- Donald Duck
- Free Safety, Quarterback, Running Back
- Current Team
- Quack Pack
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is the team captain for the Quack Pack football team. His presence in this league was made by his work ethic, previous fame, and desire to lead a football team of Disney ducks to the Mickey Mouse Athletics Football Championship.
Before Mickey Mouse Athletics, Donald was a celebrity who, along with Mickey Mouse, helped build The Walt Disney Company into what it is today. His appearance has changed with enhancements in computer technology and sports data analytics, but he’s constantly had a yellowish-orange beak, legs, and feet; along with his trademark sailor shirt, cap, and a red or black bow tie, but no trousers (except when he goes to the whirlpool after games).
When Walt Disney wanted a celebrity that was more negative than Mickey Mouse, the easily provoked and explosive short-tempered Donald Duck was born.
Though a 1931 Disney publication called Mickey Mouse Annual mentioned Donald Duck, he first appeared on the silver screen on June 9, 1934, in the animated short film, The Wise Little Hen, dancing to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. This date is recognized as his official birthday, despite The Three Caballeros, stating his birthday as simply “Friday the 13th.” In Donald’s Happy Birthday (short) his birthday is seen as the 13th of March. For the next few years, Donald made a few more appearances in Disney-themed strips, and by 1936, he had grown to be one of the most popular characters in the Silly Symphonies comic strip.
He has gone on to star in seven feature films–which is more than any of his Disney counterparts.
He has dozens of family members in the league; notably, a twin sister named Dumbella, three mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Daisy Duck.
“Donald, I can’t understand a word ya say,” Mickey Mouse says. It was largely this semi-intelligible speech that would cement Donald’s image into audiences’ minds and help fuel both Donald’s and Nash’s rise to stardom. A special microphone, Neumann TLM 170, was used to record Donald’s voice. Preferred for its warmth, this microphone also rounds out the high tones and smooths the “splat” in Donald’s voice.
Donald’s aggressive nature has acted as a hindrance and even a handicap for him, yet it has also helped him in times of need. When faced with a threat of some kind, Donald may get frightened and even intimidated (mostly by Catamounts team captain Pete), but rather than getting scared, he’s used that anger to led the Quack Pack football team to a fourth quarter comeback to sneak past the Aviators and dominating win against the Bow-Tique Bow-Dazzlers and Minnie Mouse. And excluding any football games with Gladstone Gander, more often than not, Donald has come out on top.
Donald can at times be a bit of a bully and a tease, especially toward his nephews and Chip ‘n Dale. As several ESPN sports analysts have mentioned: The Duck gets a big kick out of imposing on other people or annoying them, but he immediately loses his temper when the tables are turned. In other words, he can dish it out, but he can’t take it. However, there is seldom any evil intentions in Donald’s victories and if he goes too far he has shown regret and remorse for those affected (Click here to see what Donald did for Daisy after beating the Diamond Ducks).
Donald has also been shown to be a bit of a show-off; nothing in comparison to the victory dances from NFL players of today. Still, Donald has proven that he is a Jack of all Trades with the athletic ability to play quarterback, running back, safety, and punter depending on the flow of the game.
Even though Donald at times can be lazy, he has stated many times that his favorite place is in the hammock. Among his personality traits are his stubbornness and commitment. Once he has committed to something he goes in for it 100%, sometimes going to extreme measures to reach his goal. It has been shown several times that Donald is rather sensitive about his voice and often begins an uproar if someone notes their difficulties in understanding it.
Notable Appearances by Donald Duck
Donald Duck In The Army
Several of Donald’s shorts during the war were propaganda films, most notably Der Fuehrer’s Face, released on January 1, 1943. In it, Donald plays a worker in an artillery factory in “Nutzi Land” (Nazi Germany). He struggles with long working hours, very small food rations, and having to salute every time he sees a picture of the Führer (Adolf Hitler). These pictures appear in many places, such as on the assembly line in which he is screwing in the detonators of various sizes of shells. In the end, he becomes little more than a small part in a faceless machine with no choice but to obey till he falls, suffering a nervous breakdown. Then Donald wakes up to find that his experience was, in fact, a nightmare. At the end of the short Donald looks to the Statue of Liberty and the American flag with renewed appreciation. Der Fuehrer’s Face won the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. Other notable shorts from this period include the so-called Army shorts, six films that follow Donald’s life in the US Army from his drafting to his life at boot camp under sergeant Pete to his first actual mission as a commando having to sabotage a Japanese air base. Titles in the series include:
- Donald Gets Drafted – ( May 1, 1942)
- The Vanishing Private – ( September 25, 1942)
- Sky Trooper – ( November 6, 1942)
- Fall Out Fall In – ( April 23, 1943)
- The Old Army Game – ( November 5, 1943)
- Commando Duck – ( June 2, 1944)
Donald Gets Drafted also featured Donald having a physical examination before joining the army. According to it Donald has flat feet and is unable to distinguish between the colors green and blue, which is a type of color blindness. Also in this cartoon sergeant Pete comments on Donald’s lack of discipline.
It is also noteworthy that thanks to these films, Donald graced the nose artwork of virtually every type of WWII Allied combat aircraft, from the L-4 Grasshopper to the B-29 Superfortress. Donald also appears as a mascot for the Army Air Corps 309th Fighter Squadron and the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary “Corsair Fleet”.
During World War II, Disney cartoons were not allowed to be imported into Occupied Europe. Since this cost Disney a lot of money, he decided to create a new audience for his films in South-America. He decided to make a trip through a lot of Latin American countries with his assistants, and use their experiences and impressions to create two feature-length animation films. The first was Saludos Amigos, which consisted of four short segments, one with Donald Duck. Here, he meets his pal Jose Carioca. The second film was The Three Caballeros, in which he meets Panchito.
Many of Donald’s films made after the war recast the duck as the brunt of some other character’s pestering. Donald is repeatedly attacked, harassed, and ridiculed by his nephews, by the chipmunks Chip ‘n Dale, or by other one-shot characters such as Humphrey the Bear, Buzz the Bee, Bootle Beetle, the Aracuan Bird, Louie the Mountain Lion or a colony of ants. In effect, the Disney artists had reversed the classic screwball scenario perfected by Walter Lantz and others in which the main character is the instigator of these harassing behaviors, rather than the butt of them. However, by turning the tables, Donald’s aggressors come off to some as sadistic or cruel, and some critics have found the films unfunny as a result.
The post-war Donald also starred in educational films, such as Donald in Mathmagic Land ( 1959), and made cameos in various Disney projects, such as The Reluctant Dragon ( 1941) and the Disneyland television show (1959). For this latter show, Donald’s uncle Ludwig von Drake was created in 1961.
He featured in a rather small part in the television animated series Duck Tales. There, Donald joins the Navy and leaves his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie with his Uncle Scrooge, who then has to take care of them.
Donald made some cameo appearances in Bonkers, before getting his own television show Quack Pack. This series featured a modernized Duck family. Donald was no longer wearing his sailor suit and hat, but a Hawaiian shirt. Huey, Dewey, and Louie now are teenagers, with distinct clothing, voices and personalities. Daisy Duck has lost her pink dress and bow and has a new hairdo. Oddly enough, no other family members, besides Ludwig von Drake, appear in ‘Quack Pack’, and all other Duckburg citizens are humans and not dogs.
Donald also played an important role in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse. In the latter show, he is the co-owner of Mickey’s nightclub.
The Wise Little Hen
The Orphan’s Benefit
Mickey Mouse Orchestra, The Band Concert
Donald’s Happy Birthday
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