Happy 81st Birthday Donald Duck!
The popular Disney cartoon character turns 81 today as he debuted on this day in 1934 in "The Wise Little Hen". June 9th is also marked as National Donald Duck Day in his honour. Donald has been declared as one of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all times.
Donald Duck made his debut on the big screen on 9 June 1934 and that is why people have always thought it to be the birth date of Donald. But the authorized autobiography of the cartoon character states that he was born on "Friday, the thirteenth." One of the cartoons (Donald's Happy Birthday) reveal his birth date to be March 13th.
Donald Duck's name seems to be inspired by legendary cricketer, Donald Bradman. In 1932, Bradman got out for a 'duck' while playing against New York West Indians in North America.
After making his debut in 1934, Donald Duck underwent a few changes in his design in the summer of 1936. His eyes were made bigger, improving his expressions. His voice was also made distinctly clear. Apart from his physical features, Disney groomed his personality too. His further appearances gave true glimpses of his personality, his ill-temper which was meant for comical purposes.
Late 1930s introduced Donald Duck's family with his perennial girlfriend Daisy Duck and his three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Daisy made her debut in 1940 in the short film, "Mr. Duck Steps Out" while the Louie, Huey, Dewey trio made their first appearance in 1937 in the Donald Duck Sunday Newspaper.
In May 2012, in the German edition of a Mickey Mouse comic, one of the colleagues of Donald Duck shouted "Holocaust" instead of "Congratulations" starting a controversy over his Nazi remarks. As soon as the publishers became aware of the mistake, the magazine was recalled and the word was blackened by hand. A new and corrected version of the comic was published shortly.