The world’s most famous pants-less duck is also the world’s oldest and quite possibly, the crankiest.
“One of the greatest satisfactions in our work here at the studio is the warm relationship that exists within our cartoon family. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang have always been a lot of fun to work with. But like many large families, we have a problem child. You’re right, it’s Donald Duck.” — Walt Disney
Disney’s lovable – and iconic – character Donald Duck is 80 years old today. He is six years younger than best friend Mickey Mouse, and he doesn’t look a day over ... a year old (at what age does a duck become an “adult” anyway?).
Also, he still walks around without wearing any pants.
Among Disney’s huge pool of characters, Donald – full name Donald Fauntleroy Duck – is perhaps the one that many of us can relate to, thanks to his almost human personality. He is sometimes envious of Mickey’s popularity (who wouldn’t?), he gets easily agitated by his usually naughty nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie (but of course) and he can be a little obsessed with money at times (um, guilty!).
Still, his flaws are what make him adorable and his friends and family know he’s a top-notch guy at heart; that’s what matters the most.
Donald was originally voiced by Clarence Nash, who created the character's distinctive speech pattern. After Nash's passing in 1985, his understudy Tony Anselmo took over, and has been playing the voice of Donald since then.
The duck's first TV appearance was on June 9, 1934 in a Silly Symphony episode called The Little Wise Hen. This is why June 9 is recognised as Donald’s official birthday, and to celebrate it, here are a few things his friends could get him:
1. An Oscar
Ten of Mickey Mouse’s short films have been nominated in the Academy Awards over the years; Donald Duck has never received anything.
2. A well-deserved break from Huey, Dewey and Louie
Taking care of these three active ducklings takes quite a lot out of “Unca Donald”.
3. A trip to one of those health and wellness retreats where he can learn to control his temper
A misunderstood duck = a cranky duck = a super angry duck.
4. His own movie
Donald is 80 and he does not have his own movie? For shame!