Move Over Mickey Mouse, It Is Donald Duck Day

THE NEW SPIRIT, poster art, Donald Duck, 1942
Everett Collection

Donald Fauntleroy Duck (yes, Disney has confirmed that is his middle name!) is one of the Fab Five including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. When thinking about Disney characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse come to mind first for most people but Donald Duck is still one of the most beloved characters and actually has been in more movies than any other Disney character with over 200 appearances.

Donald Duck first appeared in The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934, and in honor of his debut every year on June 9th is considered Donald Duck Day. His grumpy charm soon brought about some supporting characters including Daisy Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Walt Disney wanted to create a character that was a little edgier than the friendly, always-happy Mickey Mouse. His unique voice was created by the original voice actor, Clarence Nash, who discovered a way to use his inner cheeks to create the sounds for Donald Duck’s voice.


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After his first appearance in the ’30s, the 1940s were Donald Duck’s shining decade. He appeared in over 128 independent short animations and even made appearances in American propaganda films, one of them earning an Academy Award for Best Short Film. He also got his own comic, where he lives in the town of Duckburg and has to take care of his crazy nephews. His popularity certainly didn’t stop in the ’50s as he co-hosted the Oscars in 1958 with Bobe Hope, Jimmy Stewart, and Jack Lemmon. After a bit of a hiatus, he made his return in 1983 in the animated series Donald Duck Presents.


Walt Disney Co./Everett Collection

These days, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and even has an asteroid named after him. What a star! To celebrate Donald Duck Day, why not pick a cartoon or film that features Donald Duck? He has become a fan favorite because of his wit and tenacity in tough situations. Not only that, he is pretty darn adorable. If you’re lucky enough to be able to visit Disney World, you could try to meet him in person. Currently, you can meet Donald Duck from The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion at EPCOT or at Pete’s Silly Sideshow at the Magic Kingdom.

Tell us, is Donald Duck your favorite of the Fab Five? What is your favorite film featuring the talking duck?

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August 2021

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