Donald Duck (full name first revealed as Donald Fauntleroy Duck in Donald Gets Drafted) is a character created by Walt Disney. Donald is sometimes short-tempered, impatient, angry, but who is always nice, innocent, and honest. He is a white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He usually wears a sailor shirt, cap and a red or black bow tie, but no trousers at all.
Donald's voice, one of the most identifiable voices in all of animation, was performed by voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash up to his death in 1985. It was largely this semi-intelligible speech, that would cement Donald's image into audiences' minds and help fuel both Donald's and Nash's rise to stardom. Since 1985, Donald has been voiced by Tony Anselmo, who was trained by Nash for the role.
He is also a member of the Sensational Six.
Donald's most famous personality trait is his uncontrollable temper. This has gotten him into some tight spots with his relationship with Daisy, as she is easily annoyed by his constant anger issues. However, things always turn out right in the end. Donald's jealousy towards Mickey's popularity sometimes gets in the way of their friendship and causes him to almost be a villain at times because of his angry temper. Although Donald can be loud, rude and selfish, he is extremely loyal and will do anything to help a friend in need. Donald also has an obsession over being disney's most famous and popular star and also obsessed with money, treasure, gold, etc., which he gets from his Uncle Scrooge, and can sometimes be found participating in a get-rich-quick scheme.
Donald's aggressive nature is a double-edged sword however, and while it at times is a hindrance and even a handicap for him, it has also helped him in times of need. When faced against a threat of some kind, Donald may get frightened and even intimidated (mostly by his nemesis Pete), but rather than getting scared, he gets mad and has taken up fights with ghosts, sharks, mountain goats and even the forces of nature. And, more often than not, Donald has come out on top.
In spite of the negativity, Donald is a generally easy going person. Most of his cartoons start with Donald relaxing, enjoying an activity, or simply not having a care in the world until something or someone comes along and ruins it, resulting in the duck exploding in rage. When not dealing with his scenes, Donald can often be found snoozing in his hammock. Donald Duck's girlfriend Daisy Duck's voice is much easier to understand unlike Donald's first girlfriend Donna Duck who sounded a lot like Donald and she lost her temper a lot just like Donald.
Donald has also been shown to be a bit of a show-off (especially towards his nephews). He likes to brag, especially when he is very skilled at something. This has a tendency to get him into trouble, however, as he also tends to get in over his head. In spite of their rivalries, Donald shares a very loving relationship with his nephews and treats them as his own children. They obviously love their "Unca Donald" with a particular scene in the first episode of DuckTales showcasing them having a heartfelt goodbye moment as Donald prepares to leave for the navy.
Among his personality traits is his stubbornness and commitment. Even though Donald at times can be lazy, and he has stated many times that his favorite place is in the hammock, once he has committed to something he goes in for it 100%, sometimes going to extreme measures to reach his goal. It has been shown several times that Donald is rather sensitive/embarrassed about his voice and often begins an uproar if someone notes their difficulties in understanding it.
Donald has a few memorable phrases that he occasionally comes out with in given situations. "What's the big idea?" is a common one, which Donald usually says when stumbling across other characters in the midst of planning some sort of retaliation or prank, and sometimes when certain things do not go as planned or do not work properly. "Aw, phooey!" is another memorable saying Donald makes, usually after giving up on a particular action or event. "So!" is Donald's usual declaration when confronting someone (or something) antagonizing him. Another popular phrase Donald says, in particular to Daisy, is "Hiya, toots!". "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" is yet another common phrase Donald uses, usually muttered to himself when he's very excited about something.
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. In the early Disney shorts, Mickey and Donald were partners, but by the time The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television, it was shown that Donald always wanted the spotlight. One animated short that rivaled the famous Mickey Mouse 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 the 1988 TV special Mickey's 60th Birthday, 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.
The rivalry between Mickey and Donald has also been featured in House of Mouse. It was shown that Donald wanted to be the Club's founder and wanted to change the club's name from House of Mouse to House of Duck. 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.
Mickey Mouse has failed to realize how much Donald does not like him at times, and always counts him as one of his best friends. Despite the rivalry, Donald seems to be an honest friend of Mickey's, and will be faithful to him in tough situations, such as working with Mickey and Goofy as a team akin to the Three Musketeers. In the Kingdom Hearts games, Donald is quite loyal to Mickey, even briefly leaving Sora to follow King Mickey's orders.
Donald in animation
Donald has been in many cartoons with Mickey and Goofy, and has also stared in his own cartoons throughout the years. According to the cartoon Donald Gets Drafted (1942), Donald's full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck (his middle name appears to be a reference to his sailor hat, which was a common accessory for "Little Lord Fauntleroy" suits). The Quack Pack episode "All Hands on Duck" and Disney's website also stated his full name as Donald Fauntleroy Duck. Donald's birthday is officially recognized as June 9, 1934, the day his debut film was released, but in The Three Caballeros, his birthday is given as simply "Friday the 13th," while in Donald's Happy Birthday, it says his birthday is March 13.
According to Leonard Maltin in his introduction to The Chronological Donald - Volume 1, Donald was created by Walt Disney when he heard Clarence Nash doing his "duck" voice while reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Mickey Mouse had lost some of his edge since becoming a role model for children and Disney wanted a character that could portray some of the more negative character traits he could no longer bestow on Mickey.
Donald first appeared in the Silly Symphonies cartoon The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934, though he is mentioned in a 1931 Disney storybook. 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 bigger. Donald's personality is not developed either; in the short, he only fills the role of the unhelpful friend from the original story.
Bert Gillett, director of The Wise Little Hen, brought Donald back in his Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Orphan's Benefit on 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 eat his specially made pie, 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 in most Mickey Mouse cartoons as a regular member of the ensemble with Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. 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.
Donald was redesigned in 1936 to be a bit fuller, rounder, and cuter. He also began starring in solo cartoons, the first of which was Don Donald, released on January 9, 1937. This short also introduced Donald's long-time love interest, Daisy Duck (here called "Donna Duck"). Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, would make their first animated appearance a year later in the 1938 film, Donald's Nephews, directed by Jack King (they had earlier been introduced in the Donald Duck comic strip).
Later animated films
Donald appears in the packaging films Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. In the films, Donald gets a chance to travel the world and is mashed up with new Disney characters, Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistoles. He also appears in Melody Time, in the sixth segment, Blame it on the Samba along with José where they are seen moping in a cafe. The Aracuan Bird sees them both, and introduces them to the Samba, which manages to cheer them up.
Donald plays Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew Fred in Disney's 1983 featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol.
He also made an appearance at the Ink and Paint Club competing against Daffy Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He also appears in the end of the movie when the toon characters look at the melted Judge Doom.
He made a silent cameo appearance where he is hitchhiking with Mickey in A Goofy Movie during the song On the Open Road.
Donald appears in the traditional animated Christmas film and it's computer animated sequel. In the first film Donald appears in the first story called Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas where Huey, Dewey and Louie wish it was Christmas everyday. Although the wish comes true Donald does not notice. Donald later appears at the end where he joins Mickey and Friends in a Christmas carol.
In the sequel, Donald appears in the second story where Huey, Dewey and Louie realize they need to put their names on Santa's List. In the end of the segment Donald's only gift was The Big Book of Manners. Donald later appears in his own segment, where he is exhaused, wanting nothing more than to relax with a cup of hot cocoa; however, We Wish You a Merry Christmas plays continously, torturing him. Donald tries relaxing with a cup of cocoa, but Daisy forces him to take the boys to Mousey's holiday display. Donald, tired and becoming increasing angered, starts hearing the song from ANY sound around him; this leads him to destroy the Mousey's display in a panic to end it. Feeling sorry, Donald finds an off-key chorus attempting to sing the song and teaches them to sing in harmony.
Donald is the assistant to Noah and husband of Daisy Duck. A storm is near and Donald must round up all the animals and humans onto the Ark. During checking, Donald realizes Daisy isn't aboard the ark. He rushes back to the hut to get her and doesn't notice her walk right passed him into the ark. When a giant wave arrives, Daisy witnesses from the ark's window, Donald trying to escape it. She covers her eyes in fear and fails to see Donald jumping aboard at the last minute. When Donald is aboard he sees his and Daisy's house being swept away with, he thinks, Daisy in it. Both Donald and Daisy believe each other to be dead.
A few days later, Donald sends out a male dove to check for land, while in the process angrily pulling him away from his mate when he tries to sneak back without leaving. Donald realizes that he is missing Daisy more and more. Daisy feels the same.
When the ark lands, Donald looks out as the animals climb off. Noah ruffles Donald's head feathers affectionatly as he walks by him. Donald pulls out a picture of him and Daisy and looks at it sadly. Daisy is walking down the plank when she realizes that her locket with a picture of her and Donald inside has fallen off it's chain. Donald is sweeping just inside the ark and sees the locket on the floor. He and Daisy reach for it at the same time and see each other. They are both overjoyed to see the other is alive. Daisy kisses Donald and they walk out together and admire their new home.
Donald makes a cameo at the end of the film as a silhouette and is heard quacking angrily at Stitch as he bounced atop his head to reach his seat.
Donald is a janitor in Paris, France. Like Mickey and Goofy, he dreams of becoming a musketeer after being rescued by three as a child. The only thing standing in Donald's way is the fact that he's a complete coward. Pete, the leader of the musketeers plots to take over France and after Princess Minnie demands body guards he use Donald, Mickey and Goofy believing they'll do a terrible job. Donald meets the princess and develops a crush on her assistant Daisy.
After proving themselves worthy by defeating the Beagle Boys, Donald is kidnapped in the middle of the night by the Beagle Boys while Goofy is kidnapped by Pete's lieutenant Clarabelle. The Beagle Boys take Donald to Pete's lair, where the duck is nearly decapitated. Fortunately, he escapes his death, and rushes back to the palace to warn Mickey. Mickey however, wants to stay on his job but the fear of Pete prompts Donald to quit. Later on, Goofy, who was freed by his newfound love Clarabelle, convinces Donald to change his mind and the duo rushes to help Mickey.
After the princess was saved, Donald and Daisy proclaim their mutual love and along with Mickey and Goofy, becomes a royal musketeer.
In House of Mouse: Donald's Heroes Vs. Villains is the main protagonist, and is helped by the heroic characters against the bad guys.
Donald had a rather small part in the television series DuckTales. There, Donald joins the Navy and leaves his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie with their Uncle Scrooge, who then has to take care of them. Donald appears in two parts of the series premiere, "Treasure of the Golden Suns", as well as the season 1 episodes "Sphinx for the Memories", "Home Sweet Homer", "A Whale of a Bad Time", "Spies in Their Eyes", "All Ducks on Deck" and "Till Nephews Do Us Part".
After DuckTales, Donald made a notable cameo appearance in the first episode of Bonkers, in which he is taking a walk through the park before getting captured by a mugger. Bonkers D. Bobcat happens upon Donald and, unaware that the duck is being mugged at the moment, asks for a guest part in his next picture before eventually coming to his rescue when Lucky Piquel shows up to nab the mugger.
Three years later, Donald starred in his own Disney Afternoon 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 (which he would wear again as Maui Mallard in the game Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow). Huey, Dewey and Louie 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 the other Duckburg citizens are humans rather than anthropomorphic animals.
In the first episode of "101 Dalmatians: The Series"; "Home is Where the Bark is", As the Pups chase Cruella back to the Dearly Farm, they ride on top of a Subway Train. Donald's Silhouette can be seen as one of the passengers.
Donald next played an important role in Mickey Mouse Works. In the Mouse Works shorts, his role was more or less the same as in the classic shorts. In these shorts, though, he garnered a new adversary in the form of a baby turtle named Shelby, whom he would often have to look after and have a hard time doing so. At the end of the show's intro, Donald would attempt to display a large sign reading "Starring Donald Duck", covering the screen but an accident would occur, harming Donald and ridding the sign.
Donald appears once again in the series House of Mouse as a greeter and co-owner of the club. In the series, Donald secretly despises Mickey's role as the leader and wishes to some day be in charge. A recurring gag in the series is other characters referring to Donald as "Dooald", sometimes by mistake and other times to annoy him.
Several episodes revolved around Donald. In "Donald's Pumbaa Prank", after an April Fools revenge joke from Mickey, Donald was corrupted by Pete who claimed Mickey was the enemy. To get back, Donald was to use Pumbaa to stink up the club. However, after Donald learned he was to be given an award that night, he called off the prank and apologized to Mickey for his actions. In "Dennis the Duck", Donald was shown to have a disliking for some black and white characters. In "Donald Wants to Fly", he attempted to gain the ability to fly. The entire evening proved unsuccessful until Peter Pan arrived. With Tinker Bell's pixie dust, Donald was able to live his dream.
Donald also appeared in the show's spin-off films. In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Mickey Minnie and all the Disney guests are snowed in at the House of Mouse on Christmas Eve. While trapped, the gang decides to have a Christmas party, but Donald doesn't have any Christmas spirit. Everyone then tries to change Donald's mood, only to fail. Eventually, Mickey asks Donald to put the star on the tree, finally showing Donald the Christmas spirit. In Mickey's House of Villains, Donald spent Halloween night trying to scare everyone.
Donald Duck reappears as a main character in the computer animated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He joins in nearly every adventure Mickey and Friends set off on and helps the gang solve many puzzling problems. But sometimes he lose his temper so mix-up the problems. He is usually an unwitting target for many of the gags on the show and tends to say "Why does always this happen to me?" whenever something bad happens to him. A recurring gag in the series is Donald seeing a Mickey Mouse symbol and muttering to himself "Why is it always Mickey Mouse?". Another recurring gag appears in recent episodes where Donald and Goofy often bicker over childish things.
Interestingly at the beginning of the series, Donald's temper was a rarity. However, as the series progressed, his temper, attitude and stubbornness would increase more and more. Many episodes revolve around Donald. Including "Donald's Hiccups", "Donald's Ducks", Donald and the Beanstalk" and "Space Captain Donald". In the series, Donald is also given a new pet and beloved gem, Boo-Boo Chicken. Donald is also the star of the movie/special "Mickey's Adventures in Wonderland". Donald is also a major character in the spin-off Mickey Mousekersize.
Along with Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the gang, Donald is set to star as a major character in the upcoming, animated Mickey Mouse series of all-new shorts centering around the friends' adventures and misadventures around the world.
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, most in Norway and Finland, but many other countries are right behind - most notably Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Developments under Barks
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, in this case, 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 comic-book version of the duck as both writer and illustrator. Under his pen, the comic version of Donald diverged even further from his animated counterpart, becoming 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 Barks populated with a host of supporting players, including Gladstone Gander (1948), Gyro Gearloose (1952), Uncle Scrooge McDuck (1947), Magica de Spell (1961), Flintheart Glomgold (1956), The Beagle Boys (1951), April, May and June (1953), Neighbor Jones (1944) 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.
Donald is an extremely common character in the Disney Parks for meet-and-greets and appears in almost every show and parade.
Donald also has a spell card known as "Caballero Donald's Pinata" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
In Mickey's Philharmagic, Mickey is the conductor of an orchestra. It was up to Donald to set up the instruments before the start of the show. Donald fell asleep on the job, however, but was woken up by Mickey, who had to rush backstage to finish preparing. As Mickey runs off, he specifically tells Donald not to touch the sorcerer hat. Not following orders, Donald takes it anyway and begins to play with the now-living musical instruments. Soon enough, Donald provokes them and is attacked. He loses the hat and travels through scenes from various Disney films to try and retrieve it.
In the live stage show in the Magic Kingdom Park, Donald, along with several other characters, celebrates the magic of dreams, although Donald states that he does not believe in dreams. Once Maleficent, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee crash the party, Donald, with the help of Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, uses the power of dreams to foil the three villains. Donald believes again and peace is restored to the kingdom.
In the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, Donald Duck has run off, prompting Panchito and Jose to set off on a frantic search for their missing friend. Donald tours Mexico with Jose and Panchito riding on a magic sarape, looking for him. Later, Donald meets some Mexican girls, which brings Panchito and Jose to pull Donald away from those girls and get to their scheduled concert on time.
The Three Caballeros make a short appearance as dolls in the Mexican area of the Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland versions of the attraction.
In Tokyo Disneyland, Donald is in love with Hollywood starlet Daisy Duck. He thinks in order to win her heart, he must become an actor. He tries, but the cast and crew won't stop goofing off. He eventually gives up until Daisy informs him she likes the way he is, which pleases Donald.
- Main article: Donald Duck in video games
Donald Duck is the only popular film and TV cartoon character to appear as a mascot for the sports team of a major American university, namely, the Oregon Ducks at the University of Oregon.
Donald's name and image are also used on numerous commercial products, one example being Donald Duck Orange Juice, introduced by Citrus World in 1940.
In 2004, Donald received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joining other characters such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, The Simpsons, the Rugrats, Winnie the Pooh, Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Godzilla and Snow White.
- In the Disney Studios, Donald is often referred to as The Duck.
- Donald often calls himself Walt's favorite.
- A duck skeleton that looks like Donald can be seen in James and the Giant Peach.
- Donald's original name was Donald Oliver Duckling.
- A float that looks exactly like Donald Duck appears in the Safety Smart in the Water episode from the Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety Smart series.
- Donald makes a cameo appearance in The Little Mermaid as an audience member with the merpeople in the Concert Hall sequence of the film after King Triton passes him with Mickey and Goofy.
- Because of his middle name, Fauntleroy, Donald is currently the only major Disney character with an official middle name.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, Donald has the highest Magic stat in every game he is a playable/party character in and, as shown in 358/2 Days, the strength of his magic surpasses even Xemnas, who's the Nobody of Xehanort who has been said to have only rivaled by Maleficent, making Donald more powerful than even Maleficent, and no doubt all the other magical characters in the series. If this magic were to be carried over in his other appearances, and combine with his increased physical strength when angered, Donald could possibly be one the most powerful beings in the Disney Universe.
- Strangely, aside from the first game and 358/2Days, Donald has only been shown to use the four basic spells (Thunder, Fire, Blizzard, and Cure). Though it shown in the series that he's responsible for transforming the gang into fishes and undead monsters.
- Thunder may be Donald's signature spell, as in each game, it is either the first spell we see him use or the first attack he knows by default (with the exception of 358/2 Days, where him using and learning it first is optional).