His anger and his excesses of all kinds make us howl with laughter, but his many faults cannot make us forget that he also has a heart of gold! On this anniversary day, the occasion was too good not to pay a well-deserved tribute to Donald and evoke some of the most iconic moments spent in his company, whether in cinema, television, comics and of course at Disneyland Paris !


It was on June 9, 1934 that Donald made his screen debut, in the Silly Symphony “The Wise Little Hen”.

In fact, it wasn’t the first time that Walt Disney featured a duck named Donald. There was one as early as 1931, in the storybook The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, as well as the following year in an English publication, Mickey Mouse Annual. But nothing to do with our friend. The first was dressed all in green, with a sort of Tyrolean hat while the second looked more like cartoon characters from the late 1920s and wore buttoned pants similar to those of Mickey.

In The Wise Little Hen, even if his appearance is not yet quite what we know today, he is already wearing his iconic sailor costume. For Walt Disney, a water-loving duck, and water also being the element of sailors, it made sense that Donald would wear such a costume. This association is also reinforced by the fact that Donald then lives on a boat, and that the first music that accompanies him is none other than “The Sailor’s Hornpipe”, a traditional sailor’s dance. From there, it will not be rare to see him in adventures linked to the sea, such as in the cartoon Boat Builders (1938), elements of which can be found in the decoration of the rooms of the Disney Newport Bay Club, or even on a poster at Meet Mickey Mouse .


The Wise Little Hen also allows us to discover Donald’s assertive personality, to say the least. Lazy, willingly a rogue, he is presented from the start as a comic character, which makes him immediately sympathetic in the eyes of the public. His second cartoon, Orphan’s Benefit (1934), also showed him angry, with an attitude that would subsequently become his signature. Throughout the films, this irresistible personality will continue to assert itself and always works wonders, as in the Mickey Mouse series (2013-2019) of which extracts were regularly broadcast at Videopolis.

Donald’s celebrity quickly attracted the attention of the media, particularly the print. In 1945, LIFE magazine took up a concept developed for an unfinished cartoon, Donald and the Old Masters (1939) by offering revisited versions of famous paintings with Donald as a model. We find him in the guise of, among others, Mona Lisa, Van Gogh or the “laughing horseman” by Frans Hals, just like… J. Thaddeus Toad, at Toad Hall Restaurant!

And for the turn of the millennium, he will make a remarkable entrance in “Pomp and Circumstances”, an epic sequence from Fantasia/2000 evoking the myth of Noah’s ark, judiciously placed after “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” which starred Mickey . This musical encounter will inspire Imagineers with the famous attraction Mickey’s PhilharMagic, in which we find Mickey and especially Donald, wearing the famous hat of Yen Sid, whose uncontrollable magical power will cause our duck to dive into the heart of the great classics of Disney and Pixar animation.


Donald will also have the honors of the 9th Art from September 1934 with the “comic strip” version of The Wise Little Hen, signed by the master Al Taliaferro. Here again, success was achieved and Donald quickly had his own series of daily strips and even his own comic book. Many big names will bring their touch to his adventures, such as Romano Scarpa, a key figure in Italian Disney comics. Among the many stories he has drawn, we notably find Adventures at EuroDisney, created in 1992 for the opening of the resort, and in which we follow Donald, Scrooge and the Nephews wandering through the Park in search of a loot stolen by the Beagle Boys. The opportunity to discover key attractions revisited by the artist such as Phantom Manor or Big Thunder Mountain. You can even figure out Space Mountain… three years before it was built!

Another renowned artist in the discipline, the Chilean Vicar, one of the greatest Ducks specialists, to whom we owe Du rêve à la réalité (1992), a treasure hunt inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, or even Ca s’passe à EuroDisney, a medieval adventure inspired by Fantasyland, both starring Donald.

But we cannot forget the legendary Carl Barks, who very often drew Donald and completed the Ducks family with many characters of his creation, starting with Scrooge in 1947 and the Junior Beavers in 1951. Together, they will experience many unforgettable adventures , which would later inspire the famous animated series Duck Tales. The opportunity to remind you that the future design of the replaced Davy Crockett Ranch bungalows will include numerous nods to the Junior Beavers, accompanied by Donald and his friends, as part of the large-scale renovation which will be launched very soon at this hotel, located in the middle of nature.


For his birthday, Disneyland Paris always has nice surprises in store for Donald.

For his 70th birthday, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld paid him a very personalized tribute by creating a T-Shirt on which he drew his image.

And last year, a special dessert was concocted by the master pastry chefs at Disneyland Paris.

This year, other surprises await and await you: new specialties, such as 90 Years of Laughs Ice Cream, exclusive Donald 90 products and a show, Donald’s Birthday Surprise, at Videopolis. Enough to wish him a birthday… without any hiccups!

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