Yesterday was Donald Duck’s 82nd birthday. The foul-tempered fowl has been featured in numerous cartoon shorts and featured films, not to mention a musical career that includes Macho Duck. Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios we are quite literally walking through the history of film, and while it would make complete sense to utilize one of the billboards to promote the latest Mickey Mouse cartoon, but instead Donald is finally given the spotlight to promote his short, Autograph Hound.
Autograph Hound is an eight minute cartoon that was released in September of 1939. The billboard features the main image from Autograph Hound’s poster, in which caricatures of celebrities are seen raging against Donald as the studios’ security guard orders him out. In the cartoon, Donald sneaks onto the lot and has run-ins with Mickey Rooney, the Ritz Brothers, Shirley Temple, and others before it is revealed that he is Donald Duck. The tables turn and celebrities come from all around to get his autograph, the last of which is the security guard who has been continually battling with Donald during the short. Many of the actors and actresses that are caricatured in the cartoon are not just over-the-top renditions of themselves, but also of some of their most well-known roles at the time.
Donald is so synonymous with Hollywood, that he is even featured in a line of the 1937 popular song, and unofficial anthem of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hooray for Hollywood. Whatever your thoughts are on Donald Duck, he has certainly earned his own place inside the park dedicated to the history of Hollywood. Not to mention it reminds all of us to make sure we get our autographs with the famous guys and gals of Disney while we’re in the park.