After Mickey Mouse became a role model for children in 1930â€™s Walt Disney could no longer make Mickey to swear or show anger. Disney wanted a character that could display negative emotions; hence Donald was born when Disney heard Clarence Nash doing his â€œduckâ€ voice during recital of â€œMary had a little lambâ€.
Donald duck first appearance was in â€œThe Wise Little Henâ€ (June 9, 1934). Donald and Peter Pig were supporting characters in the cartoon who refuse to help the mother hen in planting and harvesting corn. When the harvesting is over Donald and Peter are interested in the corn delicacies but they are not invited. June 9, 1934 is official birthday of Donald when his debut film was released.
It was Donaldâ€™s unintelligible speech that made Donald one of the most famous animated characters in the world of cartoons. It catapulted both Donald and Clarence â€œduckyâ€ Nash to instant fame. Donald was voiced over by Nash till 1985 after which the role was taken over by Tony Anselmo, who was trained by none other than Nash.
Donaldâ€™s first starring role was in â€œDon Donaldâ€ (January 9, 1937) which although was released as a Mickey cartoon didnâ€™t feature Mickey. In this short Donna Duck is also introduced (long time love interest of Donald who later became known as Daisy).
During late 1940â€™s Donald Duck had surpassed Mickey Mouse as Disneyâ€™s most popular cartoon character. Der Fuehrer’s Face which was released on January 1, 1943 was awarded 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. In it Donald is shown having a nightmare in which he is working in â€œNutzi Landâ€ (Nazi Germany) in deplorable conditions. Walt produced â€œSaludos Amigosâ€ and â€œThe Three Caballerosâ€ after his visit to South America.
In Duck Tales Donald plays a small role in which he leaves his nephews under care of Uncle Scrooge and joins the Navy. After this Donald had his own show Quack Pack in which Huey, Dewey and Louie are shown as teenagers and Donald Hawaiian shirt to his sailor suit.
Favorite sayings of Donald are “Oh, yeah?”, “Hiya, toots!”, “Aw, phooey!”, “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!”, “Nothin’ to it!”
To celebrate Donaldâ€™s 50th birthday a television special was aired on CBS on November 13, 1984. Host Dick Van Dyke took a look at the famous duck, with many of his celebrity friends helping out.