Donald Duck appeared in comedic roles in animated cartoons. Donald's first theatrical appearance was in The Wise Little Hen (1934), but it was his second appearance in Orphan's Benefit that same year that introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse.
The Wise Little Hen was part of the Silly Symphonies series of theatrical cartoon shorts. The film's given release date of June 9, is officially recognized by the Walt Disney Company as Donald's birthday, though historian J.B. Kaufman, consultant of The Walt Disney Family Museum, discovered in recent years that The Wise Little Hen was first shown on May 3, 1934 at the Carthay Circle Theater for a benefit program, while its official debut was on June 7 at the Radio City Music Hall. Donald's appearance in the cartoon, as created by animator Dick Lundy, is similar to his modern look – the feather and beak colors are the same, as are the blue sailor shirt and hat – but his features are more elongated, his body plumper, his feet smaller, and his sclerae white. Donald's personality is not developed either; in the short, he only fills the role of the unhelpful friend from the original story.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".