So far, the second season of DuckTales 2017 has provided a lot more information on Donald and Della’s sibling relationship. Even before Season 2, however, Frank Angones gave interesting tidbits of information on Tumblr about them.
One Tumblr blogger asked Frank how close Donald and Della were during their childhood, to which he replied, “Very.“
And according to another piece of information from Frank, it may be that Donald and Della have been facing high-stakes, death-defying adventures together long before they went to live with their Uncle Scrooge. Their very birth may have been perilous.
Another Tumblr blogger asked Frank how multiples work in the DuckTales universe for bird people – whether twins and triplets came from the same egg, or a clutch of eggs laid at the same time that hatched together – and they also asked how common of a phenomenon multiples were. Frank replied, “Man, I could write an essay…”
So far, he hasn’t posted an essay on the matter. He is a busy guy, after all.
The show eventually revealed that (presumably identical) triplets Huey, Dewey, and Louie all hatched from separate eggs.
As for fraternal twins Donald and Della, Frank revealed that they hatched from one egg. “Donald started breaking through the Shell first but got stuck halfway through. Della busted out the back.”
While the lack of an essay from Frank makes it difficult to know how rare or dangerous this is in the DT17 canon, in real life it is a very rare and dangerous complication for ducklings and other birds. According to an article from The Telegraph, twin ducklings Romulus and Remus became the first known pair of ducklings in Britain to hatch from the same egg and survive. Most baby birds under the same circumstances don’t make it.
Frank has discussed Donald and Della’s bad luck, saying it goes beyond Murphy’s Law of anything that can go wrong will go wrong. “For Donald and Della, anything that absolutely in no way could ever possibly go wrong will somehow utterly improbably go wrong.”
Donald and Della being encased in the same eggshell could certainly be attributed to their bad luck. For all we know, they may have even hatched prematurely when they ran out of room. Problems real baby birds face when sharing an egg with a twin include not getting enough oxygen through the eggshell’s pores and not being able to brace themselves properly to hatch with their twin in the way.
While much of this post relies on headcanons, I don’t believe these headcanons are unfounded.
Donald and Della hatching from the same egg, especially when Huey, Dewey, and Louie all hatched from separate eggs, is a weirdly specific detail for the writers to include if they weren’t planning to use it as an example of their rotten luck and to justify an incredibly close bond.
Just like human newborn twins who stop crying and/or wrap their arms around each other when placed side-by-side, Donald and Della most likely found the greatest comfort in their early days not in their parents’ arms, but in each other’s arms. How sweet would it have been if even as they grew, they found comfort in sitting beside each other in a semi-fetal position, sub-consciously mimicking the way they were curled up together before they hatched?
In thinking about possible preemie Donald and Della, I’m reminded of the twins who changed medicine with the “rescue hug.” They were born prematurely and one twin was having trouble breathing, so the nurse put the strong twin beside her. The stronger twin put her arm around her sister, and her vitals instantly stabilized. These twins are the reason kangaroo care exists today. I can just imagine the same thing happening with baby Donald and Della in the NICU.
The Duck twins’ unique birth would have put them at a disadvantage from the start, but they’re fighters. They’re incredibly tenacious, and up until their mid-twenties, they faced all their challenges together.
Even after Della’s disappearance, their bond keeps them both going. Donald’s devotion to his sister’s memory is part of what gives him the strength to care for her boys. Meanwhile, Della works hard to get home to her family, knowing that her children are alive and well because she has complete faith in her brother to take good care of them.
Hopefully these two will be reunited, and we’ll get to see their twinstincts at work and watch them become the ultimate unconventional parenting team.