The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
This week I would like to present the family tree of one of our best known and most-loved movie stars. The ancestry of this famous 80-year-old movie actor has been ignored for far too long. Now is the time to document the extended family of a great movie star, the subject of film, television, and numerous comic books, the anthropomorphic duck with yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet: Donald Fauntleroy Duck.
Actually, this isn’t as much of a joke as one might imagine. It seems that the Disney Corporation has kept meticulous details about all the Donald Duck cartoons and comic books since Donald’s first appearance in 1934 in “The Wise Little Hen.” For the following eighty years, the Disney Corporation has been remarkably consistent in referring to Donald’s relatives as well as many other facts.
For instance, you may have seen many cartoons of Donald Duck driving his automobile; but did you ever notice the license plate number? It is always “313.” That’s right, Donald’s license plate number has always been the same since his automobile first appeared in 1938.
NOTE: That car is always described as a 1934 Belchfire Runabout. Donald is said to have constructed it himself from spare parts of various sources. It is described as having a “1920 Mixwell engine, a 1922 Dudge body, 1923 Paclac axles, and wheels off a lawn mower.” Those are all puns on American automobile names of the day. “Dudge” refers to Dodge. “Paclac” is a gag-combo of PACkard and CadilLAC, the two competitors for high-end car buyers back in the old days. “Mixwell” refers to Maxwell.
The Disney Corporation has always maintained the same level of detail throughout the Donald Duck cartoons. The automobile license number, the names of family members mentioned in the comics, and much, much more are all studiously maintained throughout the years. If Donald’s maternal grandfather is given as Scotty McDuck in a comic book of the 1950s, you will find the exact same name used forever after. A cartoon or comic strip made fifty years later will give the same maternal grandfather for Donald.
This week I thought I would explore the well-documented family tree of Donald Fauntleroy Duck. I will even tell when and where he first mentioned that middle name.
All set? OK, let’s all talk like a duck and take a look at the Duck family tree.
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