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National Donald Duck Day

National Donald Duck Day

Donald Duck made his cartoon debut in “The Wise Little Hen” back in the summer of 1934. But he wouldn’t meet Mickey Mouse until his second appearance in “Orphan’s Benefit” later that year. From there, it wasn’t long before Daisy Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie were introduced. In spite of their superior diction, they weren’t able to steal the spotlight from Donald. You can’t replace his grumpy, nearly incomprehensible charm, and it’s why the Donald has been in more movies (200+) than any Disney character. So, let’s celebrate on June 9 — National Donald Duck Day!

And his accomplishments don’t stop there. He co-hosted the Oscars in 1958 with a little help from Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, and Jimmy Stewart. Oh, and they named an asteroid after him in 1995. If that doesn’t convince you he’s a force of nature, know that he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We’re not sure how he left webbed foot prints in front of the Chinese Theater, but we’ll gladly roll with it. Well, what do you give to a duck that has it all? His own holiday!

HISTORY OF NATIONAL DONALD DUCK DAY
The world was introduced to Disney’s beloved character Donald Duck on June 9, 1934. More or less starting off as a comic-book character, he remains the most published non-superhero ever. Such is his popularity that Donald Duck is a national hero in Finland! The character is a pop culture icon in Finland, much like Hello Kitty is in Japan. Donning his signature blue sailor suit with no pants, Donald Duck has appeared in more short films and feature films than any other Disney character. It is the diverse nature of his character that has allowed him to be featured in a plethora of roles, from an army officer and a teacher, to an uncle to three ducklings.

Walt Disney conjured up the idea for Donald Duck to introduce an edgier character to balance out the goody-goody jolly Mickey Mouse. During the experimental phase of Donald’s character creation, Disney read about Australian cricketer Donald Bradman, who had made headlines after getting dismissed for a duck.

Another defining feature of Donald Duck is his voice. Clarence Nash, the original voice actor for Donald, created a distinct voice achieved by ‘buccal speech,’ a form of vocalization that utilizes the inner cheek to create sound instead of the larynx. Nash first discovered this while trying to mimic his pet goat.

In the 1940s, Donald Duck overtook Mickey Mouse with over 128 independent short animations. This was truly the decade of the Donald, as he soared to popularity faster than any other Disney figure. During World War II, despite having to halt most of its production, Disney represented its stance by using Donald Duck in several American propaganda films. One of these animations earned Disney an Academy Award for ‘Best Short Film.’

Other than his success in films, Donald also got his own comic in the ’40s that branched into an entire series of independent Donald Duck comics, which are circulated and enjoyed by adults and children until today. The Donald in the comics — who lives in the town of Duckburg and is a loving uncle to nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie — is much more mild-mannered, and has better-articulated speech and emotions than the original Donald.

After Walt Disney’s death, Donald Duck did not make another appearance on screen again until 1983. He continues to be a legend today and is still featured in cartoon films, television shows, and comics. What makes Donald so relatable and fun is that he is always getting into situations and difficulties, and has to get himself out using nothing but his wits and slim resources. Due to the politicization of his character during the Second World War, Donald is also good at taking hits at opponents and is featured in campaigns around the world.

5 FACTS ABOUT DONALD DUCK

  1. Donald Duck has a sister
    Donald has a twin sister, named Thelma, Dumbella, or Della in various stories, who went on to become an astronaut.
  2. Donald’s breakout role
    After his debut on screen, a short titled “Don Donald” really made Donald popular with the audience.
  3. Daisy wasn’t Donald’s first love!
    In the animated short “Don Donald,” Donald Duck tries to win over his love interest Donna Duck.
  4. Donald the fighting duck
    In 1947, Walt Disney approved Donald Duck as the official mascot for the University of Oregon’s Fighting Ducks.
  5. Step aside, Mickey Mouse.
    Donald Duck has appeared in seven animated feature films, more than all of his other Disney friends.

References:

“National Donald Duck Day” │ https://nationaltoday.com/national-donald-duck-day/

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