Friday, May 13, 2011
Happy Unbirthday, Donald Duck
Today being Friday the 13th, it seemed appropriate to say Happy Unbirthday to Donald Duck. As a tribute to the wacky quack's penchant for not so much finding trouble as trouble finding him, the Disney Studios for many years stated (tongue in beak) that Donald's birthday was on Friday the 13th—March 13, in fact. Through the years, the Disney Studio reportedly celebrated their fine feathered film star's whenever that unlucky (if not unducky) Friday rolled around, whether it was in March or not. In 1941, Random House gave Donald the star treatment by publishing a "tell-all" biography, The Life of Donald Duck. Random House's co-founder Bennett Cerf always said he wasn't interested in publishing children's books (he changed his mind in the 1950s when Dr. Seuss created The Cat in the Hat) but of course this wasn't a children's book. This hardcover (complete with dust jacket) volume was created for adults (though child friendly), the main audience for Donald's onscreen antics. As Walt Disney so frequently pointed out his films (and related products) were created for everyone, not just kids. This "authorized" biography continues the conceit that the squawking star was hatched on Friday the 13th. But since we all know Donald's official birthday is June 9, 1934, let's wish our lucky Duck a happy unbirthday today, and hope he he has many more unbirthdays filled with of comedic chaos. And if you would like to read a biography of Donald Duck written by me (as well as the bios of nine other favorite Disney characters, also written by Jim Fanning), check out the D23 website.