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Donald Duck hits 70 in style

June 10, 2004 08:50 IST
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It's a big day for the  world's best-known lisping waterfowl -- Donald Duck turned 70 on Thursday.

Disney will mark Donald's seven-decade career achievement with festivities at its parks around the globe.

"This is a duck with one short fuse and an amazing (if unintelligible) command of language, and when things don't go right, he goes ballistic," Donald's Disney history explains. It adds that the duck "has a good heart and always has good intentions. Well, almost always."

Immortalised in 128 cartoons, and on merchandise from dolls to clothes to books, Donald does not look his age.

But the snow-white duck with outsized eyes, a golden beak and a disposition on the cranky side has been one of Disney's most enduring creations since his first appearance on June 9, 1934 in an animated cartoon called 'The Wise
Little

Hen.'

Like his 75-year-old friend Mickey Mouse, Donald's classic character, in trademark navy sailor's hat, red bowtie and blue shirt, arguably has been a bit overlooked in recent years, overshadowed by computer-animated critters such as
Nemo the cute clownfish and Shrek the ogre, put out by non-Disney companies Pixar and DreamWorks.

But back in his heyday, Donald's ill-tempered comic edge won him a huge following, and more of his cartoons made it into theatres than the more famous Mickey's.

And Donald, known for simple quips such as "Hiya, toots," "Aw, phooey," and "Nothin' to it," starred in a daily newspaper comic strip beginning February 7, 1938.

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