“Since 1927 the world’s most popular characters have been transformed into high-flying art in the sky,” Macy’s explained in a press release. “Inspired by marionettes, the Parade’s balloons first debuted as upside down puppets filled with air and carried on sticks, before taking flight with the addition of helium. Over time the inflatables morphed to encompass balloonheads, hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside (balloonicles) and tandem tricycles (trycaloons).”
This year’s additions bring some of the biggest characters in popular culture to the sky, as well as two new heritage balloons. Here is what you need to know:
Ada Twist, Scientist by Netflix
Measuring 41-feet long, 29-feet wide and 51-feet tall, the titular character of Netflix’s “Ada Twist, Scientist,” is set to make her balloon debut at the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“This balloon version of Ada is as big as her giant-sized curiosity!” according to Macy’s. “With a pen tucked behind her ear and sporting her signature lab coat, Ada shows us the magic of SCIENCE all around us!”
The department store revealed her balloon pen equates to the same length as 27 real pens lined up.
Baby Yoda from ‘The Mandalorian’
The balloon is making its debut at the parade, measuring 29-feet long, 37-feet wide and 41-feet tall.
“This larger-than-life balloon is inspired by the Child Funko Pop! releasing this fall,” Macy’s explained in the announcement, adding that his “ear span is longer than a telephone pole is tall!”
Returning to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021 is McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald, but this time he has a new look. Macy’s revealed this is the famous clown’s fifth design since he first appeared on the parade route in 1987.
“In this version, Ronald is sharing his heart with us at a time when we all need some extra love and smiles and inspiring spectators to, ‘see a smile, share a smile,’” according to a press release.
The 68-feet long, 31-feet wide and 40-feet tall balloon took 2,629 hours to complete at Macy’s Studio. It required more than 50 gallons of paint.
Pikachu & Eevee from ‘Pokemon’
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of ‘Pokemon’ is the high-flying balloon of hit characters Pikachu and Eevee.
As Macy’s put it, “A celebration is always better with friends, so this design features not only Pikachu but Eevee too! These two popular Pokémon are all smiles as they adorably sled down the route and into the holiday season.”
The cartoon friends measure 48-feet long, 23-feet wide and 34-feet tall. According to a press release, “Each blade on the sleigh is about the same length as a semi-trailer truck!”
Tiptoe Is the Parade’s 1st Balloon Puppet
The first of two heritage balloons debuting at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year is Tiptoe, the “first-ever balloon puppet to march down the route,” Macy’s revealed.
The announcement explained that “with the help of puppeteers, her head bobs & legs move as this courageous reindeer prances through the streets of New York City encouraging spectators to believe in themselves.”
According to CNN, the reindeer is the star of Macy’s holiday campaign.
Toni the Bandleader Bear
Toni the Bandleader Bear is the second heritage balloon taking its first journey down the parade route. The 28-feet long, 24-feet wide and 39-feet tall balloon features a few of Macy’s iconic stars, such as on its hat and cheeks. But as Macy’s revealed, “Toni’s eye has the top leg of the star hidden in its diamond shape.”
Per a press release, Toni is supposed to show “everyone how to march to the beat this Thanksgiving.” The bear got its name from “Parade pioneer,” Tony Sarg, the retailer explained.