Donald Fauntleroy Duck or Donald Duck is a funny animal cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and irritable personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters and was included in TV Guide’s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002. He has appeared in more films than any other Disney character, listed as appearing in approximately 178 theatrical films compared to Mickey Mouse’s 137, and is the fifth most published comic book character in the world after Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
Donald Duck rose to fame with his comedic roles in animated cartoons. His distinctive voice was created by Clarence Nash, who performed the role for 50 years. Donald’s first appearance was in The Wise Little Hen (1934), but it was his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit which introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse. Donald had his own show. Throughout the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s he typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy and was given his own film series in 1937, starting with Don Donald. These films introduced Donald’s girlfriend Daisy Duck and sometimes featured his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. After the 1956 film Chips Ahoy, Donald appeared primarily in educational films before eventually returning to theatrical animation in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983). His most recent appearance in a theatrical film was 1999’s Fantasia 2000. Donald has also appeared in direct-to-video features such as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999) and The Three Musketeers (2004) as well as television programs such as DuckTales (1987–1990), Quack Pack (1996), and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2013).
Beyond animation Donald is primarily known for his appearances in comics, both in newspaper strips and comic books. Donald was most famously drawn by Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Barks in particular is credited for greatly expanding the “duck universe”, the world in which Donald lives, and creating many additional characters such as Donald’s maternal uncle Scrooge McDuck. Today Donald is a very popular character in Europe, particularly in the Low Countries and Scandinavian countries where his weekly magazine has remained the most popular comics publication for over 50 years.