90 Years of Donald Duck: A Quack-tastic Journey Through Time

This June, we are celebrating the feisty and ever-lovable Donald Duck! Donald has brought nine decades of laughter and joy to fans around the world. In the many years of Donald’s status as a cultural icon, his legacy continues to surprise and delight fans. For example, one little-known tidbit is that our beloved duck has a rather fancy middle name – Fauntleroy! In fact, Donald is the only major Disney character to have a known middle name.

If you’d like to know more about the duck that has captured the hearts of families across generations, stick around! We’ve got lots of fun facts to share, and who knows? This might give you a leg up on your next Disney trivia night.

  1. From a Frightened Baby Goat, to the Voice of a Quack-tastic Icon

Ever wondered how the iconic voice of Donald Duck came to be? Donald’s distinctive voice was discovered by Walt Disney, who upon hearing Los Angeles performer Clarence Nash’s nervous recitation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in a voice he had meant as a frightened baby goat, immediately exclaimed, “That’s our talking duck!”

The rest was history. Our beloved duck soon made his official debut in the 1934 short film The Wise Little Hen. Originally intended to be a supporting character, Donald waddled away with the show.

By 1935, Donald Duck’s debut had resulted in the release of a plethora of Donald merchandise. The first Donald-themed products included dolls, cookie jars, lamps, bread, and orange juice!

  1. Quirks and Quacks: What Makes Donald, Donald?

Donald Duck dons his signature sailor suit, white cap, and bow tie. As Walt Disney said, “Donald’s got a big mouth, big belligerent eyes, a twistable neck, and a substantial backside that’s highly flexible.  The Duck comes near to being the animator’s ideal subject. He’s got plasticity plus!”

With his big personality and heart of gold, Donald Duck is beloved by many. A complex character who regularly experiences both the joys of friendship and the frustration with life’s petty inconveniences, Donald Duck is easy to relate to and empathise with – after all, whose feathers haven’t been ruffled from the ups and downs of life?

  1. Adventures and Appearances: The Illustrious Career of a Duck

Throughout the years, we’ve seen Donald wear many hats – starring as himself in over 150 theatrically-released shorts and featurettes, and gracing the silver screen in several theatrical features, most notably in films like The Three Caballeros, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Fantasia/2000.

Donald has also delighted us with his appearance in numerous television shows and specials, including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the EMMY®-nominated DuckTales – where you’ll also catch the adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire Scrooge McDuck and his mischief-making triplet grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie!

Beyond film, Donald Duck’s presence extends to the realm of video games, acting as characters in Kingdom Hearts and Disney Tsum Tsum, endearing himself to gamers worldwide with quacky quips.

In 1958, Donald even made an appearance at the 30th Annual Academy Awards®, where he hosted a seven-minute live-action and animation history of the movies.

  1. An Iconic Star, for an Iconic Star

As Walt Disney put it, “Donald is a very outrageous fellow, with bad manners and a worse temper, and everyone is fond of him, including myself.” And Donald has many fans indeed!

Donald cemented his contributions to the world of entertainment and pop culture when he waddled his way into the hearts of fans worldwide, leaving his webbed footprints in cement during a ceremony at the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. He also earned himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004!

  1. Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

To celebrate the joy that Donald Duck has brought people of all ages for almost 90 years, Sunway Malls invites fans and shoppers throughout Malaysia to join in their “island parties.” These festive pop-ups will showcase themed zones and captivating displays starring Donald Duck alongside ducky companions like his girlfriend Daisy Duck, playful nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, wealthy uncle Scrooge McDuck, his pal Mickey Mouse, and a host of other familiar faces!

The first pop-up took place at Sunway Carnival Mall from 25 April to 12 May 2024, before the festivities moved on to Sunway Pyramid from 22 May to 9 June 2024 for an encore of birthday fun. Featuring special merchandise and exciting activities, this celebration guarantees a delightful experience for Disney enthusiasts and families, spreading joy and creating lasting memories.

What’s a birthday without a birthday bash? The celebrations wouldn’t be complete without a grand birthday party at Sunway Pyramid! Children born in June will have the exciting opportunity to celebrate their birthday month alongside Donald Duck and Daisy Duck this coming 9 June, creating cherished moments with their favourite Disney characters!


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