Every time you look at me I get so addlepated
And when I'm riding along the street, everybody that I meet
Says there goes the guy that's crazy over sweet Daisy May...
~From, Crazy Over Daisy, 1950
Disney creation Daisy Duck made her debut appearance in the 1940s animation, Mr Duck Steps Out and continued to appear in Disney animations as Donald's permanent love-interest, making 14 film appearances in all. From the beginning she had all the markers of girly charm - long eyelashes, puffed sleeves, high heels, an oversize bow and a coquettish manner. Whereas Minnie Mouse had been originally designed to reflect 1920s flapper fashion, Daisy took on the aspect of a jitterbugging 40s babe, though they share the big shoes/big bow combo.
If Donald Duck was the 'everyman', then Daisy is the 'everywoman'. Ms Duck is sweet but the quintessential female manipulator - sharp, strong-willed and aware that a strategic batting of her eyelashes would inevitably cause Donald to buckle at the knees and acquiesce to her needs and wants. . Although she has a temper almost as volatile as Donald's, she is a little more self-aware and possesses a greater degree of self-control.
Daisy in Duckburg
Daisy's feisty yet ultra-feminine personality was richly further developed as a comic book character, thanks largely to the creative mind of the "good duck artist" Carl Barks. Barks is widely regarded as a Disney legend and the best of the duck artists - through humour and a keen insight into human nature, he was able to create interesting storylines and 'humanise' the inhabitants of the fictional city of Duckburg.
Daisy first appeared in comic book form in 1940, as a neighbour to Donald -the same year as Mr.Duck Steps Out and in these early comics the Donald Duck stories were written by Bob Karp and illustrated by Al Taliaferro. In 1943 Daisy first appeared in a Carl Barks story in Walt Disney's comics and Stories #36 and continued to feature in Bark's comics from then on...developing as a character along the way. Supported by local gossip group, the Chit-Chat Society, her close friends, Clara Cluck and Clarabel Cow and the apple pie making matriarch, Grandma Duck, she became the female representative of Duckburg society.
|April, May and June.|
|Donald succumbs to a coy glance from Daisy|
Although Daisy Duck was not Donald's first girlfriend, she was his most enduring love. Prior to Daisy's introduction, Donald had been seen stepping out with Daisy's precursor, Donna Duck, in the 1937 short Don Donald. Donna was virtually a female mirror image of Donald, in temperament and in looks but their relationship was short lived, as she was never designed to be a recurring character. Donna did however, reappear once in a 1951 comic, as a Mexican femme fatal with an interest in Donald.
|Donna and Donald Duck in "Don Donald" Image from Duckopedia|
Daisy Duck proved to be a universally popular character and an effective foil for Donald, with her feminine wiles, human imperfections, infuriating behaviours yet lovable, winning ways. It's an appeal that spans cultures - in the Netherlands Daisy has her own magazine, she remains a popular source of discussion among members of the Donaldist movement and in Italy has been a crime-fighting super hero in comic books since the 1970s.
Daisy, Daisy, you're the one...