11 surprising facts about Donald Duck

Donald Duck fist waddled onto our big screens on June 9, 1934, co-starring in the Disney Silly Symphonies’ short The Wise Little Hen. He was an instant hit as Mickey Mouse’s volatile comic foil. His iconic – and sometimes unintelligible – voice has entertained millions over the years and cemented his spot in the animated-entertainment hall of fame.

Let’s take a look at some fun facts about one of Disney’s most popular character: Donald Duck.

1. Donald Duck’s full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck. Disney first revealed Donald’s full name in the 1942 film “Donald Gets Drafted.”

2. The very first appearance of Donald Duck was in a May 1934 advert for The Wise Little Hen in Good Housekeeping magazine. That issue is now a collectors’ item.

3. Walt Disney is said to have decided on Donald’s name after cricketer Donald Bradman was out for a duck against New York West Indians in 1932.

4. In a history of more than 80 years, Donald has been voiced by only two people. Clarence Nash was the first person who did it from 1934 to 1983 with a great deal of dedication. After 1983, he did a few more commercials until his death. Then Tony Anselmo was handed the baton, having learnt the tricks of the trade from his predecessor.

5. In the beginning, Donald had a different look. He had a long beak, and his hands were more like feathers. Disney changed this and Donald then became how most of us know him now.

6. The University of Oregon’s mascot is Donald Duck. According to the school, the agreement was made “in 1947 when Oregon’s first athletic director, Leo Harris, struck a handshake arrangement with Walt Disney.

7. In 1984, the U.S. government gave Donald Duck an (honorary) honorable discharge in honor of his service in World War II. Donald starred in a anti-Nazi “Der Fuehrer’s Face,” a short propaganda film that won the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film.

8. Appearing in over 150 theatrically released films and shorts, Donald has the record for most theatrical appearances for a Disney character and he is the most published non-superhero comic book character in the world.

9. Donald has a little-seen twin sister named Dumbella Duck, and another named Della Duck. Della is the mother of Huey, Dewey, and Louie, but she’s since been phased out, explaining why the three little ducks were often seen in the care of their Uncle Donald.

10. Donald has an asteroid named after him. Asteroid 12410 was named in 1995 and is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

11. Donald co-hosted the Oscars in 1958. He appeared at the movie-awards ceremony on film alongside the night’s other hosts — Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, David Niven, Rosalind Russell and James Stewart.

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