Anyone who has read any of my article knows that I am a die-hard traditionalist, especially when it comes to Disney and the characters. With all the new Princesses and characters, rides and films, people seem to forget the classics that Walt and his team, AKA, the Nine old Men crafted; that without them, I seriously doubt that the theme parks and the Disney Company would be recognizable like they are today. I thought that a short history of the following famous guys would jog your memory into keeping these treasures always in the forefront…

Disney characters are world-renowned, recognized by everyone. They are famous for their extended families, Nieces, Nephews, and Uncles. There are Mickey’s nephews, Morty and Ferdie, Daisy Duck’s Nieces April, May and June, Minnies Nieces Melody and Millicent and let us not forget Scrooge McDuck. But perhaps the most famous of the clan are Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Moreover, another fact about the nieces and nephews are no mention of their parents, or history except maybe a brief sentence or two.

So, a little history of the trio is in order. They began their career in the Donald Duck Sunday comic strip on October 17, 1937. They were the brainchild of the famous Disney comic’s team of writer and artist Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro. Now in the comic strip version of how the boys came to be in Donald’s care, he received a letter from his cousin Della, which read: “I am sending your angel nephews Louie, Huey and Dewey to stay with you while their father is in the hospital. A giant firecracker exploded under his chair. The little darlings are so playful. I hope you enjoy them, Your Cousin Della. Although one would think that Della is the boy’s mother, it is never clarified. The boys set off the firecracker, which sent their father to the hospital.

In the first cartoon appearance, “Donald’s Nephews” April 15, 1938, the letter instead read, “Dear Brother, I am sending your angel nephews to visit you— Sister Dumbella. Again, it’s assumed that Dumbella is the boy’s mother. After the brief mention of the parents and Della and Dumbella, there is no more reference to them again. Donald and his nephews live in the state of Calisota in the city of Duckburg

. Huey Dewey and Louis have appeared in the comics and many short films, primarily helping Donald and their great Uncle, Scrooge McDuck in many adventures. In the cartoons, the boys are much more mischievous, causing much grief for their Uncle Donald, but in the comics, they are more helpful and a little less troublesome, thanks in part to belonging to the “Junior Woodchucks”, an organization much like the Boy Scouts which gave them a sense of discipline and respect. Their grandmother Elvira “Grandma Duck” Coot was and is a major force in their lives, keeping the boys on the straight and narrow.

Since the boys are identical triplets, identifying them was hard, so to make matters easy, they are dressed in different color hats or clothing. Huey wears red, Dewey Blue and Louie Green. One thing you will note, that after the appearance of the trio, Donald Duck does not appear in any more adventures with Mickey, Pluto or Goofy. The last film they appeared in together was the “Boat Builders” on February 25, 1938. It seems that Donald has his hands full, with no time for his old friends, or maybe that Disney decided that since Donald in now a “Parent” he does not fit into the adventures of Mickey and Goofy, bachelors at large. (Of course, Goofy marries in the future, later having a son Max)

Later on, the trio appeared in a 1987 TV series called “Duck Tails” in which they are joined by their great Uncle, Scrooge McDuck in many adventures. They also made an anti-drug TV special in “Cartoon All-Stars to the rescue” In a major change in appearance; they had a show in the 1990’s called the “Quack Pack” in which the boys appeared as teenagers. However, in the 2000 cartoon series, “Mickey Mouse Works” and later “House of Mouse” they appeared, as they are best remembered, as Donald’s young Nephews.

The voice for Donald Duck was Clarence Nash, who also gave the boys their unintelligible voices in the shorts. Later on, in Duck Tails Russi Taylor voiced them. Quack Pack duties went to Jeannie Elias, Pamela Segall and Elizabeth Daily. Tony Anselmo did the Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse. The boys got their names from an animator and two political figures. Huey was named after Huey Long, 35th Governor of Louisianan, and Dewey after Thomas Dewey, 51st Governor of New York, and Louie after animator Louie Schmitt. The boy’s full names are… Louie, Louis Duck, Huey, Hubert Duck and Dewey, Deuteronomy Duck.