Donald Duck is a fictional cartoon character created by Walt Disney. He is portrayed as an anthropomorphic white Pekin duck who wears a blue sailor suit, speaks with an unintelligible voice, and has an explosive temper. He is one of the most popular Disney characters, along with his friend Mickey Mouse, to whom he often appears as a comic foil. Outside of animation, Donald is primarily known for his appearances in comics, including those by Carl Barks, who greatly expanded the character's universe and gave him additional friends and relatives. Donald has appeared in 197 films, more than any other Disney character, and is the most published comic book character in the world outside of the superhero genre.
History with the Macy's Parade
Donald first appeared as a balloon in the Parade in 1935, sporting his then-signature long neck and bill. This design choice was carried over to the balloon design, making it nearly impossible for the handlers to keep his head upright. Perhaps due to this, this balloon was retired after the 1935 Parade.
A new version debuted in 1962, measuring 60 feet tall. This Donald sported a more modern design, with a shorter neck and bill, and a more friendly appearance. The balloon appeared up until 1972, with hosts Lorne Greene and Betty White announcing his retirement.
But you can't keep a good duck down. After Mickey Mouse disappeared the previous year because of the accident before the parade Donald returned in 1984 to celebrate his 50th anniversary and led the parade that year. Though no subsequent balloon of Donald has been made since then, he did appear at the 2005 parade in walk-around form on the 50th Anniversary of Disney Parks Magic float, along with Mickey, many other Disney characters, and country singer LeAnn Rimes, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Disney parks and resorts.
Also, 1935 and 1972 are the only years in the parades history where Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse both appeared as balloons in the parade.
- In 1935, the balloon's handlers had problems with keeping the balloon's neck straight so he was looking at the sky for most of his appearance.
- In 1962, heavy rain filled his hat, and causing the balloon to tip over and dump gallons of water on the crowd below.
- In 1963, he had his left foot deflated.
- In 1964, he was pushed around by strong winds but he was not damaged (Of note, a similar incident occurred with Mickey Mouse in 1982)
- In 1965, he had his left and right wings messed up.
- In 1972, he had his left wing deflated by a tree.