Step right up, Disney fans, because we’re celebrating a milestone with everyone’s favorite irascible waterfowl, Donald Duck! Believe it or not, folks, our cantankerous quacker is turning 90 years old! Mickey News had the incredible honor of touring the legendary vaults at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, where we unearthed the secrets to Donald’s longstanding popularity.

Donald Duck, the (sometimes grumpy) prince in the pantheon of Disney characters, first waddled his way into our hearts in the 1934 short film “The Wise Little Hen.” He was initially meant to be a sidekick, but his overwhelmingly human-like personality quickly made him a standout. Unlike the always-happy Mickey, Donald’s temper tantrums and mischievous antics make him delightfully relatable. As Becky Cline, Director of the Walt Disney Archives, sums it up, “Donald’s adorably irascible and mischievous nature resonates with all of us. Sometimes we all wish we could respond to our frustrations with just as much zest!”

Donald’s image has remained almost unchanged over the years, sporting his iconic blue jacket and red bow tie. But his roles have evolved significantly. During World War II, Donald was transformed into a symbol of American resilience, even earning a whopping 400 military insignias. His dedication to the cause extended to public service, starring in campaigns encouraging citizens to pay taxes and teaching children about safety.

Did you know that Donald Duck even became the official mascot of the University of Oregon in 1947? Thanks to an agreement with Walt Disney himself, the university’s sports teams have proudly flaunted Donald’s image for decades. And it doesn’t stop at sports; Donald’s likeness has graced everything from tomato juice cans to fan cards signed by Walt Disney, making him a household name in ways you might never expect.

In celebration of his 90th birthday, Disney has rolled out the red carpet, partnering with numerous brands to bring us all kinds of Donald-themed goodies—from Funko dolls to fashionable apparel. And let’s not forget that famous voice! Tony Anselmo, the current voice of Donald Duck, learned the ropes directly from the original voice actor, Clarence Nash.

So, Disney enthusiasts, what are your fondest memories of Donald Duck? Whether it’s a hilarious short film or a rare collectible, share your stories with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to spread the magic by sharing this article with your friends and family.

Happy 90th, Donald! Here’s to many more years of delightful ducky antics!

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