Donald Duck made his first appearance today back in June 9, 1934 in Walt Disney's, "The Wise Little Hen." That role may have been his beginning however it was his second film, "Orphan's Benefit" that showed his temperamental foil for Walt's star Mickey Mouse.
|Clarence "Ducky" Nash|
He would go on to appear in over 180 theatrical films, more than any other Disney character and is the fifth most published comic book character in the world. His distinctive voice was created by Clarence Nash who performed the role for 50 years and was a regular at the old Disney Studio when I started working there in the 1970s along with his custom made ventriloquist dummy of none other than Donald Duck.
When Clarence passed away he personally left the future of Donald's voice in the capable hands, or make that mouth, of Tony Anselmo who besides continuing Donald's squawks is also a fine animator.
Donald has been an important part of my life with the television series, "DuckTales" for which I had an opportunity to reunite with comic book legend Carl Barks during the concept stage of the show. The man who headed up the original Disney program at Cal Arts in the 1970s was Jack Hannah, another incredible "Duckman" and a good friend to both Patty and I. I'm also proud to say that all four of my fellow "Duckmen" are also Disney Legends and deserved ones they all are! Well toots, it seems that the irascible Donald has affected me in addition to many of us out there for which I am grateful. Happy Birthday Donald!