Donald Duck's 50th birthday

Donald Duck (Copyright: The Walt Disney Company)Donald Duck (Copyright: The Walt Disney Company)

Americans are crazy about parades, and on 9 June 1984 there was a very special one at Disneyland in California to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the world’s most famous duck. Donald himself was at the front, and was followed by 50 specially trained real white ducks. The event was marked musically, too, with a new song called “It’s Your Birthday”. The song became very popular, and was sung years later at Mickey Mouse’s sixtieth.

What is so special about Donald Duck? Well, he is unique. He is an angry little creature with a special voice who wears a sailor shirt and a bow tie, but no trousers – except when he goes swimming. He has appeared in hundreds of cartoons, movies, TV series, video games and comics. He is popular all over the world, and especially in Scandinavia. In 1972 Jon Gisle wrote a book called Donaldismen, where he wrote about Donald, his family and his worldwide success, and Norwegian Donald Duck comics sell for large sums of money. Surely we all agree that Donald deserved his parade?


Activity

Find words and phrases in the text which can be used in the gaps in these sentences:

  1. Birthdays are very __________ days for children.
  2. Amundsen and Nansen are __________ Norwegian explorers.
  3. My family are all __________ about ice cream: we eat tonnes of it!
  4. Steven Gerrard is __________: there is nobody like him.
  5. Nicole Kidman recently __________ in an epic movie about Australia.
  6. Jamie Oliver is a __________ TV chef: millions of people like him a lot.
  7. I get __________ when people tell lies about me.
  8. My father worked so hard last year that his boss told him he __________ a good holiday.

 

Activities for the links below

1) The first link is a guide to Disneyland. Imagine that you are on vacation in Los Angeles and that you have no longer than a morning to visit the theme park. Think about what interests you most, and use the guide to plan your trip. Write a report on your visit, and call it “Why I went to Disneyland and what I saw and did there”.


2) The second link is about business, and is not entirely positive about the Disney Company. Skip the long lists of people and companies, and concentrate on the text. Then answer these questions. Do not use the same words as in the original.

  1. How big is the Walt Disney Company?
  2. What did it produce when it was founded in 1923?
  3. What types of business is the company involved in?
  4. How has Disney annoyed some conservative organizations?
  5. Why have human rights groups criticized Disney?
  6. What have animal rights organizations objected to?
  7. How does Disney support gays and lesbians?
  8. Why was the Treasure Island project unpopular among environmentalists?