Donald in animation
For more details on this topic, see Donald Duck filmography.
Donald Duck as he first appeared in The Wise Little Hen
According to Leonard Maltin in his introduction to The Chronological Donald - Volume 1, Donald was created by Walt Disney when he heard Clarence Nash doing his "duck" voice while reciting "Mary had a little lamb". Mickey Mouse had lost some of his edge since becoming a role model for children and Disney wanted a character that could portray some of the more negative character traits he could no longer bestow on Mickey.
Donald Duck first appeared in the Silly Symphonies cartoon The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934 (though he is mentioned in a 1931 Disney storybook). Donald's appearance in the cartoon, as created by animator Dick Lundy, is similar to his modern look—the feather and beak colors are the same, as is the blue sailor shirt and hat—but his features are more elongated, his body plumper, and his feet smaller. Donald's personality is not developed either; in the short, he only fills the role of the unhelpful friend from the original story.
Bert Gilett, director of The Wise Little Hen, brought Donald back in his Mickey Mouse cartoon, Orphan's Benefit on August 11, 1934. Donald is one of a number of characters who are giving performances in a benefit for Mickey's Orphans. Donald's act is to recite the poems Mary Had a Little Lamb and Little Boy Blue, but every time he tries, the mischievous orphans eat his specially made pie, leading the duck to fly into a squawking fit of anger. This explosive personality would remain with Donald for decades to come.
Donald continued to be a hit with audiences. The character began appearing regularly in most Mickey Mouse cartoons. Cartoons from this period, such as the 1935 cartoon The Band Concert—in which Donald repeatedly disrupts the Mickey Mouse Orchestra's rendition of The William Tell Overture by playing Turkey in the Straw—are regularly hailed by critics as exemplary films and classics of animation. Animator Ben Sharpsteen also minted the classic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy comedy in 1935, with the cartoon Mickey's Service Station.
In 1936, Donald was redesigned to be a bit fuller, rounder, and cuter. He also began starring in solo cartoons, the first of which was the January 9, 1937 Ben Sharpsteen cartoon, Don Donald. This short also introduced a love interest of Donald's, Donna Duck. Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, would make their first animated appearance a year later in the April 15, 1938 film, Donald's Nephews, directed by Jack King (they had been earlier introduced in the Donald Duck comic strip by Al Taliaferro, see below). By 1938, at most, polls showed that Donald was more popular than Mickey Mouse. Disney could, however, help Mickey regain popularity by redesigning giving him his most appealing design as production for the Fantasia segment The Sorcerer's Apprentice began in 1938.
During World War II, film audiences were looking for brasher, edgier cartoon characters. It is no coincidence that the same era that saw the birth and rise of Bugs Bunny also saw Donald Duck's popularity soar. Before 1941, Donald Duck had appeared in about 50 cartoons. Between 1941 and 1965, Donald would star in over 100.
Donald in Der Fuehrer's Face
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 until 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 1942 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. Other notable shorts from this period include the Army shorts, seven films that follow Donald's life in the US Army from his drafting to his life in basic training 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 8, 1942).
Fall Out Fall In – (April 23, 1943).
The Old Army Game – (November 5, 1943).
Home Defense – (November 26, 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—such as in the Army Air Corps 309th Fighter Squadron and the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary, which showed Donald as a fierce-looking pirate ready to defend the American coast from invaders. Donald also appeared as a mascot emblem for: 415th Fighter Squadron; 438th Fighter Squadron; 479th Bombardment Squadron; 531st Bombardment Squadron.
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 various 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, two of them with Donald Duck. In the second, he meets his parrot pal Jose Carioca. The second film was The Three Caballeros, in which he meets his rooster friend 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, Spike 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.
The post-war Donald also starred in educational films, such as Donald in Mathmagic Land and How to have an Accident at Work (both 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.
Clarence Nash voiced Donald for the last time in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), making Donald the only character in the film to be voiced by his original actor. Since Nash's death in 1985, Donald's voice has been provided by Tony Anselmo, who was mentored by Nash. Anselmo's voice is heard for the first time in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In this movie, Donald has a piano duel scene with the Warner Brothers duck Daffy Duck.
Donald has since appeared in a lot of different television shows and (short) animated movies. He played roles in Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Prince and the Pauper and made a cameo appearance in A Goofy Movie.
Donald had a rather small part in the animated television series DuckTales. There, Donald joins the Navy, and leaves his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie with their Uncle Scrooge, who then has to take care of them. Donald's role in the overall series was fairly limited, as he only ended up appearing in a handful of episodes. Some of the stories in the series were loosely based on the comics by Carl Barks.
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.
He made a comeback as the star of the Noah's Ark segment of Fantasia 2000, as first mate to Noah. Donald musters the animals to the Ark and attempts to control them. He tragically believes that Daisy has been lost, while she believes the same of him, but they are reunited at the end. All this to Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1o4.
In an alternate opening for the 2005 Disney film Chicken Little, Donald would have made a cameo appearance as "Ducky Lucky". This scene can be found on the Chicken Little DVD.
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 night club.
Donald's dominant personality trait is his short temper and, in contrast, his positive look on life. Many Donald shorts starts with Donald in a happy mood, without a care in the world, until something comes and spoils his day. His anger is a great cause of suffering in the duck's life, and he has on multiple occasions got in over his head and lost competitions because of it. There are times when he fights to keep his temper, and he has succeeded a few times, but he always returns to his well known, aggressive self at the end of the day. Donald's aggressive nature is a double-edged sword however, and while it at times is a hindrance and even a handicap for him, it has also helped him in times of need. When faced against a threat of some kind, Donald may get frightened and even intimidated (mostly by Big Bad Pete), but rather than getting scared, he gets mad and has taken up fights with ghosts, sharks, mountain goats and even the forces of nature. And, more often than never, Donald has come out on top.
Donald can at times be a bit of a bully and a tease, especially against his nephews and Chip and Dale. As animator Fred Spencer once wrote:
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 malice in Donald's pranks. He’s never out to hurt anyone, and if he ever goes too far in his pranks he is always very regretful. In Truant Officer Donald, for example, when he’s tricked into believing he accidentally killed Huey, Dewey and Louie he shows great remorse, blaming himself and willingly takes a kick handed out by one of the “angel” nephews. That is, of course, until he realizes he’s been played a sap and directly loses his temper.
Deep down Donald is a goodhearted and helpful person, always willing to lend a helping hand. He cares deeply for those around him and if anyone else than him threats his near and dear he’s there to defend them no matter what. And even though he can be a teaser at times, in many cases, he’s not the one starting the fights he gets in, but rather a victim of circumstances. Thanks to this Donald can be, like his Uncle Scrooge, both a hero or a villain depending on the story.
Donald has also been shown to be a bit of a show-off. He likes to brag, especially when he’s very skilled at something. This has a tendency to get him into trouble, however, as he also tends to get in over his head. Still, Donald has proven that he is a Jack of all Trades and are, among other things, a good fisher and hockeyplayer.
Last, but not least, among his personality trates is his stubbornness and commitment. Even though Donald at times can be lazy, and he has stated many times that his favorite place is in the hammock, once he’s committed to something he goes in for it 100%, sometimes going to extreme measures to reach his goal. 'Cause even though Donald isn’t the most lucky character there is, in fact, he has a tendency to “get stuck with all the bad luck”, he never gives up and if someone knocks him down, he always gets right up again.
Donald has a few memorable phrases that he occasionally comes out with in given situations. "What's the Big Idea!?" is a common one, which Donald usually says when stumbling across other characters in the midst of planning some sort of retaliation or prank, and sometimes when certain things don't go as planned or don't work properly. "Aw Phooey!" is another memorable saying Donald makes, usually after giving up on a particular action or event. Another popular phrase Donald says, in particular to Daisy, is, "Hiya, toots!".
A recurring gag in the Donald Duck comics is about his physical condition. Usually, some character close to Donald believes that due to his laziness, Donald needs to do some exercise, which annoys Donald. But, in spite of his apparent lazy condition, Donald proves that he is physically strong, as evidenced in one of his shorts where Donald travels in a boat with his nephews, but a shark attacks the boat and Donald, after several adventures, finally defeats the Shark with a single punch.
Rivalry with Mickey Mouse
Through out his career, Donald has shown that he's jealous of Mickey and wants his job as Disney's greatest star. In the early Disney shorts, Mickey and Donald were partners, but by the time The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television, it was shown that Donald always wanted the spotlight. One animated short that rivaled the famous Mickey Mouse song was showing Huey, Dewey, and Louie as Boy Scouts and Donald as their Scoutmaster at a cliff near a remote forest and Donald leads them in a song mirroring the Mouseketeers theme "D-O-N-A-L-D D-U-C-K-! Donald Duck!" The rivalry would cause Donald some problems, in a 1988 TV special, where Mickey is cursed by a sorcerer to become unnoticed, the world believes Mickey to be kidnapped. Donald Duck is then arrested for the kidnapping of Mickey, as he is considered to be the chief suspect, due to their rivalry. However, Donald did later get the charges dismissed, due to lack of evidence. Walt Disney, in his Wonderful World of Color, would sometimes make reference to the rivalry. Walt, one time, had presented Donald with a gigantic birthday cake and commented how it was "even bigger than Mickey's", which pleased Donald. The clip was rebroadcast in November 1984 during a TV special honoring Donald's 50th birthday.
The rivalry between Mickey and Donald has also been shown in Disney's House of Mouse. It was shown that Donald wanted to be the Club's founder and wanted to change the name from House of Mouse to House of Duck. However, in later episodes, Donald accepted that Mickey was the founder and worked with Mickey as a partner to make the club profitable.
Mickey Mouse has failed to realize how much Donald does not like him at times, and always counts him as one of his best friends. Despite the rivalry, Donald seems to be an honest friend of Mickey's, and will be faithful to him in tough situations, such as working with Mickey and Goofy as a team akin to the Three Musketeers. In the Kingdom Hearts games, Donald is quite loyal to Mickey, even briefly leaving Sora to follow King Mickey's orders.
The rivalry between Mickey and Donald is not unlike that of Warner Bros. characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and many animation fans have commented on the parallels present among the four characters.
Donald in comics
Main article: Donald Duck in comics
While Donald's cartoons enjoy vast popularity in the United States and around the world, his weekly and monthly comic books enjoy their greatest popularity in many European countries, especially Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, but also Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Greece. Most of them are produced and published by the Italian branch of the Walt Disney Company in Italy and by Egmont in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. In Germany, the comics are published by Ehapa which has since become part of the Egmont empire. Donald-comics are also being produced in The Netherlands and France. Donald also has been appeared in Japanese comics published by Kodansha and Tokyopop.
According to the INDUCKS, which is a database about Disney comics worldwide, American, Italian and Danish stories have been reprinted in the following countries. In most of them, publications still continue: Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the People's Republic of China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark (Faroe Islands), Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia.
Though a 1931 Disney publication called Mickey Mouse Annual mentioned a character named Donald Duck, the character's first appearance in comic-strip format was a newspaper cartoon that was based on the short The Wise Little Hen and published in 1934. 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. Ted Osborne was the primary writer of these strips, with Al Taliaferro as his artist. Osborne and Taliaferro also introduced several members of Donald's supporting cast, including his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
In 1937, an Italian publisher named Mondadori created the first Donald Duck story intended specifically for comic books. The eighteen-page story, written by Federico Pedrocchi, is the first to feature Donald as an adventurer rather than simply a comedic character. Fleetway in England also began publishing comic-book stories featuring the duck.
Developments under Semur
A daily Donald Duck comic strip drawn by Semur and written by Bob Karp began running in the United States on February 2, 1938; the Sunday strip began the following year. Semur and Karp created an even larger cast of characters for Donald's world. He got a new St. Bernard named Bolivar, and his family grew to include cousin Gus Goose and grandmother Elvira Coot. Donald's new rival girlfriends were Donna and Daisy Duck. Semur also gave Donald his very own automobile, a 1934 Belchfire Runabout, in a 1938 story.
Developments under Barks
Carl Barks (1994)
In 1942, Western Publishing began creating original comic-book stories about Donald and other Disney characters. Bob Karp worked on the earliest of these, a story called "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold". The new publisher meant new illustrators, however: Carl Barks and Jack Hannah. Barks would later repeat the treasure-hunting theme in many more stories.
Barks soon took over the major development of the comic-book version of the duck as both writer and illustrator. Under his pen, the comic version of Donald diverged even further from his animated counterpart, becoming more adventurous, less temperamental, and more eloquent. Black Pete was the only other major character from the Mickey Mouse comic strip to feature in Barks' new Donald Duck universe.
Barks placed Donald in the city of Duckburg, which he populated with a host of supporting players, including Gladstone Gander (1948), Gyro Gearloose (1952), Uncle Scrooge McDuck (1947), Magica de Spell (1961), Flintheart Glomgold (1956), the Beagle Boys (1951), April, May and June (1953), Neighbour Jones (1944) and John D. Rockerduck (1961). Many of Taliaferro's characters made the move to Barks' world as well, including Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Barks placed Donald in both domestic and adventure scenarios, and Uncle Scrooge became one of his favorite characters to pair up with Donald. Scrooge's popularity grew, and by 1952, the character had a comic book of his own. At this point, Barks concentrated his major efforts on the Scrooge stories, and Donald's appearances became more focused on comedy or he was recast as Scrooge's reluctant helper, following his rich uncle around the globe.
A picture of several packaged products displaying pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck dressed in traditional Japanese attire.
Dozens of writers continued to utilize Donald in their stories around the world.
For example the Disney Studio artists, who made comics directly for the European market. Two of them, Dick Kinney (1917–1985) and Al Hubbard (1915–1984) created Donald's cousin Fethry Duck.
The American artists Vic Lockman and Tony Strobl (1915–1991), who were working directly for the American comic books, created Moby Duck. Strobl was one of the most productive Disney artists of all time, and drew a lot of stories which Barks wrote after his retirement. In the 1990s, these scripts were re-drawn by Dutch artist Daan Jippes.
Italian publisher Mondadori created many of the stories that were published throughout Europe. They also introduced numerous new characters who are today well known in Europe. One example is Donald Duck's alter-ego, a superhero called Paperinik in Italian, created by Guido Martina (1906–1991) and Giovan Battista Carpi (1927–1991).
Giorgio Cavazzano and Carlo Chendi created Honkey Go-Kart (Umperio Bogarto in Italian), a detective whose name is an obvious parody on Humphrey Bogart. They also created O.K Quack, an extraterrestrial Duck who landed on earth in a spaceship in the shape of a coin. He however lost his spaceship, and befriended Scrooge, and now is allowed to search through his moneybin time after time, looking for his ship.
Romano Scarpa (1927–2005), who was a very important and influential Italian Disney artist, created Brigitta McBridge, a female Duck who is madly in love with Scrooge. Her affections are never answered by him, though, but she keeps trying. Scarpa also came up with Dickie Duck, the granddaughter of Glittering Goldie (Scrooge's possible love-interest from his days in the Klondike) and Kildare Coot, a nephew of Grandma Duck.
Italian artist Corrado Mastantuono created Bum Bum Ghigno, a cynical, grumpy and not too good looking Duck who teams up with Donald and Gyro a lot.
The American artist William van Horn also introduced a new character: Rumpus McFowl, an old and rather corpulent Duck with a giant appetite and laziness, who is first said to be a cousin of Scrooge. Only later, Scrooge reveals to his nephews Rumpus is actually his half-brother. Later, Rumpus also finds out.
Working for the Danish editor Egmont, artist Daniel Branca (1951–2005) and script-writers Paul Halas and Charlie Martin created Sonny Seagull, an orphan who befriends Huey, Dewey and Louie, and his rival, Mr. Phelps.
The most productive Duck-artist today is Victor Arriagada Rios, who is better known under the name Vicar. He has his own studio where he and his assistants draw the stories sent in by Egmont. With writer/editors Stefan and Unn Printz-Påhlson, Vicar created the character Oona, a prehistoric duck princess who traveled to modern Duckburg by using Gyro's time-machine. She stayed, and is still seen in occasional modern stories.
The best-known and most popular Duck-artist of this time is American Don Rosa. He started doing Disney comics in 1987 for the American publisher Gladstone. He later worked briefly for the Dutch editors, but moved to work directly for Egmont soon afterwards. His stories contain many direct references to stories by Carl Barks, and he also wrote and illustrated 12-part series of stories about the life of Scrooge McDuck, which won him two Eisner awards.
Other important artists who have worked with Donald are Freddy Milton and Daan Jippes, who made 18 ten-pagers which experts claim are as good as Barks' work.
Japanese artist Shiro Amano worked with Donald on the graphic novel Kingdom Hearts based on the Disney-Squaresoft videogame.
Donald Duck outside America
Donald Duck has a worldwide presence, wherever Disney characters can be found, but in some countries he is very popular and takes on a unique character.
Donald Duck (Kalle Anka in Sweden, Aku Ankka in Finland, Anders And in Denmark, Andrés Önd in Iceland and Donald Duck in Norway) is a very popular character in Scandinavian countries. In the mid-1930s, Robert S. Hartman, a German who served as a representative of Walt Disney, visited Sweden to supervise the merchandise distribution of Sagokonst (The Art of Fables). Hartman found a studio called L'Ateljé Dekoratör, which produced illustrated cards that were published by Sagokonst. Since the Disney characters on the cards appeared to be exactly 'on-model', Hartman asked the studio to create a local version of the English-language Mickey Mouse Weekly. In 1937 L'Ateljé Dekoratör began publishing Musse Pigg Tidningen (Mickey Mouse Magazine), which had high production values and spanned 23 issues; most of the magazine's content came from local producers, while some material consisted of reprints from Mickey Mouse Weekly. The comic anthology ended in 1938. Hartman helped Disney establish offices in all Scandinavian countries before he left Disney in 1941. Donald became the most popular of the Disney characters in Scandinavia. Kalle Anka & Co, Donald's first dedicated Swedish anthology, started in September 1948. In 2001 the Finnish Post Office issued a stamp set to commemorate the 50th year anniversary of Donald's presence in Finland. By 2005 around one out of every four Norwegians read the Norwegian edition Donald Duck & Co. per week, translating to around 1.3 million regular readers. During the same year, every week 434,000 Swedes read Kalle Anka & Co. By 2005 in Finland the Donald Duck anthology Aku Ankka sold 270,000 copies per issue. Tim Pilcher and Brad Books, authors of The Essential Guide to World Comics, described the Donald anthologies as "the Scandinavian equivalent of the UK's Beano or Dandy, a comic that generations have grown up with, from grandparents to grandchildren."
Hannu Raittila, an author, says that Finnish people recognize an aspect of themselves in Donald; Raittila cites that Donald attempts to retrieve himself from "all manner of unexpected and unreasonable scrapes using only his wits and the slim resources he can put his hands on, all of which meshes nicely with the popular image of Finland as driftwood in the crosscurrents of world politics." Scandinavian voters placing "protest votes" typically write "Donald Duck" as the candidate.
Donald Duck is very popular in Germany, where Donald themed comics sell an average of 250,000 copies each week, mostly published in the kids’ weekly Micky Maus and the monthly Donald Duck Special (for adults). The Wall Street Journal called Donald Duck "The Jerry Lewis of Germany", a reference to American star Jerry Lewis's popularity in France. Donald's dialogue in German tends to be more sophisticated and philosophical, he "quotes from German literature, speaks in grammatically complex sentences and is prone to philosophical musings, while the stories often take a more political tone than their American counterparts." Christian Pfeiler – president of D.O.N.A.L.D., a German acronym which stands for "German Organization for Non-commercial Followers of Pure Donaldism" – says Donald is popular in Germany because "almost everyone can identify with him. He has strengths and weaknesses, he lacks polish but is also very cultured and well-read." It is through this everyman persona that Donald is able to voice philosophical truths about Germany society that appeal to both children and adults.
Disney Theme Parks
Steve Martin and Donald Duck in Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years
Donald Duck has played a major role in many Disney theme parks over the years. He has actually been seen in more attractions and shows at the parks than Mickey Mouse has. He has appeared over the years in such attractions as Mickey Mouse Revue, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros and the updated version of It's a Small World. He also is seen in the parks as a meet-and-greet character.
One long-ago-scrapped idea was also to have a bumper boat ride themed to Donald Duck.
The University of Oregon uses Donald as its Fighting Duck mascot.
Donald is the only popular film and television cartoon character to appear as a mascot for a major American university: a licensing agreement between Disney and the University of Oregon allows the school's sports teams to use Donald's image as its "Fighting Duck" mascot. In 1984, Donald Duck was named an honorary alumnus of the University of Oregon during his 50th birthday celebration. During a visit to the Eugene Airport, 3,000 to 4,000 fans gathered for the presentation of an academic cap and gown to Donald. Thousands of area residents signed a congratulatory scroll for Donald, and that document is now part of Disney's corporate archives.
In the 1940s, Donald was adopted as an unofficial mascot by Brazilian sports club Botafogo after argentinian cartoonist Lorenzo Mollas, who was working in Brazil at the time, drew him with the club's soccer uniform. Mollas chose Donald because he complains and fights for his rights, like the club's managers at those years, and also because, being a duck, he doesn't lose his ellegance while moving in the water (an allusion to rowing).
Donald's name and image are used on numerous commercial products, one example being Donald Duck brand orange juice, introduced by Citrus World in 1940.
In the 1950s, an early Mad Magazine parody of Mickey Mouse (called "Mickey Rodent", written by "Walt Dizzy") featured "Darnold Duck", whose quacky voice had to be "translated" for the readers, and who was shamed into finally wearing pants.
Although Donald's military service has most been recognized as him in the US Army from his wartime cartoons (and to a lesser extent having Donald in the US Navy from Duck Tales), Walt Disney had authorized Donald to be used as a mascot for the US Coast Guard. The Coast Guard image shows a fierce-looking Donald Duck dressed in a pirate's outfit, appearing vigilant against any potential threats to the coastal regions in the United States. This image is still often used on many Coast Guard bases and Coast Guard cutters today.
In Sweden, a comic book artist named Charlie Christensen got into a legal dispute with Disney when his creation Arne Anka looked similar to Donald Duck (albeit Arne is a pessimistic drunkard). However Charlie made a mockery of the legal action, and staged a fake death for his character, who then had plastic surgery performed and reappeared as Arne X with a more crow-like beak. He later purchased a strap-on duck beak from a novelty gift shop, pointing out that "If Disney are planning to give me any legal action all I have to do is remove my fake beak."
In 1991, the Disney Corporation sued the Israeli caricaturist Dudu Geva for copyright infringement, claiming his character "Donald Dach" in the story "Moby Duck" was a ripoff of Donald. The Courts found in their favor and forced Geva to pay for the legal expenses and remove his book from the shelves. More mildly, the character Howard The Duck's original design was modified to include pants allegedly due to pressure from Disney.
In 2005, Donald received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6840 Hollywood Blvd joining other fictional characters such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, The Simpsons, Winnie the Pooh, Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Godzilla and Snow White.
Donald's fame has led Disney to license the character for a number of video games, such as the Kingdom Hearts series, where Donald is the court magician of Disney Castle. He accompanies Goofy and a young boy named Sora on a quest to rescue King Mickey Mouse and defeat the Heartless. He is voiced by Tony Anselmo in the English version and Kōichi Yamadera in the Japanese version.