.

  12. They should just give up and call the restaurant “Noisy Hellhole Casino For Screaming Children Except With Even Worse Food Than Real Casinos.” The mascot should be a wadded-up slice of pizza being rammed down someone’s throat by your elementary school bully. (It would take two people to wear that suit.)

    The continued existence of the Chuck E. Cheese franchise is the main reason I decided to never have children.

  13. There’s something both slightly comforting and disconcerting about the adoption of last generation’s early adolescent “rebellious” iconography as suitable for preteens.

  14. Well, if you want a weird game connection, the animatronic version of Chuck E. Cheese was built on top of the pre-existing mechanics from Showbiz Pizza Place’s robot band, The Rock-afire Explosion.  (Mitzi Mozzarella’s ears are almost identical to Chuck’s.)  And the animatronics were made by a guy named Aaron Fechter, who also invented Whac-A-Mole.

  15. The AP did not mess up the reference. The Chuck E Cheeses web site did. It references that 
    Nolan Bushnell created Atari and Pong right on their history page.

    1. Yes, AP DID mess up the reference.  They’re not supposed to take corporate material as gospel when composing their stories.  Unfortunately, with all the cuts in journalism nowadays, I don’t imagine they have the staff to do the editing and fact-checking that they SHOULD be doing.

    1. When I was young, the cartoon characters designed to shill products to us were ten times better than then ones they have today. You kids get off my lawn!

  16. Chuck E. Cheese was a cut rate character from the begining. He was Poochie from the beginning. 

    He was always the most lame of any cartoon character. As a child even I assumed they only made him because they couldn’t afford Mickey or any of the actual interesting characters. C.E.C and his animatronic co-horts where pale rip-offs of what disney where doing with the bears and whatnot in their parks. (I always thought the show would be more interesting if the animatronic robots had no skin. Robots that look like robots would have been way more interesting that what they gave us.)And let’s not forget the actual restaurants. Pizza and crap for food hidden among all those crappy version of carny games that spit out ticket stubs that you could use – if you saved several thousand of them – to buy even crappier plastic toys that you would eventually just get for free out of a Cracker Jack Box. They could not make Chuck-E-Cheese any worse than he was so I really don’t see why any one would complain  that he has a guitar now.

  17. Actually, the first pong style game was created by Ralph Baer. It was released on the Magnovox Odyssey, the first home video game console. Bushnell saw this at a trade show. When Bushnell started Atari he hired Alcorn to make pong as we know it today. Check source below.

  18. Uhm I think he looks BETTER like this and the old Chuck just made me want to ball up into a fetal position and cry really. He was sort of depressing. They should bring back the whole band though… or have Daniel Clowes do a remake if you want to go creepy

  19. who’s cares, get over it. Chucky  was creepy anyways.. creepy ,child molester furry, maniacal serial killer kinda way too .. i think its a good upgrade, i don’t see how it’s a step down. 

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