Donald Duck

For other uses, see Donald Duck (disambiguation).

Donald Duck
First appearance The Wise Little Hen (1934)
Created by Walt Disney
Voiced by Clarence Nash (1934–85)
Tony Anselmo (1985–present)
Developed by Dick Lundy, Fred Spencer, Carl Barks, Jack King, Jack Hannah
Full name Donald Fauntleroy Duck
Nickname(s) Don
Species Duck
Family Duck family
Significant other(s) Daisy Duck
Reginella (1970s comics)
Hernae (Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow)
Donna Duck (Don Donald)
Relatives Scrooge McDuck (uncle)
Ludwig Von Drake (uncle)
Huey, Dewey, and Louie (nephews)
Duck family (paternal relatives)
Clan McDuck (maternal relatives)

Donald Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a bow tie. Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters and was included in TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002.[1] He has appeared in more films than any other Disney character,[2] and is the most published comic book character in the world outside of the superhero genre.[3]

Donald Duck rose to fame with his comedic roles in animated cartoons. Donald's first appearance was in 1934 in The Wise Little Hen, but it was his second appearance in Orphan's Benefit which introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse. Throughout the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, he typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy, and was given his own film series in 1937 starting with Don Donald. These films introduced Donald's love interest Daisy Duck and often included his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. After the 1956 film Chips Ahoy, Donald appeared primarily in educational films before eventually returning to theatrical animation in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983). His most recent appearance in a theatrical film was 1999's Fantasia 2000. Donald has also appeared in direct-to-video features such as Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004), television series such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016), and video games such as QuackShot (1991).[4]

Beyond animation Donald is primarily known for his appearances in comics. Donald was most famously drawn by Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Barks in particular is credited for greatly expanding the "Donald Duck universe", the world in which Donald lives, and creating many additional characters such as Donald's rich uncle Scrooge McDuck. Donald has been a very popular character in Europe, particularly in Nordic countries where his weekly magazine Donald Duck & Co was the most popular comics publication from the 1950s to 2009. Disney comics' fandom is sometimes referred to as "Donaldism", a term which originated in Norway (Norwegian: Donaldisme).[5][6]


The origins of Donald Duck's name may have been inspired by Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman. In 1932 Bradman and the Australian team were touring North America and he made the news after being dismissed for a duck against New York West Indians. Walt Disney was in the process of creating a friend for Mickey Mouse when he possibly read about Bradman's dismissal in the papers and decided to name the new character "Donald Duck".[7] Voice performer Clarence Nash auditioned for Walt Disney Studios when he learned that Disney was looking for people to create animal sounds for his cartoons. Disney was particularly impressed with Nash's duck imitation and chose him to voice the new character. Besides, during that period Mickey Mouse had lost some of his edge since becoming a role model towards children, and so Disney wanted to create a character to portray some of the more negative character traits that could no longer be bestowed on Mickey. Disney came up with Donald's iconic attributes including his short-temper and his sailor suit (based on ducks and sailors both being associated with water).[8] While Dick Huemer and Art Babbit were first to animate Donald, Dick Lundy is credited for developing him as a character.[9]


Orphans' Benefit (remake) (1941); Donald is famous for his explosive temper


Donald's two dominant personality traits are his short temper and his positive outlook on life. Many Donald shorts start with Donald in a happy mood, without a care in the world until something comes along and spoils his day. His anger is a great cause of suffering in his life. On multiple occasions, it has caused him to get in over his head and lose competitions. There are times when he fights to keep his temper in check, and he sometimes succeeds in doing so temporarily, but he always returns to his normal angry self in the end.

Donald's aggressive nature has its advantages, however. While at times it is a hindrance, and even a handicap, it has also helped him in times of need. When faced with a threat of some kind, for example Pete's attempts to intimidate him, he is initially scared, but his fear is replaced by anger. As a result, instead of running away, he fights—with ghosts, sharks, mountain goats, giant kites, and even the forces of nature. And, more often than not, when he fights, he comes out on top.

Donald is something of a prankster, and as a result, he can sometimes come across as a bit of a bully, especially in the way he sometimes treats Chip n' Dale and Huey, Dewey and Louie, his nephews. As the animator Fred Spencer has put it:

The Duck gets a big kick out of imposing on other people or annoying them, but he immediately loses his temper when the tables are turned. In other words, he can dish it out, but he can't take it.[10]

However, with a few exceptions, there is seldom any malice in Donald's pranks. He almost never intends to hurt anyone, and whenever his pranks go too far, he is always very regretful. In Truant Officer Donald, for example, when he is tricked into believing he has accidentally killed Huey, Dewey and Louie, he shows great remorse, blaming himself. His nephews appear in the form of angels, and he willingly endures a kick by one of them—that is, of course, until he realizes he has been played for a sap, whereupon he promptly loses his temper.

Donald is also a bit of a show-off. He likes to brag, especially about how skilled he is at something. He does in fact have many skills—he is something of a Jack of all Trades. Amongst other things, he is a good fisher and a good hockey player. However, his love of bragging often leads him to overestimate his abilities, so that when he sets out to make good on his boasts, he gets in over his head, usually to hilarious effect.

Another of his personality traits is tenacity. Even though he can at times be lazy, and likes to say that his favorite place to be is in a hammock, once he has committed to accomplishing something he goes for it 100 percent, sometimes resorting to extreme measures to reach his goal.


Donald has a few memorable phrases that he occasionally comes out with in certain situations. For example, when he stumbles across other characters in the midst of planning some sort of retaliation or prank, or when things don't go as he'd planned or don't work properly, he often says, "What's the big idea!?". When he has given up on something he's been trying to do, or something he's been hoping will happen, he tends to say, "Aw, phooey!". When he confronts someone who's been antagonizing him, or something that's been frustrating him, he likes to exclaim, "So!!". He greets his friend Daisy, and occasionally others, with, "Hiya, toots!". And when he's very excited about something, he usually mutters, "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy..." under his breath.


There's a running gag in the Donald Duck comics about him being out of shape and unwilling to exercise. Usually, some character close to Donald annoys him by saying he's being lazy and needs to get some exercise. But despite his apparent slothfulness, Donald proves that he is physically strong. In the short film, Sea Scouts, Donald is traveling with his nephews in a boat when it's attacked by a shark. Donald makes several attempts to defeat the shark, each of which proves ineffective, but then finally triumphs and defeats the shark with a single well-placed punch. Additionally, as discussed below- Donald had a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II that culminated with him serving as a commando in the film Commando Duck, and he was frequently away serving in the U.S. Navy in the television cartoon series DuckTales.

Rivalry with Mickey Mouse

Throughout his career, Donald has shown that he's jealous of Mickey and wants his job as Disney's greatest star, similar to the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck rivalry. In most Disney theatrical cartoons, Mickey and Donald are shown as partners and have little to no rivalry (exceptions being The Band Concert. Magician Mickey and near the end of Symphony Hour, which were due to Donald's menacing attempts). However, by the time The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television (after Bugs vs. Daffy cartoons such as Rabbit Fire), it was shown that Donald always wanted the spotlight. One animated short that rivaled the famous Mickey Mouse March song was showing Huey, Dewey, and Louie as Boy Scouts and Donald as their Scoutmaster at a cliff near a remote forest and Donald leads them in a song mirroring the Mouseketeers theme "D-O-N-A-L-D D-U-C-K! Donald Duck!" The rivalry would cause Donald some problems, in a 1988 TV special, where Mickey is cursed by a sorcerer to become unnoticed, the world believes Mickey to be kidnapped. Donald Duck is then arrested for the kidnapping of Mickey, as he is considered to be the chief suspect, due to their rivalry. However, Donald did later get the charges dismissed, due to lack of evidence. Walt Disney, in his Wonderful World of Color, would sometimes make reference to the rivalry. Walt, one time, had presented Donald with a gigantic birthday cake and commented how it was "even bigger than Mickey's", which pleased Donald. The clip was rebroadcast in November 1984 during a TV special honoring Donald's 50th birthday, with Dick Van Dyke substituting for Walt.

The rivalry between Mickey and Donald has also been shown in Disney's House of Mouse. It was shown that Donald wanted to be the Club's founder and wanted to change the name from House of Mouse to House of Duck, which is obvious in the episodes "The Stolen Cartoons" and "Timon and Pumbaa". However, in later episodes, Donald accepted that Mickey was the founder and worked with Mickey as a partner to make the club profitable and successful.


Donald has numerous enemies, who range from comical foil to annoying nemesis: Chip 'n' Dale, Pete, Humphrey the Bear, Spike The Bee, Mountain Lion Louie, Bootle Beetle, Witch Hazel (in Trick or Treat), Aracuan Bird and Baby Shelby (in Mickey Mouse Works). During the Second World War, Donald was often enemies with Adolf Hitler.[11]

In the comics, he is often pestered and tormented by the Beagle Boys, Magica De Spell, Gladstone Gander and Mr. Jones.

In the videogame Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers, he saves Daisy from Merlock.

The Italian-produced comic PKNA – Paperinik New Adventures stars Donald Duck as Paperinik, or Duck Avenger, in his battles against new alien enemies: Evronian Empire, founded by emperor Evron.


Donald in animation


For more details on this topic, see Donald Duck filmography.
Donald Duck as he first appeared in The Wise Little Hen

Donald Duck first appeared in the 1934 cartoon The Wise Little Hen which was part of the Silly Symphonies series of theatrical cartoon shorts. The film's release date of June 9 is officially recognized by the Walt Disney Company as Donald's birthday[12] despite a couple in-universe contradictions.[13] Donald's appearance in the cartoon, as created by animator Dick Lundy, is similar to his modern look – the feather and beak colors are the same, as is the blue sailor shirt and hat – but his features are more elongated, his body plumper, and his feet smaller. Donald's personality is not developed either; in the short, he only fills the role of the unhelpful friend from the original story.

Burt Gillett brought Donald back in his Mickey Mouse cartoon, Orphan's Benefit, released August 11, 1934. Donald is one of a number of characters who are giving performances in a benefit for Mickey's Orphans. Donald's act is to recite the poems Mary had a little lamb and Little Boy Blue, but every time he tries, the mischievous orphans heckle him, leading the duck to fly into a squawking fit of anger. This explosive personality would remain with Donald for decades to come.

Donald continued to be a hit with audiences. The character began appearing regularly in most Mickey Mouse cartoons. Cartoons from this period, such as the 1935 cartoon The Band Concert – in which Donald repeatedly disrupts the Mickey Mouse Orchestra's rendition of The William Tell Overture by playing Turkey in the Straw – are regularly hailed by critics as exemplary films and classics of animation. Animator Ben Sharpsteen also minted the classic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy comedy in 1935, with the cartoon Mickey's Service Station.

In 1936, Donald was redesigned to be a bit fuller, rounder, and cuter, the first to feature this design was the cartoon Moving Day. He also began starring in solo cartoons, the first of which was the January 9, 1937 Ben Sharpsteen cartoon, Don Donald. This short also introduced a love interest of Donald's, Donna Duck, who evolved into Daisy Duck.[14] Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, would make their first animated appearance a year later in the April 15, 1938 film, Donald's Nephews, directed by Jack King (they had been earlier introduced in the Donald Duck comic strip by Al Taliaferro, see below). By 1938, most polls showed that Donald was more popular than Mickey Mouse.[15] Disney could, however, help Mickey regain popularity by redesigning him, giving him his most appealing design as production for the Fantasia segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" began in 1938.

After his early appearances, he went on to become part of the famed trio Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. He appeared in many of the cartoons, including Moving Day.

Wartime Donald

Donald worked in a Nazi factory in Der Fuehrer's Face (1943)

Several of Donald's shorts during the war were propaganda films, most notably Der Fuehrer's Face, released on January 1, 1943. In it, Donald plays a worker in an artillery factory in "Nutzi Land" (Nazi Germany). He struggles with long working hours, very small food rations,[16] and having to salute every time he sees a picture of the Führer (Adolf Hitler). These pictures appear in many places, such as on the assembly line in which he is screwing in the detonators of various sizes of shells. In the end he becomes little more than a small part in a faceless machine with no choice but to obey until he falls, suffering a nervous breakdown. Then Donald wakes up to find that his experience was in fact a dream. At the end of the short Donald looks to the Statue of Liberty and the American flag with renewed appreciation. Der Fuehrer's Face won the 1942 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. Der Fuehrer's Face was also the first of two animated short films to be set during the War to win an Oscar, the other being Tom and Jerry's short film, The Yankee Doodle Mouse.[17]

Other notable shorts from this period include a seven film mini-series that follows Donald's life in the U.S. Army from his drafting to his experiences in basic training under Sergeant Pete to his first actual mission as a commando having to sabotage a Japanese air base. Titles in the series include:

Thanks in part to these films, Donald graced the nose artwork of virtually every type of World War II Allied combat aircraft, from the L-4 Grasshopper to the B-29 Superfortress.[18]

Donald also appears as a mascot—such as in the Army Air Corps 309th Fighter Squadron[19] and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, which showed Donald as a fierce-looking pirate ready to defend the American coast from invaders.[20] Donald also appeared as a mascot emblem for: 415th Fighter Squadron; 438th Fighter Squadron; 479th Bombardment Squadron; 531st Bombardment Squadron. He also appears as the mascot for the United States Air Force 319 Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Luke Air Force Base. He is seen wearing an old-style pilot's uniform with a board with a nail in it in one hand and a lightning bolt in the other hand. Donald's most famous appearance, however, was on North American Aviation B-25B Mitchell medium bomber (S/N 40-2261) piloted by Lt. Ted W. Lawson of the 95th Bombardment Squadron, USAAF. The aircraft, named the "Ruptured Duck" and carrying a picture of Donald's face above a pair of crossed crutches, was one of sixteen B-25Bs which took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to bomb Tokyo on April 18, 1942. The mission was led by Lieutenant Colonel (later General) Jimmy Doolittle. Like most of the aircraft that participated in the mission, the Ruptured Duck was unable to reach its assigned landing field in China following the raid and ended up ditching off the coast near Shangchow, China. The Ruptured Duck's pilot survived, with the loss of a leg, and later wrote about the Doolittle Raid in the book, later to be the movie, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (Random House pub. 1943).

During World War II, Disney cartoons were not allowed to be imported into Occupied Europe owing to their propagandistic content. Since this cost Disney a lot of money, he decided to create a new audience for his films in South America. He decided to make a trip through various Latin American countries with his assistants, and use their experiences and impressions to create two feature-length animation films. The first was Saludos Amigos, which consisted of four short segments, two of them with Donald Duck. In the first, he meets his parrot pal Jose Carioca. The second film was The Three Caballeros, in which he meets his rooster friend Panchito.

Several decades after the war, on account of the fact that Donald was never officially separated from service in either his animated shorts or his comic strips- and as part of Donald's 50th Birthday celebrations- the U.S. Army retired Donald Duck from active duty as a "Buck Sergeant"[21] (i.e. "Buck Sergeant Duck") in a special ceremony and parade in Torrance, CA in 1984.[22]

Post-war animation

Many of Donald's films made after the war recast the duck as the brunt of some other character's pestering. Donald is seen repeatedly attacked, harassed, and ridiculed by his nephews, by the chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale, or by other characters such as Humphrey the Bear, Spike the Bee, Bootle Beetle, the Aracuan Bird, Louie the Mountain Lion, or a colony of ants. In returning the favor (so to speak), Donald also has tempers and anger issues after returning from fighting in World War II; there is a theory on the Internet that says the reason why Donald is prone to having his tempers and anger issues is because Donald has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; said theory mentioned can also be found on YouTube. In effect, much like Bugs Bunny cartoons from Warner Bros. the Disney artists had reversed the classic screwball scenario perfected by Walter Lantz and others in which the main character is the instigator of these harassing behaviors, rather than the butt of them. The short 'Clown of the Jungle' (1947) very much feels like either a Daffy Duck or a Woody Woodpecker cartoon.

The post-war Donald also starred in educational films, such as Donald in Mathmagic Land and How to Have an Accident at Work (both 1959), and made cameos in various Disney projects, such as The Reluctant Dragon (1941) and the Disneyland television show (1959). For this latter show, Donald's uncles Ludwig von Drake (1961) and Scrooge McDuck (1967) were then created in animation.

In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Donald has a piano duel scene with his Warner Brothers counterpart and rival Daffy Duck voiced by Mel Blanc. Donald has since appeared in several different television shows and (short) animated movies. He played roles in The Prince and the Pauper and made a cameo appearance in A Goofy Movie.

Donald had a rather small part in the animated television series DuckTales. There, Donald joins the U.S. Navy, and leaves his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie with their Uncle Scrooge, who then has to take care of them. Donald's role in the overall series was fairly limited, as he only ended up appearing in a handful of episodes when home on leave. Some of the stories in the series were loosely based on the comics by Carl Barks.

Donald made some cameo appearances in Bonkers, before getting his own television show Quack Pack. This series featured a modernized Duck family. Donald was no longer wearing his sailor suit and hat, but a Hawaiian shirt. Huey, Dewey, and Louie now are teenagers, with distinct clothing, voices, and personalities. Daisy Duck has lost her pink dress and bow and has a new hairdo. Oddly enough, no other family members, besides Ludwig von Drake, appear in Quack Pack, and all other Duckburg citizens are humans, and not dogs.

He made a comeback as the star of the "Noah's Ark" segment of Fantasia 2000, as first mate to Noah. Donald musters the animals to the Ark and attempts to control them. He tragically believes that Daisy has been lost, while she believes the same of him, but they are reunited at the end. All this to Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1–4.

In an alternate opening for the 2005 Disney film Chicken Little, Donald would have made a cameo appearance as "Ducky Lucky". This scene can be found on the Chicken Little DVD.

Donald also played an important role in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse. In the latter show, he is the co-owner of Mickey's night club. He is part of the ensemble cast of classic characters in the TV show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as well. He also appears in the new 3-minute Mickey Mouse TV shorts for Disney Channel.

Voice actors

Donald's first voice was performed by Clarence Nash, who voiced him for 50 years. Nash voiced Donald for the last time in Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983, making Donald the only character in the film to be voiced by his original voice actor. He did, however, continue to provide Donald's voice for commercials, promos and other miscellaneous material until his death in 1985. Since Nash's death, Donald's voice has been performed by Disney animator, Tony Anselmo, who was mentored by Nash for the role.[23] Anselmo's first performances as Donald is heard in a 1986 D-TV special, D-TV Valentine on The Disney Channel, and in his first feature film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in 1988.

Donald in comics

Main article: Donald Duck in comics

While Donald's cartoons enjoy vast popularity in the United States and around the world, his weekly and monthly comic books enjoy their greatest popularity in many European countries, especially Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, but also Germany, the Netherlands, and Greece. Most of them are produced and published by the Italian branch of the Walt Disney Company in Italy (Disney Italy) and by Egmont in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. In Germany, the comics are published by Ehapa which has since become part of the Egmont empire. Donald-comics are also being produced in The Netherlands and France. Donald also has been appeared in Japanese comics published by Kodansha and Tokyopop.

According to the INDUCKS, which is a database about Disney comics worldwide, American, Italian and Danish stories have been reprinted in the following countries. In most of them, publications still continue: Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (Faroe Islands), Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia.

Early development

Though a 1931 Disney publication called Mickey Mouse Annual mentioned a character named Donald Duck, the character's first appearance in comic-strip format was a newspaper cartoon that was based on the short The Wise Little Hen and published in 1934. For the next few years, Donald made a few more appearances in Disney-themed strips, and by 1936, he had grown to be one of the most popular characters in the Silly Symphonies comic strip. Ted Osborne was the primary writer of these strips, with Al Taliaferro as his artist. Osborne and Taliaferro also introduced several members of Donald's supporting cast, including his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

In 1937, an Italian publisher named Mondadori created the first Donald Duck story intended specifically for comic books. The eighteen-page story, written by Federico Pedrocchi, is the first to feature Donald as an adventurer rather than simply a comedic character. Fleetway in England also began publishing comic-book stories featuring the duck.

Developments under Taliaferro

A daily Donald Duck comic strip drawn by Taliaferro and written by Bob Karp began running in the United States on February 2, 1938; the Sunday strip began the following year. Taliaferro and Karp created an even larger cast of characters for Donald's world. He got a new St. Bernard named Bolivar, and his family grew to include cousin Gus Goose and grandmother Elvira Coot. Donald's new rival girlfriends were Donna and Daisy Duck. Taliaferro also gave Donald his very own automobile, a 1934 Belchfire Runabout, in a 1938 story, which is often nicknamed by Donald's "313" car plate in the comic incarnation of Donald's world.

Developments under Barks

Carl Barks (1994)

In 1942, Western Publishing began creating original comic-book stories about Donald and other Disney characters. Bob Karp worked on the earliest of these, a story called "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold". The new publisher meant new illustrators, however: Carl Barks and Jack Hannah. Barks would later repeat the treasure-hunting theme in many more stories.

Barks soon took over the major development of the duck as both writer and illustrator. Under his pen, Donald became more adventurous, less temperamental and more eloquent. Pete was the only other major character from the Mickey Mouse comic strip to feature in Barks' new Donald Duck universe.

Barks placed Donald in the city of Duckburg, which he populated with a host of supporting players, including Neighbour Jones (1944), Uncle Scrooge McDuck (1947), Gladstone Gander (1948), the Beagle Boys (1951), Gyro Gearloose (1952), April, May and June (1953), Flintheart Glomgold (1956), Magica de Spell (1961), and John D. Rockerduck (1961). Many of Taliaferro's characters made the move to Barks' world as well, including Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Barks placed Donald in both domestic and adventure scenarios, and Uncle Scrooge became one of his favorite characters to pair up with Donald. Scrooge's popularity grew, and by 1952, the character had a comic book of his own. At this point, Barks concentrated his major efforts on the Scrooge stories, and Donald's appearances became more focused on comedy or he was recast as Scrooge's reluctant helper, following his rich uncle around the globe.

Further developments

Dozens of writers continued to utilize Donald in their stories around the world.

For example, the Disney Studio artists, who made comics directly for the European market. Two of them, Dick Kinney (1917–1985) and Al Hubbard (1915–1984) created Donald's cousin Fethry Duck.

The American artists Vic Lockman and Tony Strobl (1915–1991), who were working directly for the American comic books, created Moby Duck. Strobl was one of the most productive Disney artists of all time, and drew many stories which Barks wrote and sketched after his retirement. In the 1990s and early 2000s, these scripts were re-drawn in a style closer to Barks' own by Dutch artist Daan Jippes.

Italian publisher Mondadori created many of the stories that were published throughout Europe. They also introduced numerous new characters who are today well known in Europe. One example is Donald Duck's alter-ego, a superhero called Paperinik in Italian, created in 1969 by Guido Martina (1906–1991) and Giovan Battista Carpi (1927–1999).

Giorgio Cavazzano and Carlo Chendi created Umperio Bogarto, a detective whose name is an obvious parody on Humphrey Bogart. They also created O.K Quack, an extraterrestrial Duck who landed on earth in a spaceship in the shape of a coin. He however lost his spaceship, and befriended Scrooge, and now is allowed to search through his moneybin time after time, looking for his ship.

Romano Scarpa (1927–2005), who was a very important and influential Italian Disney artist, created Brigitta McBridge, a female Duck who is madly in love with Scrooge. Her affections are never answered by him, though, but she keeps trying. Scarpa also came up with Dickie Duck, the granddaughter of Glittering Goldie (Scrooge's possible love-interest from his days in the Klondike) and Kildare Coot, a nephew of Grandma Duck.

Italian artist Corrado Mastantuono created Bum Bum Ghigno, a cynical, grumpy and not too good looking Duck who teams up with Donald and Gyro a lot.

The American artist William Van Horn also introduced a new character: Rumpus McFowl, an old and rather corpulent Duck with a giant appetite and laziness, who is first said to be a cousin of Scrooge. Only later, Scrooge reveals to his nephews Rumpus is actually his half-brother. Later, Rumpus also finds out.

Working for the Danish editor Egmont, artist Daniel Branca (1951–2005) and script-writers Paul Halas and Charlie Martin created Sonny Seagull, an orphan who befriends Huey, Dewey and Louie, and his rival, Mr. Phelps.

One of the most productive Duck-artist used to be Victor Arriagada Rios, (deceased 2012) better known under the name Vicar. He had his own studio where he and his assistants drew the stories sent in by Egmont. With writer/editors Stefan and Unn Printz-Påhlson, Vicar created the character Oona, a prehistoric duck princess who traveled to modern Duckburg by using Gyro's time-machine. She stayed, and is still seen in occasional modern stories.

The best-known and most popular Duck-artist of this time is American Don Rosa. He started doing Disney comics in 1987 for the American publisher Gladstone. He later worked briefly for the Dutch editors, but moved to work directly for Egmont soon afterwards. His stories contain many direct references to stories by Carl Barks, and he also wrote and illustrated a 12-part series of stories about the life of Scrooge McDuck, which won him two Eisner Awards.

Other important artists who have worked with Donald are Freddy Milton and Daan Jippes, who made 18 ten-pagers which experts claim, were very difficult to separate from Barks' own work from the late 1940s.

Japanese artist Shiro Amano worked with Donald on the graphic novel Kingdom Hearts based on the Disney-Square Enix videogame.

Donald Duck outside the United States

Donald Duck has a slightly different character abroad.

Nordic countries

Donald Duck (Kalle Anka in Sweden,[24] Anders And in Denmark, Andrés Önd in Iceland, Donald Duck in Norway,[25] and Aku Ankka in Finland[24]) is a very popular character in Nordic countries. In the mid-1930s, Robert S. Hartman, a German who served as a representative of Walt Disney, visited Sweden to supervise the merchandise distribution of Sagokonst (The Art of Fables). Hartman found a studio called L'Ateljé Dekoratör, which produced illustrated cards that were published by Sagokonst. Since the Disney characters on the cards appeared to be exactly 'on-model', Hartman asked the studio to create a local version of the English-language Mickey Mouse Weekly. In 1937 L'Ateljé Dekoratör began publishing Musse Pigg Tidningen (Mickey Mouse Magazine), which had high production values and spanned 23 issues; most of the magazine's content came from local producers, while some material consisted of reprints from Mickey Mouse Weekly. The comic anthology ended in 1938. Hartman helped Disney establish offices in all Nordic countries before he left Disney in 1941. Donald became the most popular of the Disney characters in Scandinavia,[24] and Scandinavians recognise him better than Mickey Mouse. Kalle Anka & Co, Donald's first dedicated Swedish anthology, started in September 1948. In 2001 the Finnish Post Office issued a stamp set to commemorate the 50th year anniversary of Donald's presence in Finland. By 2005 around one out of every four Norwegians read the Norwegian edition Donald Duck & Co. per week, translating to around 1.3 million regular readers. During the same year, every week 434,000 Swedes read Kalle Anka & Co. By 2005 in Finland the Donald Duck anthology Aku Ankka sold 270,000 copies per issue. Tim Pilcher and Brad Books, authors of The Essential Guide to World Comics, described the Donald anthologies as "the Scandinavian equivalent of the UK's Beano or Dandy, a comic that generations have grown up with, from grandparents to grandchildren."[24]

Hannu Raittila, an author, says that Finnish people recognize an aspect of themselves in Donald; Raittila cites that Donald attempts to retrieve himself from "all manner of unexpected and unreasonable scrapes using only his wits and the slim resources he can put his hands on, all of which meshes nicely with the popular image of Finland as driftwood in the crosscurrents of world politics." Finnish voters placing protest votes typically write "Donald Duck" as the candidate.[26] In Sweden voters often voted for Donald Duck or the Donald Duck Party as a nonexistent candidate until a 2006 change in voting laws, which prohibited voting for nonexistent candidates. In a twenty-year span Donald won enough votes to be, in theory, Sweden's ninth-most popular political organization. In 1985 Donald received 291 votes in an election for the Parliament of Sweden (Riksdag).[27]

By 1978, within Finland there was debate over the morality of Donald Duck. Matti Holopainen jokingly criticized Donald for living with Daisy while not being married to her, for not wearing trousers, and for, in the words of the Library Journal, being "too bourgeois".[28][29] Some observers from Finland from the same time period supported Donald, referring to him as a "genuine proletarian...forced to sell his labor at slave rates to make a living". The Library Journal stated that it had been revealed that, since 1950, Donald had secretly been married to Daisy.[30] An annual Christmas special in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden is From All of Us to All of You, in Norway and Sweden with a title of Donald Duck and His Friends Celebrate Christmas. Segments include Ferdinand the Bull, a short with Chip 'n' Dale, a segment from Lady and the Tramp, a sneak preview of a coming Disney movie and concludes with Jiminy Cricket performing "When You Wish Upon a Star". To many people watching this special is a tradition as important as having a Christmas tree.


Donald Duck is very popular in Germany, where Donald themed comics sell an average of 250,000 copies each week, mostly published in the kids' weekly Micky Maus and the monthlies Donald Duck Special (for adults) and Lustiges Taschenbuch.[31] The Wall Street Journal called Donald Duck "The Jerry Lewis of Germany", a reference to American star Jerry Lewis' popularity in France.[31] Donald's dialogue in German comics tends to be more sophisticated and philosophical, he "quotes from German literature, speaks in grammatically complex sentences and is prone to philosophical musings, while the stories often take a more political tone than their American counterparts",[31] features especially associated with Erika Fuchs's popular German translations of the comics created by The Good Duck Artist Carl Barks. Christian Pfeiler – former president of D.O.N.A.L.D., a German acronym which stands for "German Organization for Non-commercial Followers of Pure Donaldism" – says Donald is popular in Germany because "almost everyone can identify with him. He has strengths and weaknesses; he lacks polish but is also very cultured and well-read."[31] It is through this everyman persona that Donald is able to voice philosophical truths about German society that appeal to both children and adults.[31] Donald's writers and illustrators Carl Barks, Don Rosa and Ub Iwerks are well known in Germany, and have their own fan clubs.


Donald Duck (named Paolino Paperino) is also a very popular character in Italy, where new stories about him and Scrooge McDuck are hosted in the kids' weekly Topolino and the monthly Paperino. While Paperino is written by many authors, he still maintains several characteristics. He's mostly an everyman, but the fierce, harsh temper he has in the American comic appears to be diluted into a meek, weaker personality, prone to comical fits of rage that are mostly subdued by the realization of its impotence. His frustration at Gladstone's luck is comically enhanced: in the Italian comics Donald is chronically unlucky, unable to do or get anything right, with Gladstone taking advantage of his superiority or taking genuine pity of his unlucky cousin and trying several plans to grant him some better luck, always failing.

Donald as the Duck Avenger (Paperinik). Art by Marco Rota.

However the constant search for an outlet to vent his frustration, led the Italian rendition of Donald Duck to seek his catharsis in several ways: in the sixties, vexed by Scrooge's antics and Gladstone luck, he reinvented himself as Paperinik, the Duck Avenger (as he came to be known outside Italy), an anti-hero at first, a self-assured, well adjusted, brilliant hero in later stories, no longer bound by the self-doubt and the mockery Donald is constantly subjected.[32] Further along the years, he fashioned for himself the additional identities of QQ7, a bumbling secret agent protecting Scrooge's riches[33] and DoubleDuck, a more confident and suave secret agent, in the mold of James Bond, a more equilibrate mold of the heroic Duck Avenger and the tricky QQ7, often accompanied by the beautiful spy Kay K.[34] Donald's "secret identies" are hosted in the main Topolino comics, but also in several themed comics, like the now defunct Paperinik, PKNA, PK^2 and the current Paperinik AppGrade, the latter hosting reprints and new stories as well.

Having several full lives to live doesn't hamper Donald's ability to live adventures on his own: he still lives adventures with his uncle Scrooge and his nephews (often acting as a reluctant bumbler, a ballast to the enthusiasm of his nephews and the wanderlust of his uncle), and he lived a starcrossed love story with a princess from another planet, Reginella.[35] Despite Reginella left a deep trace in Donald's heart, he's still depicted as extremely faithful to Daisy, with a small hiccup deriving by Daisy Duck having a secret identity on her own (Paperinika), with Paperinik and Paperinika, both unaware of their secret identities, cultivating a permanent status of belligerent tension.

He also keeps a cheerful rivalry with his neighbour Bum Bum Ghigno, more a bumbler and a nuisance than he is, but still a good person at heart.

Oddly enough, the Italian rendition of Donald Duck seldom, if ever, goes by his first name, having everyone, including his nephews, Daisy and Uncle Scrooge, address him as Paolino (his Italian surname). While the matter as never clarified, his choice fits the extreme loathing of his first name expressed by his mother Hortense.

Disney theme parks

Donald's house boat at Mickey's Toontown, Disneyland

Donald Duck has played a major role in many Disney theme parks over the years. He has actually been seen in more attractions and shows at the parks than Mickey Mouse has. He has appeared over the years in such attractions as Animagique, Mickey Mouse Revue, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros and the updated version of "it's a small world". He also is seen in the parks as a meet-and-greet character.

One long-ago-scrapped idea was also to have a bumper boat ride themed to Donald Duck.

Donald in children's books

Donald has been a frequent character in children's books beginning in 1935. Most of these books were published by Whitman Publishing, later called Western Publishing, or one of its subsidiaries. The following is a list of children's books in which Donald is the central character. This does not include comic books or activity books such as coloring books.

Whitman/Western books

  • Walt Disney's Donald Duck (1935), first published appearance
  • Donald Duck Story Book (1937)
  • Donald Duck Has His Ups and Downs (1937)
  • Donald's Lucky Day (1939), adaptation of the cartoon short of the same name
  • Donald Duck and His Cat Troubles (1948)
  • Bringing up the Boys (1948)
  • Donald Duck's Kite (1949)
  • Donald Duck and the Wishing Star (1952), a Cozy Corner book
  • Donald Duck Goes to Disneyland (1955)
  • Help Wanted (1955)
  • Donald Duck and the Lost Mesa Ranch (1966)
  • Donald Duck: Board Book (1969)
Better Little Books
  • Donald Duck Gets Fed Up (1940)
  • Donald Duck Sees Stars (1941)
  • Off the Beam (1943)
  • Headed for Trouble (1943)
  • Donald Duck and Ghost Morgan's Treasure (1946), based on Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold (1942)
  • Donald Duck and the Green Serpent (1947), based on the comic The Terror of the River!! (1946)
  • Donald Duck Lays Down the Law (1948)
  • Donald Duck in Volcano Valley (1949)
Little Golden Books
  • The Great Kite Maker (1949)
  • Donald's Toy Train (1950), based on cartoon short Out of Scale
  • Donald Duck's Adventure (1950), a Mickey Mouse Club book
  • Donald Duck and Santa Claus (1952), a Mickey Mouse Club book
  • Donald Duck and the Witch (1953)
  • Donald Duck's Toy Sailboat (1954), based on the cartoon short Chips Ahoy
  • Donald Duck's Christmas Tree (1954, 1991), based on cartoon short Toy Tinkers
  • Donald Duck's Safety Book (1954)
  • Donald Duck in Disneyland (1955)
  • Donald Duck and the Mouseketeers (1956), a Mickey Mouse Club book
  • Donald Duck and the Christmas Carol (1960)
  • Donald Duck and the Witch Next Door (1971)
  • Disneyland Parade with Donald Duck (1971)
  • Donald Duck: Private Eye (1972)
  • Donald Duck: Prize Driver (1974), a Mickey Mouse Club book
  • America On Parade (1975)
  • Donald Duck and the One Bear (1978), based on the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Instant Millionaire (1978)
  • Where's Grandma? (1983), a Golden Stiff It book
  • Donald Duck and the Big Dog (1986)
  • Some Ducks Have All the Luck (1987)

Tell-a-Tale Books
  • Donald Duck's Lucky Day (1951)
  • Full Speed Ahead (1953)
  • Donald Duck and the New Birdhouse (1956)
  • Donald Duck in Frontierland (1957)
  • Donald Duck and the Super-Sticky Secret (1985)
  • Tom Sawyer's Island (1985)
Little Big Books
  • The Fabulous Diamond Fountain (1967)
  • Luck of the Ducks (1969)
  • Donald Duck in Volcano Valley (1973), reprinting of 1949 Better Little Book
  • The Lost Jungle City (1975)

Grosset and Dunlap books

  • Donald Duck (1936)

D.C. Heath and Co. books

  • Donald Duck and His Friends (1939), a Disney Health book
  • Donald Duck and His Nephews (1939), a Disney Health book

Random House books

  • Donald Duck and the Magic Stick (1974)
  • Donald Duck: Mountain Climber (1978)
  • Donald Duck's Big Surprise (1982)
  • Donald Duck Buys a House (1982)

Walt Disney Productions books

  • The Donald Duck Book (1978), a Golden Shape book

Grolier/Scholastic books

  • Baby Donald's Day at the Beach (2001)
  • Baby Donald Makes a Snowfriend (2005)

Beyond Disney

Donald's footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The prints were made during the celebration of Donald's 50th birthday.
Donald Duck's Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Selected short films

Feature-length films

Television series

Video games

Famous illustrators

See also


  1. TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time. CNN. 2002-06-30, retrieved 2011-06-04.
  2. Not including television episodes but including short films, Donald has appeared in 197 films. (Donald Duck at IMDb, retrieved August 15, 2014) The Disney character with the second most film appearances is Mickey Mouse at 167. (Mickey Mouse at IMDb, retrieved August 15, 2014)
  3. Overall, Donald is the fifth most published comic book character in the world after Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. List of Superheroes & Villains in the Comic Book Universe at Comic Vine
  4. Donald Duck at the Internet Movie Database
  5. "DON ROSA on Carl Barks". January 1, 2001. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  7. Levison, Brian (2012). Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Cricket. David & Charles. ISBN 9781446357484.
  8. Tom Andrae 2006. Carl Barks and the Disney Comic Book: Unmasking the Myth of Modernity, Univ. Press of Mississippi, p. 61
  9. Watts 2013, p. 253.
  10. The Chronological Donald Volume One
  11. Sabine Hake (31 August 2012). Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy. University of Wisconsin Pres. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-299-28713-9.
  12. "When is Donald Duck's birthday? When did he debut?". Guest Services. Disney. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  13. In The Three Caballeros (1944) Donald's birthday is Friday the 13th, a reference to his seemingly congenital bad luck. In Donald's Happy Birthday (1949) Donald's birthday is March 13 which was a Friday in 1931.
  14. Although the Walt Disney Company claimed Donna Duck to be the same character as Donald's long-time love interest Daisy Duck, this is not so in Karp/Taliaferro comics (1951), where she is a separate character, appearing together with Daisy in a couple of daily newspaper strips. Early illustrations of Daisy also show a clear distinction between the two, Donna having a Mexican accent, contrary to Daisy.
  15. "Free Cartoon Reviews of Fantasia Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film". Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  16. "Donald Duck does it in style". BBC News (BBC). June 9, 2004. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  17. Watts 2013, pp. 230–231.
  18. "Military Aircraft Nose Art". Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  19. "309th Fighter Squadron". 31st Fighter Group. Archived from the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  20. Noble, Dennis L. (June 2001). "The Corsair Fleet" (PDF). The Beach Patrol and Corsair Fleet. Coast Guard. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  23. "If It Quacks Like This Odd Duck, It Must Be Tony Anselmo". People. May 18, 1987. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  24. 1 2 3 4 Pilcher, Tim and Brad Brooks. (Foreword: Dave Gibbons). The Essential Guide to World Comics. Collins and Brown. 2005. 244.
  26. Kallionpää, Katri (March 7, 2007). "Donald Duck holds his own in the north". Helsingin Sanomat. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  27. Wolf, Buck. "Donald Duck's a Big Bird in Politics." ABC News. November 5 (year unstated). Retrieved on January 19, 2012.
  30. "Donald Duck, Yogi Bear, & Riding Hood under fire". Library Journal 103.9 (1978): 920. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. December 9, 2010.
  31. 1 2 3 4 5 "Why Donald Duck Is the Jerry Lewis of Germany", Susan Bernofsky, Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2009
  32. , Paperinik il Diabolico Vendicatore, G. Martina
  33. ,Paperino Missione Bob Fingher, C. Chendi, G.B. Carpi
  34. ,Mi chiamo Duck, Doubleduck e sono un agente segreto!, A. Freccero
  35. ,Paperino e l'avventura sottomarina, R. Cimino, G. Cavazzano
  36. Berry, DeMaris; Cowger, Nancy; Slonim, Scott (January 1979). "Donald Ducks Computer". ABA Journal. 65: 28. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  37. Becher, Nir. "The Duck". Haaretz. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  38. – Berry, D.; Cowger, N. & Slonim, S. (January 1979). "Donald Ducks Computer". ABA Journal 65: 28 – Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  39. "Donald Duck". Hollywood Icons. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  41. "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives – Trick or Treat – Evil Needs Candy Too". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  42. "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives – Trick or Treat". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  43. Orbit diagram of 12410 Donald Duck (1995 SM3) at NASA'a Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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