Yep, he made his debut on June 9, 1934, in a Disney-ized version of “The Wise Little Hen.” He plays one of the farmyard animals who beg off when the titular hen asks for help for the harvest. His voice was provided by Clarence Nash who remained Donald’s spokesperson for 50 years.
According to IMDB, Nash claimed he based Donald’s inimitable sound on his pet goat, Mary, who made a similar noise when she was hungry. Nash also provided the voices for Daisy Duck, and Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewie and Louie, but in a higher octave.
Known for his fine feathers, foul temper and sailor suit, Donald never quite had the same Big Screen career as his Disney colleague, Mickey Mouse. But he did appear with Daffy Duck (his Warner Brothers’ equivalent, species-wise at least) in 1988’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” The pair played a not-so-ducky piano duet, which ends in shambles when Daffy’s well, daffiness, drives Donald over the edge.
When Nash died in 1975, Tony Anselmo took over as his permanent replacement. He claims he learned the voice from Nash himself, but you can tell the difference. Promise.
Subject for further discussion: the re-release of “Fatal Attraction.”