The Duck Who Started It All: Happy 85th Birthday, Donald!

You know we love DuckTales. I mean, we talk about it all… the… time! But, let me ask you this: could there be a DuckTales without Donald Duck?

The answer is simply ‘no.’ Donald is the Disney duck who started it all. He was created as a foil to Mickey, and quickly grew in popularity, ultimately usurping the Walt’s main mouse in number of cartoon shorts. That’s no small feat, to be sure.

And here we are, 85 years later. We get to see Donald fully included in the new iteration of DuckTales, as well as in the Paul Rudish Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts and hopefully starring in his own show The Legend of the Three Caballeros (whenever Disney officially announces it).

Further, as comic aficionado Pirate Steven likes to tell us, Donald has had one of the longest runs in print overseas. He even has his own Orange Juice here in the States!

The short of it is, Donald is a Disney staple. People love him, and we’re excited to see Disney give at least a little effort to celebrate him this weekend.

That’s why I thought it’d be fun to make a list of 10 classic Donald Duck shorts that I remember watching over and over as a kid. 10 is just a mere sampling of Donald’s legacy, so don’t treat this as any sort of definitive list. In fact, throw a shoutout to your favorites in the comments below.

I’m going to let these shorts speak for themselves, because I don’t think any words I have can do them justice.

Let’s get started….

1. The Band Concert

February 23, 1935

2. Moving Day

June 20, 1936

3. Clock Cleaners

October 15, 1937

4. Lonesome Ghosts

December 24, 1937

5. Mr. Duck Steps Out

June 7, 1940

6. Donald’s Snow Fight

April 10, 1942

7. Donald Duck and the Gorilla

March 31, 1944

8. The Clock Watcher

January 26, 1945

9. Donald Applecore

January 18, 1952

10. Trick or Treat

October 10, 1952

So there is a quick look back over Donald’s 85 years of angst and comedy. Maybe I’m being too hopefully, but it’d be nice to see Disney give us a release of classic Donald shorts like they did with Celebrating Mickey because – as you can tell – some are harder to find these days, even with YouTube.

If you’re curious about seeing more on how Donald has evolved as a character through the years, I highly recommend checking out David Lee’s Explaining Disney series, and his episodes looking at Donald Duck’s graphic style as well as the evolution of his voice.

Don’t forget to let us know your favorite Donald Duck cartoons in the comments below, or find us on Twitter at @DuckTalks.

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