On This Day in 1934 Donald Duck Made his First Film Appearance in Walt Disney’s The Wise Little Hen

June 9, 1934 marked one of the most loved cartoon characters, Donald Duck’s maiden theatrical appearance in Walt Disney’s The Wise Little Hen (TWLH).

TWLH plot has the Hen seeking assistance to plant her corn in winter but Peter Pig and Donald Duck make excuses to avoid the labor.

This Silly Symphony cartoon short was based on an American fable called The Little Red Hen, a story that talks about the importance of hard work.

The much-loved and immensely popular, feathered fowl, Donald Duck made its first appearance in this 7-minutes long tale in his trademark sailor shirt, cap, bow-tie.

What drew fans to this popular cartoon character is his characteristic, quirky tone, irascible yet adorable, mischievous, bragging demeanor. Donald’s yellow-orange-billed mouth, lively, happy-go-lucky nature, and hardly intelligible speech made him an instant hit.

Since then, Donald Duck has been known to have featured in several (150) theatrical films, more than any other Disney characters. Also, he is the most published comic book character in the world (other than the superhero genre).

Did you know that this anthropomorphic white duck cartoon adorns the Hollywood Walk of Fame as he earned the much-coveted star there?

There are many such lesser-known trivia about Donald Duck.

As 2021 marks Donald’s 87th anniversary, let’s find out some interesting facts related to the legendary cartoon:

— United Artists, the distributor of the film TWLH, decided June 9 as the release date, but it was first shown a month before that (May 3) for a benefit program in Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles.

— Then, on June 7, at Radio City Music Hall (New York), TWLH made its official debut.

— TWLH was directed by Wilfred Jackson who is an animator himself and has directed many Silly Symphony shorts and won Academy Awards.

— TWLH marked Donald’s only color appearance until the release of The Band Concert in 1935.

— Clarence “Ducky” Nash who lent his iconic voice to Donald (for 50 years), wanted to be a doctor but said that he became the ‘biggest quack in the world’ instead.

— Owing to his immense popularity, Donald Duck featured among the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in TV Guide’s list in 2002.

— During the period from September 16 to December 16, 1934, The Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip published a three-month-long adaptation of The Wise Little Hen.The Silly Symphony, Disney, Donald Duck,The Wise Little Hen, cartoon

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