Donald Duck's 50th Birthday is a television special broadcast on The Wonderful World of Disney on November 13, 1984 on CBS. As the title suggests, it was produced for Donald Duck's 50th anniversary.

Donald is shown in both animated and costumed form, interacting with emcee Dick Van Dyke and other cast members. The film not only shows Donald's life, but also depicts an extensive international tour that Donald went on in 1984 as well as showing various celebrities of the day wishing Donald happy birthday. The tour culminates in a parade in Donald's honor at Disneyland. It was rebroadcast on Disney Channel Europe on November 13, 2004 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the special as well as The 70th Anniversary of Donald Duck plus at the end of the special, it has the sign: "Walt Disney 1901-1966 Clarence Nash 1904-1985".


  • Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3PO explain that clarity of speech are qualities that are vital to future languages and that those who do not possess such qualities are doomed. They then add that there exceptions to that rule, case in point, Donald's famed speech impediment, created by Clarence Nash, which they claim they know very well. C-3PO closes out this scene by saying, "Happy birthday, Mr. Duck. And Mr. Nash."
  • Acclaimed artist Andy Warhol is shown finishing and hanging, The New Spirit a painting that was created for Donald's golden jubilee.
  • There are quite a few scenes with Walt Disney, one with Donald Duck hiding under Disney's desk blotter despite the pleas of Disney to meet the people that had come to see him (from the Disneyland episode "The Plausible Impossible"), another with Donald demonstrating the techniques of animation and sound effects and a third with Donald as a puppet with Disney was receiving a Master of Arts (the joke being that it was Donald who received the degree).
  • The theme of The Mickey Mouse Club is shown with Disney characters to illustrate Donald's innate jealousy to Mickey Mouse having his own TV show. Dick Van Dyke states that Donald "never let anyone forget it".
  • There is a film clip with Daisy Duck baking a cake for Donald featuring the 1980 Donald Duck song Going Quackers with various Donald Duck and other Disney character toys doing a dance number using stop motion animation as well as reverse acting.

1984 birthday tour

In 1984 Donald Duck (in costumed form) went on an international tour through Europe, Japan and parts of the United States. Some of these stops on his tour actual stage performances attended by other (costumed) Disney characters. Donald's arrival at airports (on his own plane depicting Donald in flight on the tailfin) was met with colossal crowds that kept getting bigger. There were also several parades for Donald, and not just at the Disney theme parks. In one, Donald sat in a staff car in his military uniform and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. This scene was also when he was discharged from the US Army. Donald is also shown having his footprints cast in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in May 1984.

In the film, Donald's tour is shown with music as well as dialogue, assumedly added later by Clarence Nash.


Also featured is Walt Disney in several clips (Disney himself having died in 1966).

Featured clips


The original version of "Happy, Happy Birthday to You" was released on the Splashdance LP and cassette. Splashdance has since been re-released on compact disc.


  • This special uses Hanna-Barbera sound effects in the "Happy, Happy Birthday to You" song with clips from the classic Donald Duck shorts and the Disney Channel bumpers with Donald opening a gift.
  • This was the last time that Donald Duck was voiced by Clarence Nash.


External links

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