This article is about the character. For other uses, see Donald Duck (disambiguation).

64px One of the greatest satisfactions in our work here at the studio is the warm relationship that exists within our cartoon family. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang have always been a lot of fun to work with. But like many large families, we have a problem child. You're right, it's Donald Duck.
~ Walt Disney


Donald Duck is an animated character created by Walt Disney. He is a hot-headed, anthropomorphic duck who is often the victim of exceptionally bad luck. Normally depicted wearing a sailor shirt, cap, and a bow tie—but no trousers at all—Donald is a best friend and foil to Mickey Mouse, whom he sometimes envies.

Donald made his animated debut in the 1934 theatrical short The Wise Little Hen, as a mischievous sailor with an unintelligible voice (as famously created by his original voice actor, Clarence "Ducky" Nash). His personality was fleshed out in his next appearance, Orphan's Benefit, which introduced Donald's fiery temper and predisposition to misfortune. Donald's foibles endeared him to audiences, who found the duck's day-to-day struggles to be both relatable and entertaining.[12] Animators and artists were also fond of Donald Duck's stories, as the character was allowed to exhibit more negative traits that could not be bestowed upon Mickey or the happy-go-lucky Goofy.[13]

This enabled Donald to have a lucrative career. Having starred in over 190 films, Donald's filmography eclipses that of any other Disney character. Several of his cartoons were honored by the Academy Awards, while other notable accolades include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and cemented footprints at the Chinese Theatre. Part of Donald's widespread popularity can be attributed to his long-running comic series, under the supervision of such renowned artists as Ted Osborne, Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. These stories depict Donald as living in the city of Duckburg and have been enjoyed by generations of readers on a global scale.

Background

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", the Legend of the Three Caballeros episode "Sheldgoose Square Dance" 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 (and its subsequent spin-off, his birthday is given as simply "Friday the 13th", while in Donald's Happy Birthday, it is elaborated to be March 13th.

Although not shown chronologically, Donald's most youthful appearance was a flashback to when he was a hatchling, featured in the animated TV special "This is Your Life, Donald Duck" and the comic book story of the same name. In both the animation and the comic, presented by Jiminy Cricket, Donald was shown hatching from his egg and throwing one of his famous tantrums simultaneously, making the losing his temper his first-ever action as a living creature. Only in the comic, it is shown that Donald got his hat from a sailor when he was a baby when his grandmother took him for his first visit to Duckburg.

Personality

File:Dd-1.png

Donald having his well known hissy fit.

Donald has been described as a "problem child" by Walt Disney. True to this, he is a rather albeit humorously controversial character in nature, with his most famous personality trait being his uncontrollable explosive temper. When Donald loses it he would pitch a fit of quacking and bouncing in place while flaunting his fists, usually as a threat to whomever (or whatever) caused him his latest annoyance. He is also arrogant and can be quite the show-off, especially when he is skilled at something. This has a tendency to get him into trouble, however, as he often gets in over his head.[14] Much of Donald's comedy comes from his exaggerated rudeness and the repercussions he gets. For example, Donald finds enjoyment in bullying and has been known to prank and humiliate others for his own amusement. What he can not tolerate, however, is his victims fighting back against him—as such, these battles often lead to Donald's humiliation.[15][16][17]

In contrast to these negative traits, Donald is really a warm and loving character down to his core. When not dealing with a problem, Donald can be quite jovial and friendly, and he usually tries to keep his temper under control for the sake of his relaxation and contentment.[18] Additionally, Donald shares a very loving relationship with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and treats them as his own children, despite their rivalries. 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. Donald also has shown signs of humility, most notably in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, when Huey, Dewey, and Louie's pranks ruin Christmas for him and the whole family. When the tree falls on him, instead of yelling at his nephews, he stays sadly silent, humiliated, and defeated, while Daisy comforts him. When truly faced with the fact that his actions are wrong, Donald will accept it and although he may at times despair and be depressed over it, in the end, he always finds the strength to bring himself to face his mistakes head-on and do everything he could to fix it, allowing him to always redeem himself in the end. One of the most prominent displays of this was in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, where after vandalizing the Mousey Mall's Christmas display, despite earlier having been angry over the repeated singing of We Wish You A Merry Christmas, he was visibly horrified and clearly felt guilty and this only intensified after Daisy and his nephews sadly left him in disgust and he was thrown out of the mall and berated for his lack of Christmas spirit by a police officer, after which despite being at first greatly remorseful and depressed, up to the point that he could not face Daisy and his nephews in a restaurant containing his favorite hot chocolate, he was able to repent for his actions in the end; happily singing the song he once despised so heavily with all his heart and coaching the crew singing the song personally.

For all his bravado, Donald is secretly insecure about himself. He takes offense to those who cannot understand his voice and is notoriously envious of Mickey Mouse's popularity. Donald's bad luck also plays a part in his low self-esteem, as he sometimes sees himself as a failure due to his frequent mishaps. Donald tends to hide this with a boisterous veneer, though he has confided in Daisy about his inhibition on occasion. Daisy is also one of the very few Disney characters capable of pacifying Donald's psychotic temper even though she has ironically lost hers with him on occasion[19][20] What Donald sometimes lacks in confidence, he makes up for with perseverance. His aggressive nature can act as a double-edged sword; while it at times is a hindrance and even a handicap for him, it has also helped him in times of need.[21] When faced with a threat of some kind, Donald may get frightened and even intimidated (mostly by his nemesis Pete whom he's usually able to defeat), 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 has usually won. In fact, many shorts and cartoons have shown a significant increase in his physical strength and fighting prowess when pushed far enough.

Donald is often portrayed as having great difficulty holding down a job, and can be described as a typical "jack of all trades, master of none". His attempts at these professions often go comically wrong, with Donald causing one calamity after the other which he sometimes able to overcome due to his sheer skill, determination, or courage.

Donald has a few memorable phrases that he occasionally comes out within 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.

Voice

64px Donald, I can't understand a word ya say.
~ Mickey


File:ClarenceNash.jpg

Donald Duck's original voice actor, Clarence "Ducky" Nash.

Donald's voice is one of the most iconic and identifiable voices in all of animation. His form of speech would be duplicated for other characters such as his girlfriend, Daisy Duck, and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. However, over the years, these characters (particularly Daisy Duck) were given more distinct voices of their own, most likely to keep Donald's voice a unique aspect to his character.

As a running gag in most of Donald's appearances, primarily in animation, the other characters around him (especially Mickey) have difficulties understanding Donald, especially when he's upset or in a panic. This often results in Donald's frustration.

Donald's voice was originated and performed by voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash from 1934 up until Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983, which it would be Nash's last feature film as Donald. However, this did not mark his final performance as the duck, as Nash would continue to provide Donald's voice in a few more various Disney projects such as Donald Duck's 50th Birthday in 1984, and for commercials, promos, and other miscellaneous material until 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 rises to stardom.

During Nash's final years, Jim Tadevic (who was on the Disney studio staff as location spotter) occasionally filled in from 1964 to 1979, including on the Mickey Mouse Disco track "Macho Duck".[22] Sam Kwasman provided Donald's voice live in Disney on Parade, and later voiced Donald and Louie in Robot Chicken.[23]

Disneyland Announcer Jack Wagner Voiced Donald in live shows such as Disney On Ice in the 1980's.

Since 1985, the official voice of Donald has been Tony Anselmo. An animator for Disney and a person who loved to imitate voices, Anselmo befriended Nash during his early time with the company and was given personal lessons on the voice. Due to his leukemia diagnosis, of which Anselmo was unaware, Nash trained Anselmo with the secret intention of having him replace him as the voice of Donald. Anselmo took over the role following Nash's death.[24]

In Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Chip n' Dale's Nutty Tales and Mickey Mouse: Hot Diggity Dog Tales, Donald is voiced by Daniel Ross.

In Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Donald's transformation into a chicken was voiced by Frank Welker, performing a similar voice to that of his role of Chicken Boo from Animaniacs.

Donald's unique and semi-intelligible voice was the focus of the short Donald's Dream Voice, where the detest for the duck's voice prompts him to purchase pills capable of temporarily enhancing his vocal cords incredibly. Leslie Denison provided the sophisticated, suave voice that these pills would give him. (Denison also voiced a cow after it accidentally swallowed the last pill in the short.) A similar instance occurred in the DuckTales episode "The Shadow War!", in which Donald's artificially intelligible voice was provided by Don Cheadle. From the same series, the episode "Quack Pack!" saw Cheadle reprise the role, with his voice explained as being part of an alternate reality.

In the Christmas episode "Last Christmas!" from the same series, a time-traveling sequence shows a young Donald, voiced by Russi Taylor, using the same voice she used for Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

Dominic Lewis provides his singing voice in the episode "Louie's Eleven!" in an uncredited role.

Artworks

Gallery

Kinect Disneyland Adventures: Donald Duck

Disney Parks: Donald Duck

Quotes

Donald Duck/Quotes and Lines.

Videos

Voice Clips

Voice Sounds

Relationships

Mickey Mouse

Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse have a complicated relationship history. As Donald was conceived as Mickey’s polar opposite, their personalities often conflict, and this was utilized by the Disney artists as early as The Band Concert, in 1935. The short established Donald's refusal to adhere to Mickey's leadership, and Mickey's frustration with Donald's perversity. This would continue in Magician Mickey in 1937 and be further emphasized near the end of Symphony Hour in 1942. By the time The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television, Donald was not only agitated by Mickey's usual position as leader but was also jealous of the constant praise and admiration gave to the mouse. Walt Disney, in his Wonderful World of Color, would sometimes make reference to the rivalry. One time, Walt presented Donald with a gigantic birthday cake and commented on how it was "even bigger than Mickey's", which pleased Donald. Television specials such as 1984's "Donald Duck's 50th Birthday" and 1988's "Mickey's 60th Birthday", would also highlight this rivalry; the latter special included a plot in which Mickey is cursed by a sorcerer to become unnoticed, causing the world to believe Mickey to have been kidnapped. Donald Duck is then arrested for the kidnapping of Mickey, as he is considered to be the chief suspect, due to their rivalry.

File:House of Duck.png

Donald and Mickey's rivalry as visualized in House of Mouse.

The rivalry between Mickey and Donald has also been featured in House of Mouse; Donald is depicted as wanting to be the club's host and revamp it as House of Duck. In the episode, "Everybody Loves Mickey", Donald's jealousy is so great that he finds a kindred spirit in Mortimer Mouse. However, Donald had a change of heart when Daisy reminded him of how much of a friend Mickey is to him.

In Mickey Mouse, their relationship is a focal point of many episodes, due to their conflicting personality traits. The producer of the series, Paul Rudish, describes Donald and Mickey as the "ultimate odd couple", referencing their close bond despite Mickey's extreme benevolence and Donald's unstable temper.

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.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the sons of Donald's sister Della Duck. Donald is currently the legal guardian and the father figure of Huey, Dewey, and Louie in almost every media they appear. Even though they can be troublesome, Donald is extremely fond of his nephews and deeply cares for them. Donald is sometimes overprotective of his nephews. This is mostly shown in a reboot of Ducktales: In some photographs, Donald helps Dewey take his first steps while being surrounded by pillows all around the room and when Donald is shown to have Huey wear football fatigues just to be the water boy. ("Woo-oo!") Huey, Dewey, & Louie mostly refer to Donald as Unca Donald.

Trivia

  • In the Disney Studios, Donald is often referred to as "The Duck".
  • In Mickey's Speedway International, Donald's car is based on 1959 Chevrolet Impala.
  • Walt Disney himself referred to Donald Duck as "the problem child" of Disney.
  • Appearing in over 150 theatrically released films and shorts, Donald has the record for most theatrical appearances for a Disney character and he is the most published non-superhero comic book character in the world.
  • A duck skeleton that looks like Donald can be seen in James and the Giant Peach.
  • 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 series.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, Donald has the highest Magic stat in every game he is a playable/party character in, going as far as surpassing Xemnas, leader of Organization XIII and Nobody of Xehanort, in 358/2 Days, in which they are both playable.
  • Strangely, aside from the first game and 358/2 Days, Donald has only been shown to use the four basic spells (Thunder, Fire, Blizzard, and Cure). Though it showed in the series that he is responsible for transforming the gang into underwater creatures and supernatural 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 he using and learning it first is optional). In Chain of Memories and its remake he even tries to cast it on a member of Organization XIII in one of the first cutscenes of the game.
  • When in the universe based on The Lion King, Donald becomes a flying animal called "Bird Donald". This is strange considering that Donald is technically a bird, to begin with.
  • Though Donald has black eyes, they sometimes appear to be blue in 2-D artwork or in his 3D models and artworks, such as his Kingdom Hearts III artwork. Donald's eyes could possibly really be blue, as when Pete had a close up in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, he had brown irises.
  • There is a common urban legend stating that Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland just because the character does not wear pants.
  • 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 Ducks at the University of Oregon.
  • Donald's name and image are also used in numerous commercial products, one example being Donald Duck Orange Juice, introduced by Citrus World in 1940.
  • Disney Studios once received an Army draft notice on behalf of Donald Duck.
  • He resembles a species of duck called Crested Duck.
  • Though he does not appear in that series, Donald was mentioned at least twice in Darkwing Duck. In "Film Flam", when Drake Mallard refuses to believe something Gosalyn is telling him, he sarcastically remarks "Yeah right, and I'm Donald... Duck?" Also, in "A Star is Scorned", when Darkwing and Gosalyn arrive at the studio, the security guard thinks that Darkwing is Donald, saying he didn't recognize him without his sailor suit. Later, when trying to get back into the studio, Darkwing and Gosalyn manage to get in disguised as Donald and Louie, respectively.
  • In the comic universe, Donald is the first descendant of the three main Duck families (Duck, Coot, and McDuck), a trait shared only by his sister and his nephews.
  • In the DuckTales reboot, Donald was a member of the Junior Woodchucks with his sister but he was expelled because of his tantrums.
  • To mark Donald’s 50th anniversary, 50 Peking ducks followed the costumed character around Disneyland.[25]

References

External links

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