Back in June 9, 1934, Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen. But he wouldn't meet Mickey Mouse until his second appearance in Orphan's Benefit later that year. From there, it wasn't long before Daisy Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie were introduced. In spite of their superior diction, they weren't able to steal the spotlight from Donald. You can't replace his grumpy, nearly incomprehensible charm, and it's why the Donald has been in more movies than any Disney character. Over the years, he's appeared in a staggering 225 movies! And his accomplishments don't stop there. He co-hosted the Oscars in 1958 with little names like Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, and Jimmy Stewart (a wonderful life indeed!). Oh, and they named an asteroid after him in 1995. If that doesn't convince you he's a force of nature, know that he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We're not sure how he left webbed foot prints in front of Mann's Chinese Theater, but we'll gladly roll with it. Well, what do you give to a duck that has it all? His own holiday! June 9 is National Donald Duck Day, so let's celebrate the birthday of everyone's favorite, ill-tempered bird.
Why We Love National Donald Duck Day
A. That voice
Donald Duck has one of the most iconic voices in Hollywood, and it’s ripe for imitation. Have you ever imitated the voice of your favorite cartoon character? It’s a lot of fun, and in true Donald Duck fashion, you don’t have to make sense. Truthfully, the fewer the number of people who understand you, the better. That’s how you know you’re nailing your impression.
B. He teaches us about real ducks
Donald isn’t just any type of duck; he’s an American Peking duck. As the name hints, this species of duck was mainly bred in China. They didn’t become popular in the US until 1873, when they were bred for commercial egg and meat production. Interestingly enough, the Peking duck made its stateside debut in Long Island, but Donald’s accent doesn’t reflect that. This only further demonstrates his acting genius.
C. He inspired some of our favorite cartoons
Without Donald Duck, we wouldn’t have some of our favorite cartoons from the 90s — Duck Tales being one of them. Who could forget the scene of Scrooge McDuck swimming through piles of money? Every kid fantasized about doing that at least once, and it’s sad to think where we’d be without it. An even sadder thought is a world where Darkwing Duck doesn’t exist. Few souls could deal with being Batman-like at night, and a single dad by day. We tip our hats to Drake Mallard!
How to Celebrate National Donald Duck Day
1. Watch movies and read comics featuring Donald Duck
Rejoice! You’ve got about 225 Donald Duck movies to choose from. That number might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t hurt to have so many good options. If you’re in the mood for something fun and action packed, check out Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers. But if you’d rather curl up with a book, there’s no shortage of comics. Pretty much anything drawn by Carl Barks is gold.
2. Throw a Donald Duck theme party
You don’t have to go all out (we advise you to wear pants), but wearing a red tie and sailor hat will get everyone in the spirit. For good measure, you might want to encourage your guests to strap on a duck nose piece. And if the whole costume thing doesn’t appeal to everybody, there’s always T-shirts. To make things a little more fun, why not have a contest for the coolest Donald Duck T? Whether they’re custom or store bought, there’s bound to be some funny surprises.
3. Go to Disneyland or Disney World
If you’re around, drop in and pay Donald a visit in person. Rumor has it he hangs out in Disneyland and Disney World, so it’s worth giving either place a go. What’s great about mascots is that they’re fun for the whole family. Kids get to see a cartoon character come to life, and adults get to relive their childhood for a bit. But be warned: Donald’s a very popular duck. Practicing your Donald Duck voice is a good way to pass the time while waiting in line.