jazzoLOG: My Hero    
 My Hero11 comments
picture9 Jun 2004 @ 07:04, by Richard Carlson

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.

---Erich Fromm

When you look for it, there is nothing to see,
When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear,
When you use it, it is inexhaustible.

---Lao-Tzu

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

---Indira Gandhi

Now here is a True American Hero, whose 70th birthday it is this very day! I hear no proposal for this inspiring face to be honored on any denomination of US currency...and yet what could be more appropriate? Happy Birthday Donald!

BBC News
Donald Duck celebrates turning 70

Donald Duck, one of Walt Disney's most endearing characters, is celebrating his 70th birthday.
Celebrations will be taking place at Disney resorts and other venues across the globe to mark the milestone.

Donald was first seen on 9 June 1934 in an animated cartoon called the Wise Little Hen.

The famous duck has gone on to feature in hundreds of cartoons and comic strips, which have been translated into dozens of languages.

In Disneyland Paris, a cake with 70 candles will be presented to Donald during a birthday party.

He will also leave prints of his webbed feet in a walk of fame, next to handprints by stars such as Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone.

Katie Harris, who is helping to organise the event, said: "We have a ceremony in the park to wish him a very happy birthday.

"After that we are going to take him over to the Walt Disney studios where we are going to take a print which we can keep in the pathway of stars alongside other movie stars.

"It is a right he has wholly earned."

Ms Harris added that the secret of Donald's long appeal lay in his mischievous charm.

"He has his grumpy periods, he has his mad periods, he's always trying to do the right thing but ends up in a mess.

"But I think that his character traits will never change and I don't think he will ever, ever grow old - he will stay young at heart."


Story from BBC NEWS:
[link]

Published: 2004/06/09 09:03:19 GMT

© BBC MMIV



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11 comments

9 Jun 2004 @ 07:19 by ashanti : :-)
Mine too. Love the Duck! Identify. :-)  


9 Jun 2004 @ 11:07 by skookum : congrats to the
foul mouthed fowl! (ok.. maybe not technically a fowl... lol )  


9 Jun 2004 @ 11:24 by jazzolog : Fowl Indeed
I got an email from Zepp http://www.zeppscommentaries.com on this, demanding equal time for Daffy Duck. He suspects Donald gets all the glory because he's white, and Daffy is black. I should have known Zepp would go for the loonier tune.  


9 Jun 2004 @ 12:21 by swan : Black Swan feels that way too, Richard
Happy birthday from one bird to another.  


10 Jun 2004 @ 12:26 by spiritseek : Quacks me up...
many a childhood cartoons spent watching him. Happy Birthday Donald!  


12 Jun 2004 @ 06:44 by jmarc : Donald Duck wears no pants
yet in one cartoon, where he's shown getting out of the shower, he's wearing a towel around his waist. What's up with that?  


12 Jun 2004 @ 13:54 by vibrani : Disney
has very strict codes for its employees. No facial hair, very little make-up, they want you to look "just so." It's a tense atmosphere. But, I do think that Disney was a genius, far ahead of his time, and gave us many messages in his creations. (I didn't like his personal politics, however. He was known for being prejudiced against Jews, for instance. I think he'd be shocked as to who was running Disney for a long time.) Do you know that in "It's A Small World" ride at Disneyland, for a very brief time the flag of Israel was included. Then it was suddenly removed. The Arab nations were represented by flags, but not Israel. I was part of a campaign to bring back the Israeli flag, but I don't think they ever brought it back.  


12 Jun 2004 @ 14:02 by vibrani : And yet
it's still the best theme park around, in my opinion. I love going to Disneyland. And I have to agree that Donald is my favorite original Disney character.  


13 Jun 2004 @ 04:08 by jazzolog : The Disney Version
I should have learned by now through the dear friends of NCN that an entry tossed up as a trifle may turn into a shooting match more surely than any "serious" article on torture and death. I'll not digress into the philosophic quandaries of the Disney perception (how the characters are dressed, the thing about mothers/missing dads/nephews, fixations with derrieres, how come Goofy can talk but not Pluto?) or get into the animation of Miyazaki, whose Spirited Away has got to be weird even to the Japanese. But I thank you for centering me on important issues here that people like Donald Duck and me often overlook in our pursuit of instant gratification.

I guess I never admired anything about Walt Disney himself...except his voicetracks for Mickey in the early days. To me, he and the company which lives on were a reincarnation of PT Barnum or American know-how at its most crass. Exxon funds a symphony orchestra and demands its name and logo become trademarked part of the music's identification. Do I not listen? Pepsi offers free chamber music in its corporate headquarters. Do I go? Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra say assinine things in public. Do I shun their art?

These are tough questions for me, and always have been. With Disney, sometimes I feel management has been so stupid that the animators have satirized them right under their noses. Is there a difference between Disneyland and Fantasy Island, at which Pinocchio turns into an ass through overindulgence? Some of the stories about Walt's personal hangups and how they became blind business policy (see Richard Schickel's classic on the subject) are too outrageous to be believed.

With Disney my trust has been with the animators---and that somehow their vision would get through. Even more than Walt Kelly, I suppose my favorite has been Ward Kimball---though I don't care for many of his spare innovations of the '50s (Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom). I can't imagine anyone fought with Walt and lost more through the years than Kimball. His work involves the most extreme sections of the Disney classics: the Pink Elephant sequence of Dumbo, Tulgey Wood in Alice In Wonderland, among many others. Despite winning Oscars for the studio again and again, Ward was denied his own experimental unit to the end---and finally settled for performing at Disneyland with a wonderful Dixieland band he and some other frustrated animators formed called Firehouse Five Plus Two.

There's a doubting and critical part of me that has to be locked away when I go to Disney now. It may be an extension of the terrible fear I had as a child at every Disney feature, that at some point a vision of terror and Hell would appear that would be etched forever in my consciousness---and no one ever was better at it than Disney. I doubt the conscience of the company so thoroughly that I dread seeing the new stuff---and yet, more often than not, I am won over. What is more gorgeous than the final minute of Firebird in Fantasia 2000, and who can watch it without weeping? Don't you love the presentation of Jane in Tarzan? The new explorations into myth are fascinating and have resulted in something like Brother Bear. There's an artistic credibility somewhere in the horrible corporation that has managed to stay alive through it all. When Clarence Nash died, who provided Donald's voice through the original years, in many ways Donald died for me too. No one else could do it...just as nothing can replace Mel Blanc at Looney Toons. So in many ways, it is the past that I celebrate on Donald Duck's 70th birthday...a past when Americans could see themselves in Donald's arrogant stupidity and resulting disasters---and laugh at ourselves. Bush just goes quack quack.  



13 Jun 2004 @ 08:43 by swan : DUCK!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!  


14 Jun 2004 @ 13:21 by mmmark : Tribute
I appreciate Jazz's energy to mark some important cultural history and the pioneering spirit of Walt Disney, as they are an integral part of our upbringing that cannot be removed from our memory experience. The key thing to recognize is the intention/vision of the original Disney Studio vs it's offspring's lack of purpose. In precise terms I would say that Walt was interested in producing art, which has no place in the tasteless environment Eisner so easily created. It is quite amazing how a quality investment made so many years ago continues to pay off. Happy Birthday to Donald.  


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