National Donald Duck Day is observed annually on June 9th. This day commemorates the birthday of the funny animal cartoon character, Donald Duck. Donald made his first screen debut on June 9, 1934, in The Wise Little Hen.
Donald Duck usually wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie and is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech along with his mischievous and irritable personality.
Donald Duck has appeared in more films than any other Disney character. Donald was also declared in 2002 by TV Guide as one of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all times.
It was in Donald’s second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit that he was introduced to his comic friend, Mickey Mouse. Donald’s girlfriend, Daisy Duck, along with his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, were introduced shortly after that.
From 1934 black and white to 1941 colorized and other slight character changes. Donald’s beak gets a bit rounded as time goes on.
(From the Wikipedia article “Orphan’s Benefit,” section “Remake”)
In the summer of 1939, in anticipation of Mickey Mouse’s 12th anniversary the following year, Walt Disney commissioned a two-reel short film tentatively called MICKEY’S REVIVAL PARTY. The plan was for this film to open with the characters arriving at a cinema where they would watch scenes from several old, mostly black and white Mickey Mouse films (among them “Orphan’s Benefit”). The story artists envisioned the characters humorously interacting with themselves on the movie screen. This therefore required that the old footage could not be simply added as-is to the new film, it had to be redrawn completely.
It was during this process that Walt Disney decided to completely reproduce several of these old shorts in color. It was also an opportunity to update the character models, since many characters had changed in appearance since the early 1930s.
“Orphan’s Benefit” was the first of these films to be redone. The result was an almost exact shot-for-shot version of the original, except for the added color and updated characters. The film was directed by Riley Thomson and used almost the entire original soundtrack, the only change being the final line, from “Aw nuts!” to “Aw phooey!” which had become a common catchphrase for Donald by that time. The title of the film also saw a small change making it more grammatically correct, although this was not reflected in some promotional material such as the film poster. Orphans’ Benefit was released to theaters on August 12, 1941 by RKO Radio Pictures.
The next film scheduled for reproduction was “Mickey’s Man Friday” (1935), but it was never completed. The original concept for MICKEY’S REVIVAL PARTY was shelved and “Orphan’s Benefit” became the only Disney film to be recreated scene for scene. It is unknown what led to the cancellation, although animation historian David Gerstein speculated that World War II or the Disney animators’ strike of 1941 may have played a role, or that Walt Disney simply preferred to work on all-new films rather than “extensively revisit the past.”
In addition to animation, Donald is also known for his appearance in comic books and newspaper comic strips.
One of Donald Duck’s famous sayings is “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.”