Donald Duck Turns 84 Years Old

Updated on June 9, 2018
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks writes for HubPages and Blasting News. She loves sharing interesting information with people all over the world.

Donald Duck was actually born on Friday, March 13, 1914. Traditionally, a cartoon character's first appearance is considered its birthday. That's why Donald's license plate reads 313 for March 13th.

His birthday is celebrated on June 9 every year because his first film debut was on June 9, 1934. Therefore, most people consider that to be his birthday.

While we say the famous duck is turning 84 years old in 2018, he is much older. That's all right because he doesn't seem to age at all by the way he looks.

Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters along with his pal Mickey Mouse who is six years older. Donald has appeared in more movies and cartoons than any of the other characters, even more than Mickey Mouse.

People love Donald and he is recognized by his distinctive voice. He is a favorite among the young and old who look forward to seeing him in movies and shows as well as seeing him in the Disney parks.

The license plate number represents Donald Duck's birthday.
The license plate number represents Donald Duck's birthday.

About Donald Duck

A lot is learned about Donald not only from the history books about him but also what is gleaned from his movies and cartoons. For example, in his 1942 cartoon, Donald Gets Drafted, we learn that his full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck.

Donald is the only major Disney character with a middle name.

Donald Duck is modeled after a real American Pekin that is known by its large body and the white plumage. At times, Donald appears to suffer from colorblindness.

Background

Walt Disney created the duck with the recognizable voice when he heard Clarence Nash reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb with a voice like a duck.

Disney decided to create a character that was the opposite of mild-mannered Mickey Mouse. Therefore, Donald was made to be hot-tempered and negative with a mischievous and temperamental personality. Disney said all his characters get along well, but like in some large families there is a problem child and in his family, it is Donald.

Voices

Clarence Nash was the voice of Donald Duck from 1934 to 1985. Then Tony Anselmo took over the character's voice from 1985 to the present. Other backup voices include Jim Tadevic (1964-1979), Sam Kwasman (1969-1986) and Daniel Ross (2017–present).

Don't think the voice of Donald is without help. The Neumann TLM-170 is a special microphone used to record Donald's voice to make it sound the way it does in movies and cartoons.

Illustrators

The first illustrators of Donald Duck include Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Donald Duck first appeared as a drawing in a May 1934 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine promoting his firs film The Wise Little Hen.

Family

Donald Duck and his interesting family live in Duckburg. Most people don't know that Donald has a twin sister named Della Duck. Donald and Della's parents are Hortense McDuck and Quackmore Duck.

Della has mischievous triplets named Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck. Donald doesn't have children of his own, but since Della is an astronaut she made Donald the boys' legal guardian before she left for outer space.

Daisy Duck is Donald's longtime girlfriend. Before Daisy, Donald had a crush on Donna, but she did not feel the same way about him.

Some might wonder why a girlfriend would have the same last name of a love interest if they are not married. The answer is a simple one. Duck is the last name of many in a small community just as Smith and Jones are common names among us. Duck is not the identifier as a waterfowl. Duck is a common last name among the duck characters.

Even though Donald has a loving family, he also has two chipmunks as his enemies. Chip and Dale appear to be very sweet, but they have fun making Donald's life miserable. They often prank Donald, but Donald pranks them back.

Movies and Cartoons

The famous duck made his debut in the animated short film The Wise Little Hen in 1934. He appeared in a lot of other films, but he didn't get a starring role until he appeared in Don Donald in 1937. The eight-minute cartoon is about Donald’s journey in Mexico where he made bad attempts to win over Donna. He failed at getting Donna, but Daisy is his significant other. Today, Donald and Daisy make up one of Disney's most beloved couples along with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The duck appeared in more than 225 films and starred in seven feature films as the main character. That number is more than those of any other Disney character. Some of his films have been recognized at the Academy Awards. He also appears in comics.

He won his only Oscar for the 1943 animated short Der Feuhrer's Face. In 1958, he was a presenter at the Oscars.

In honor of his 70th birthday, the famous duck received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004.

Donald Duck's Friends
Donald Duck's Friends

Donald is just one of a few cartoon characters who have a star. The others include Snow White, Tinker Bell, Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey Mouse.

Attire

The famous white duck with yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet usually wears a sailor shirt, cap, and a red or black bow tie, but no trousers. However, when he goes swimming, he does wear trunks.

He is the only popular film and cartoon character to appear as a mascot for a sports team of a major American university. Donald Duck is an appropriate mascot for Oregon's Fighting Ducks at the University of Oregon where he holds an honorary degree. Disney permits the school to use the duck as the mascot to participate in rallies and events. The duck is not considered endorsing a university.

He is also the mascot for the United States Coast Guard.

Donald Duck Mascot
Donald Duck Mascot

Donald's Popularity

Donald Duck is sometimes a greeter at the theme parks. Visitors look forward to seeing him, and they always do. He is seen in more attractions than any other character including his older pal Mickey Mouse.

Help Donald Duck Celebrate His Birthday

To celebrate Donald's unofficial birthday on National Donald Duck Day across the United States, there are several things you can do to get in on some of the action. You can watch some of his classic films with your family. The entire family could dress up in something representing Donald as they watch the movies together.

Families can really have fun trying to come up with the best impersonation of Donald Duck.

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