Donald Fauntleroy Duck, the only Disney character to have a middle name, made his first appearance 80 years ago today in the animated short “The Wise Little Hen’.
When Walt Disney heard voice actor Clarence Nash doing his “duck” voice while reading Mary Had A little Lamb, he knew he had found the ideal voice for the character in his film. Clarence Nash would go on to voice over 120 shorts and films over the next 50 years before hid death in 1985.
Donald Duck won an Oscar for the 1943 animated short ‘Der Feuhrer’s Face.
And did you know that in addition to nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Donald Duck has a sister named Dumbella?
Walt Disney described Donald this way: “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 here 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”.
When grand daughter Alyssa started watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as a 2 year old, I started doing my impression (a bad one) of Donald Duck to make her laugh. Though I haven’t gotten any better at doing the voice (it’s hard to do…try it!) she still laughs at my attempt.
For that I’m grateful.
Happy Birthday Donald – here’s your very first appearance.