Preteen hopes to ‘save’ Dartmouth Chuck E. Cheese from removing animatronics
Throughout his childhood, 12-year-old Logan Carreiro’s favorite place for fun and birthday parties has been the Dartmouth Chuck E. Cheese.
Now, he’s on a mission to ensure a staple of the kid-focused arcade and pizza chain remains for future generations: its animatronic characters.
Once a month, the Swansea resident said he likes to enjoy the games and, most of all, the chain’s famous singing robots Jasper T. Jowls, Pasqually, and Charles Entertainment Cheese — the company’s namesake.
What especially draws the preteen to the robots is their ability to interact with each other.
“It’s so amazing — they talk to each other and dance around on stage,” he said. “It kind of reminds me of a Disney World just down the street.”
Soon, Carreiro’s beloved robots could be leaving the Dartmouth franchise, as the company has been scaling back on their use over the past couple of years.
“I never thought it would get to Dartmouth, but now it seems like it’s very likely,” he said. “They say they’re not, but it’s been happening to a lot of locations and workers have been coming out about the changes.”
What franchises across the country have done, he 12-year-old said, is replacing the robots with dance floors surrounded by television screens.
“That’s giving kids some bad screen time habits,” he said. “That really messes with your brains at such a young age.”
Carreiro decided to turn his outrage into action. With help from his father, Carreiro launched an online petition called “Save Chuck E. Cheese” in the hopes that the corporate office will “listen to the fans” and keep the singing mouse.
According to a Chuck E. Cheese spokesperson, the company’s CEO has reached out to Carreiro directly directly and hopes “they connect soon.”
So far, more than 100 people have signed up to support his campaign since it was posted — less than two weeks ago, on Dec. 30.
“A lot of fans aren’t in favor of the upgrade,” Carreiro said.
Most of all, the preteen wants to make sure kids continue to have the same experiences that have brought so much joy to his own childhood.
“I want them to feel excited when they go there and not be let down when they realize it’s just a TV there,” Carreiro said. “It’s ruining tradition.”