Donald Duck, one of Walt Disney Animation’s most enduring characters, turned 80 years old on 9 June, according to the company’s official accounting.
On June 9th, 1934, the ‘squeaky duck’ made his big debut in the Silly Symphony animated short “The Wise Little Hen,” and it wasn’t long before he made his space alongside Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto as one of Disney’s premier animated characters, named in TV Guide‘s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002.
His distinctive, semi-intelligible voice was created by Clarence Nash, who performed the role for 50 years.
It was only in his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit that introduced him as a grumpy quacking duck. Over the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the early days of his animation career, Donald typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy.
Starting with Don Donald, he was given his own film series in 1937, which introduced Donald’s girlfriend Daisy Duck and sometimes featured his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
The last time Donald Duck appeared on the big screen was in Fantasia 2000.
Of all the Disney characters, Donald Duck has one of the more notable careers in comics, both in newspaper strips and comic books.
Donald remains a wildly popular character with a best-selling weekly magazine in Europe. In US, he appears regularly on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse animated series.