Donald Fauntleroy Duck is an American cartoon character from The Walt Disney Company. Donald is a white anthropomorphic duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He usually wears a sailor shirt, cap, and a red bow tie, but no trousers. Donald’s most famous personality trait is his easily provoked and explosive temper. Donald Duck has been officially honored as the third most popular cartoon character of all time with Bugs Bunny of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies at number two and fellow Disney creation Mickey Mouse who is number one.
According to the Disney canon, particularly in the 1942 short Donald Gets Drafted Donald’s birthday is officially recognized as June 9, 1934, the day his debut film, The Wise Little Hen, was released. However, in The Three Caballeros, his birthday is given as simply “Friday the 13th”, which is in reference to the bad luck he experiences in almost all his cartoon appearances. Donald’s Happy Birthday gives his birthday as March 13. The 1942 short “Donald Gets Drafted”, as well as the Quack Pack episode “All Hands on Duck”, also reveals his full name to be Donald Fauntleroy Duck. Donald Duck is a well-known and very popular character especially in Scandinavian countries. Donald’s 1942 short film, Der Fuehrer’s Face, won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
Donald’s voice, one of the most identifiable voices in all of animation, was performed by voice actor Clarence “Ducky” Nash up to his death in 1985. 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. In 1969, Disney On Parade which toured all over the United States and Canada, hired Ellard Davis as the live voice of Donald Duck. Mr. Davis did the voice for 3 years. Since 1985, Donald has been voiced by Tony Anselmo, who was trained by Nash for the role.
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.