Who is Donald Duck?
Full Name: Donald Fauntleroy Duck
Birthdate: Egg hatched June 9, 1934
(Egg laid Friday, March 13, 1934)
Besides in my opinon, being the greatest cartoon character ever, Donald is the one in the little blue suit that is more often in a rage than not. His personality shows through actions. He gives new meaning to the phrase: “Actions speak louder than words.” His lines are few and almost indecipherable, forcing his actions to speak the volumeof his parts. His personality makes his character almost unpredictable and yet so predictable. One can almost guarantee a rise in temper, but why? We’ll just have to wait and see.
More About Who Donald Duck is
“Whenever the corners of Donald Duck’s eyebrows begin to meet and his webbed foot begins to stamp, most audiences squirm in pleasant anticipation of Donald’s forthcoming anger. Never in motion pictures has there been such a funny fury as Donald’s.”
Richard Tobin, 1935
“Make the duck kinda cocky. And since he’s a duck and likes water, how about giving him a little middy blouse and a sailor hat?”
Walt Disney to Spencer
“Although he takes many a blow on the chin, he always dusts off his feathers and rises to take it on the chin again.”
How Nash Came to be Donald
Nash worked as an impressionist on a Radio show called The Merrymakers anddrove a miniature team of horses around town giving goodies to kids while he was “Whistling Clarence, the Adohr Bird Man” In 1932, Walt Disney accidentally heard a reprise of The Merrymakers and said “That man sounds like a duck” Later Nash was in an audition and Walt Disney heard his impression of a duck, and said “There’s our talking duck!” Walt Disney and Nash worked together to build Donald’s voice adding things like laughter. Clarence “Ducky” Nash provided the voice of Donald Duck until 1985, when he died of leukemia.
A Word from Mr. Walt Disney
From Extra to Star
Donald Duck came into being in 1934 to fit a voice which had interested me a couple of years before. He first appeared in a bit in our The Wise Little Hen, and proceeded to steal the picture. He squawked and strutted his way into the production until he was practically the star of the film. He was a character we simply couldn’t keep down. And the public took him to heart completely after his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit. His towering rages, his impotence in the face of obstacles, his protest in the face of injustice, as he sees it, even though he brings disaster upon himself – have kept him an audience favorite from that day to this.
Tidbits of information:
*Donald made his debut apperance in the ‘Wise Little Hen’.
*Donald has stared in 150 cartoons, 5 feature films and 16 t.v. specials.
*Donald and Daisy have been together since 1937 when they met on a trip to Mexico.
*Donald adopted his three nephews Huey, Duey, and Louie.
*Donald’s voice has been translated into at least 8 different languages including French, Spanish, Japenese and Swedish.
*Donald Duck is the most prolific of all Disney’s characters.
*Donald Duck was first meant to be a secondary character, but stole the show.
*Donald Duck’s footprints can be found in cement in front of Hollywood’s Chinese Theater.
*Donald was one of the first to sign up for World War II, but he was the last to be discharged, 40 years later!
*During World War II Donald worked his way up to Sergeant.
*His pyschiatrist is Professor Ludwig Won Drake.
*His uncle is Scrooge.
*Donald Duck is more popular among adults than children.
This is because:
Adults see a caricature of the characters of their own beloved offspring; also, he touches a chord in that part of the grown-up that will remain forever a child – we would all like, now and again, to behave like Donald, if only we thought we could get away with it!
Yet, Donald Duck is still quite popular among children.
Donald Duck in Other Countries:
Aku Ankka: Finland
Pato Donald: most South American countries
Anders And: Denmark
Batut: Saudi Arabia
Kalle Anka: Sweden, Scandenavia
Donal Bekek: Indonesia
Donaldus Anas: Spain
Final Word, Not a Final Appearance
Donald Duck is quite well known around the world, and is predicted to be remembered long after many of today’s live actors. Why? Because he is the perfect epitome of so many human characteristics: pest or not, he is just right. As Helen G Thompson put it in her 1935 Stage article, “I wouldn’t change him – not one little cross-eyed quack.” She added a piece of fine poetry:
On Donald Duck
GENUS PEDIGREE: Duckbill
KNOWN ALIASES:Don; Donald “Fauntleroy” Duck; SuperDuck; the Masked Mallard.
KNOWN RELATIVES:$crooge McDuck, Ludwig von Drake; Rumpus McFowl (uncles); Huey, Dewey & Louie (nephews); Della (sister); Gus Goose, Fred Duck, Gladstone Gander, Fethry Duck (cousins); Quackmore (father); Hortense (mother); Andold Temerary (medieval ancestor a.k.a. “Wild Duck,” and his ladylove, Aydis); Cornelius Coot (founder of Duckburg; great-great-grandfather); Humperdink Duck (a.k.a. Grandpa Duck); Elvira Coot (a.k.a. Grandma Duck – Duck family matriarch).
KNOWN PETS:Bolivar (“Bornworthy”) the St. Bernard; Grand Genius III of Old Siwash the Smugsnorkle Squattie.
KNOWN CONFIDANTS:Mickey Mouse; Daisy Duck; Goofy; Huey, Dewey & Louie; Gyro Gearloose; Uncle $crooge; Cousin Gus; Grandma Duck; Admiral Grimitz; Gwumpki the Cook; Ludwig von Drake; Buzz-Buzz; Bootle Beetle.
KNOWN RIVALS:Bad Pete; Neighbor J. Jones; the Claw; Gladstone Gander; Kent Powers; Flintheart Glomgold; Magica de Spell; Chip ‘n’ Dale; Argus McSwine.
PARAPHERNALIA:313 (Donald’s car, a 1934 Belchfire Runabout); his boat the “Miss Daisy.”
1st PRINT APPEARANCE:”Mickey Mouse Annual” in “More HooZoo” (1931); “Silly Symphonies” comic strip in “The Wise Little Hen” (serialized Sep. 16, 1934, after which the title became “Silly Symphonies, featuring Donald Duck,” and then simply to “Donald Duck”).
1st FILM APPEARANCE:”The Wise Little Hen” (June 9, 1934); semi-regular on the “DuckTales” since the 5-part serial “Treasure of the Golden Suns” (Sep. 18, 1987); later regular on “Quack Pack” (1996).
VOICE ACTOR:Clarence “Ducky” Nash (former); Tony Anselmo (current).
SIGNATURE:Barely comprehensible “nash-speak” and his irascible temperament.
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS:Donald is irascible, impetuous and plagued by ignonomy, but has the uncanny ability to always believe the best about himself. Although the son of Uncle $crooge’s older sister Hortense and her husband, Quackmore, and he is a twin to his sister, Della, Donald was primarily raised by Grandma Duck. In his later years Donald was saddled with the responsibility of raising his own triplet nephews, Huey, Dewey & Louie. Donald also has a pet St. Bernard named Bolivar and his offspring, the puppy, Behemoth. For a brief time, Donald enlisted in the Navy and left his Nephews with his own uncle $crooge McDuck, retrieving them upon his discharge. Donald’s long-time girlfriend is Daisy Duck (who is also his cousin), and is constantly vying for her affections with his other cousin, the “Lucky Duck,” Gladstone Gander. Donald was a semi-regular in the D.T.A. series “DuckTales”, and in Donald’s latest incarnation, on “Quack Pack,” he is still an unmarried single father though he now works as a photographer for a local television news-magazine, where Daisy is a reporter. One of his best known roles is from the feature film “The Three Caballeros” where he co-stars with his Latin amigos Jose Carioca and Panchito. He is often the subject of his wacky uncle Ludwig von Drake’s psychological tests. His introductory film, “The Wise Little Hen,” also featured his first pal, Peter Pig. Some of Donald’s most notorius rivals include Bad Pete, Neighbor Jones, and Argus McSwine. Some of the pests who have served as his bane (and sometimes friend) include Humphrey Bear, Buzz-Buzz Bee, Bootle Beetle, the Aracuan, Louie the Mountain Lion, and most assuredly, Chip ‘n Dale; as well as his own lazy, gluttenous cousin, Gus Goose. In some foreign markets Donald is the alter-ego of a national costumed hero, SuperDuck or rather, Super Donald (like his cousin Fethry Duck who uses the costumed name of the Red Bat). Super Donald (or Paperinik as he is called in Dutch comics) is a creation of the Italian Disney-comics licensee Mondadori’s studios. He first appeared in the Italian comics in 1969 and has been in continuous use since then. As yet he has never appeared in any American Disney comics. Super Donald is essentially an ordinary man who utilizes various gadgets and gizmos to cause mischief or defeat criminals in Duckburg. The origin of Super Donald is as follows: Donald inherits, by a mistake, a big house that once belonged to the famous gentleman-burglar Fantomius and finds the burglar’s diary and all his secret tools. Donald uses the equipment to get revenge on his uncle $crooge McDuck, and to get his rival Gladstone Gander away from Daisy he does this by stealing $crooge’s bed and making it look like Gladstone did it. Thus the original reason Donald donned his costume was to conduct his mischief without recieving the blame. All this is told in the very first Paperinik story. Later writers began moving Donald away from doning the costume to cause mischief to using the costume and gadgets to fight criminals on the streets of Duckburg. Ocassionally Donald, in his costumed identity, is assisted by a little alien from another dimension simply called Little Gum, especially when battling such criminals as the Beagle Boys. No one knows that it’s the lazy Donald Duck who is the marvelous super-hero. He keeps his equipment in a secret cellar beneath his house, and ocassionally gets new gadgets over the years from the inventor Gyro Gearloose. Like DarkWing Duck, it’s nothing “super” about the character himself, it’s the gadgets that makes the hero. But Donald is still irascible Donald, which means that even as a superhero he is very different from DarkWing. Super-Donald is not much for theatrical entrances, fame and glory. He’s fights crime and injustice mainly because he as Donald Duck he has often been the victim of the same. Since 1996 ther has been a “new” Super Donald who is very nontraditional for a Disney comic; he is more futuristic and Marvel-styled (or like D.C. Comics’ “Dark Knight”). In this version, Donald works as a caretaker of the Ducklair Tower, a huge skyscraper built by the eccentric billionaire and inventor Everett Ducklair, who later sold it to $crooge McDuck. The Ducklair Tower is a futuristic fully computerized building, run by the central computer with artificial intelligence and named Globus. Everett Ducklair constructed a lot of gadgets, which Donald as Super Donald starts to use. The threat is not only scoundrels on Earth, but an alien race as well. Both versions of Paperinik are still made in Italy and published in Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and probably in some other countries as well. The film “This is Your Life, Donald Duck” (Mar. 11, 1960), and the comic book “This is Your Life, Donald Duck” (Dell Four-Color #1109 – Aug. 1960, recently reprinted in Gladstone’s “Donald and Mickey” #25 – Sep. 1994) tell a version of Donald’s history and rise to fame. The British magazine “Mickey Mouse Weekly” co-featured a female duck named Donna Duck (not Daisy) with Donald in their comic from May to August 1937. Donna was later replaced as Donald’s co-star by a sailor named Mac until May 1940. Another important character from Donald’s life is his “other” lover, the Princess Reginella. As an aside, based on many of the early “Donald Duck” daily strips, it would seem that Donald and Clarabelle Cow had anything but a civil relationship.
HISTORICAL FACTS:Walt had wanted to add a duck named Donald to Mickey’s gang for some time, but didn’t realize that goal until he heard a radio show featuring Clarence Nash doing a duck in his now famous “nash-speak.” Walt hired Clarence and the rest is history. In comics Al Taliaferro was Donald’s first artist, and drew his strip from 1934 – 1969 (until his death), Bob Karp wrote for the strip from 1934 – 1974, but Carl Barks is Donald’s (as well as many of the other Ducks’) best known artist and story-teller, hence Carl has been dubbed “The Duck Man.” He was responsible for the creation of Uncle $crooge; Gyro Gearloose, Gladstone Gander and many others). Many of the “DuckTales” stories were based on Carl’s comic strip and book tales. Other well known Duck writers and artists include William van Horn, and most assuredly Don Rosa (who has basically inherited Barks’ title as the “New Duckman” for his work with both Donald and $crooge).
LITTLE KNOWN SECRETS:Donald’s first depiction was drawn in the book “Mickey Mouse Annual,” in the poem “More HooZoo,” where he was an unassuming little winged duckling who wore buttoned pants (perhaps the last time he would ever wear pants). At least two cartoons present Donald and Daisy as married “Donald’s Diary” (Mar. 5, 1954) and “How to Have an Accident at Work” (Sep. 2, 1959). The later of which even gives them an unnamed son. Though the first was most assuredly, like “Mickey’s Nightmare,” a dream. The second was more like the “Geef” shorts, presenting Donald as “everyman” and was presumably just a film role. The studio’s general theory is that Donald’s temperament is the one thing that stands between Donald and Daisy ever actually tying the knot.