The origin of Uncle Scrooge

Daniel van Eijmeren dve at
Fri Sep 19 12:46:57 CEST 2003

TRISTAN BREIJER, 15-09-2003:

> I recently saw a WWII propaganda cartoon by Disney from 1943 which 
> features a character who looked remarkably like Uncle Scrooge, he 
> was wearing a kilt and spoke with a Scottish accent had sideburns 
> and a cane.
> Does anyone know if Carl Barks created this character or maybe got 
> his inspiration from this cartoon?  

That must be "The Spirit of '43", of which two pictures are shown in 
Marcia Blitz's book on Donald Duck.

As far as I know, this question has never really been answered.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't know when the cartoon was released. If it was in 1943, or 1944, 
there might a chance that Barks was still working at the Disney Studio,
when the cartoon was being created and produced.

According to the Carl Barks Library (07B-430), Barks left the Studio on 
November 6, 1942. Cartoons to which he contributed, appeared up to 1944.
So, I guess that there might at least be a chance that Barks has seen 
something of "The Spirit of '43", before he left the Studio.

Any comments on this are welcome. And again, I might be wrong. However, 
I've always thought that the looks of this Scrooge-like character would 
have prevented Barks from getting a copyright on Scrooge. That Scottish 
duck and Scrooge McDuck look very similar to me, even though it might 
just be a coincidence. (The other duck looks a bity like the early 
Gladstone to me, by the way.)

But even IF Barks would somehow have used this cartoon as inspiration
for his characters, it would just have been a little spark. Opposed to 
some similarities, there are MANY differences. Just try to imagine how 
Donald Duck would have been if Barks never existed.

--- Daniël

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