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Scrooge McDuck, also known as Uncle Scrooge, is a Scottish duck created by Carl Barks. He is Donald Duck's rich maternal uncle who first appeared in Four Color Comics #178 in the story Christmas on Bear Mountain, published by Dell Comics in December of 1947. Over the decades, Scrooge has emerged from a supporting character in the comic book world to one of the most popular and recognizable Disney characters.

Scrooge has been voiced by Dallas McKennon, Bill Thompson, Will Ryan and Alan Young. In a flashback from the 1987 DuckTales episode Once Upon a Dime, the young Scrooge was voiced by Pat Fraley.

Personality

Scrooge McDuck is the richest duck in the world, having gained his massive wealth from hard work and being "tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties and making it square," on the course of his many adventures in finding treasure and through mining and other business endeavors. He's a traveler by nature, journeying all over the world in search of treasure and ways of expanding his many businesses.

Having worked so hard to acquire his wealth, Scrooge has become rather stingy and greedy; he loves his money more than anything in the world and seldom spends any more of it than he has to. Still, he values honesty and fair play and doesn't like to be in anyone's debt. Like his nephew Donald, he has a temper and can appear grouchy and selfish, but is essentially a good-hearted person. It's known that the one thing Scrooge loves far more than his money is his family. Despite being seemingly elderly, Scrooge has been able to keep up with his nephews and allies on their adventures without slowing down with a few rare exceptions. With a grouchy nature, Scrooge is feared by a majority of his own employees, even though his kindness has been exploited rather often.

Wealth

HW Feeling

The Dime's origins from Getting That Heathy, Wealthy Feeling (1964).

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Scrooge and his bookkeeper in Barks' The Second Richest Duck (1956).

According to many tales told about Scrooge's lifetime, including the Eisner Award-winning series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge has worked his way up the financial ladder from humble immigrant roots. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he made a living shining boots and was enraged when a ditchdigger paid him with a US dime after he passed out from exhausting labor cleaning the ditchdigger's mud-caked boots. It was later revealed, but not to Scrooge, that the dime originated from Howard Rockerduck, a wealthy American man who had come to Scotland in search of a bride. Touring through Glasgow, Rockerduck tossed pocket money to native children, where the 1875 dime was caught by Scrooge's sister Matilda, who gave it to her father, Fergus McDuck. This was the time of Scrooge's tenth birthday and Fergus staged an idea to get Scrooge to set his mind on serious business. Fergus handed the dime to his friend Burt the ditch-digger and asked if he would go to Scrooge's street shoeshine business to shine his extra dirty boots. Burt did so, but instead of paying Scrooge's bill of five pence, he kept his Scottish money when he saw the bar across the street was having a sale on beer and gave the dime to a passed-out Scrooge. When Scrooge awoke, he was angered to see he had the dime, as American money is unspendable in Scotland, and resolved to himself "I will be tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties and I will make my money square!" Scrooge kept the dime as a keepsake of his early labors and it inspired him to emigrate to the United States.

His "Old Number One" is his most famous prized possession, and has been considered to be the source of his immense fortune, However, Scrooge has privately confided to Donald and the nephews that the dime's "great luck" may only be a superstition. In the 1964 comic Getting That Healthy, Wealthy Feeling, drawn by Tony Strobl and written by Carl Fallberg, Scrooge reveals that he earned his first dime when he was a shoeshine boy in his youth, a concept that would later reappear in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge is now the richest duck in the world, rivaled only by Flintheart Glomgold, John D. Rockerduck and, less prominently, the maharaja of the fictional country Howdoyoustan (play on Hindustan).

He keeps a portion of his wealth (money he has personally earned himself) in a massive Money Bin overlooking the city of Duckburg. In the 1967 animated featurette Scrooge McDuck and Money, he remarks to his nephews that this money is "just petty cash". In the Dutch and Italian Disney comics, he regularly forces Donald and his nephews to polish the coins one by one in order to pay off Donald's debts — Scrooge will not even pay them much for this lengthily, tedious, hand-breaking work. As far as he is concerned, even thirty cents an hour is too much expenditure.

A shrewd businessman and noted tightwad, his hobbies include diving into his money like a porpoise, burrowing through it like a gopher and throwing coins into the air to feel them fall upon his skull. He is also the richest member of The Billionaires Club of Duckburg, a society which includes the most successful businessmen of the world and allows them to keep connections with each other. Glomgold and Rockerduck are also influential members of the Club. The sum of Scrooge's wealth is disputed. According to Barks' The Second Richest Duck, as noted by a TIME article, Scrooge is worth "one multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents." Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck notes that Scrooge amounts to "five multiplujillion, nine impossibidillion, seven fantasticatrillion dollars and sixteen cents". In 2007, Forbes listed his wealth at a much more modest $28.8 billion. Whatever the amount, Scrooge never considers it enough; he aways wants to continue earning money by any honest means possible.

Comic History

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Scrooge in his first appearance,Christmas on Bear Mountain.

Scrooge, maternal uncle of previously established character Donald Duck, made his first named appearance inChristmas on Bear Mountain in December 1947, a story written and drawn by artist Carl Barks. His appearance may have been based on a similar-looking, nameless Scottish character from the 1943 propaganda short The Spirit of '43.

In Christmas on Bear Mountain, Scrooge was a bearded, bespectacled, reasonably wealthy old duck, visibly leaning on his cane, and living in isolation in a "huge mansion". Scrooge's misanthropic thoughts in this first story are quite pronounced:"Here I sit in this big lonely dump, waiting for Christmas to pass! Bah! That silly season when everybody loves everybody else! A curse on it! Me—I'm different! Everybody hates me, and I hate everybody!"

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Scrooge, as he appears in The Magic Hourglass (1950).

Barks later reflected, "Scrooge in 'Christmas on Bear Mountain' was only my first idea of a rich, old uncle. I had made him too old and too weak. I discovered later on that I had to make him more active. I could not make an old guy like that do the things I wanted him to do."

In the 1948 Barks comic The Old Castle's Secret, Scrooge's Scottish ancestry was first established. It was also the first time that Scrooge took his nephews on a treasure hunt, something that would happen in many more comics to come.

While Barks was developing Uncle Scrooge's character, he also introduced many famous aspects of Scrooge's life that are still used nowadays. In Voodoo Hoodoo (1949), Scrooge could be seen bathing in his money for the first time, while in Billions to Sneeze At (1951), the idea of Scrooge swimming in his money was introduced. Scrooge's Money Bin made its first appearance in the 1952 comic The Big Bin on Killmotor Hill, and Scrooge's characteristic Number One Dime first appeared in The Round Money Bin (1953).

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Scrooge and Donald in Only a Poor Old Man.

The Magic Hourglass, first published in September 1950, was arguably the first story to change the focus of the Duck stories from Donald to Scrooge. During the story, several themes were introduced for Scrooge.

Donald first mentions in this story that his uncle practically owns Duckburg, a statement that Scrooge's rival John D. Rockerduck would later put in dispute. Scrooge first hints that he was not born into wealth, as he remembers buying the Hourglass in Morocco when he was a member of a ship's crew as a cabin boy. It is also the first story in which Scrooge mentions speaking another language besides his native English and reading other alphabets besides the Latin alphabet, as during the story, he speaks Arabic and is able to read the Arabic alphabet.

The latter theme would be developed further in later stories. Barks and current Scrooge writers, such as Don Rosa, have depicted Scrooge as being fluent in Arabic, Dutch, German, Mongolian, Spanish, Mayan, Bengali, Finnish, and various dialects of Chinese. Scrooge acquired this knowledge from years of living or traveling to the various regions of the world where those languages are spoken. Later writers would depict Scrooge having at least working knowledge of several other languages.

Scrooge was shown in The Magic Hourglass in a more positive light than in previous stories, but his more villainous side is present too. Scrooge is seen in this story attempting to reacquire a magic hourglass that he gave to Donald, before finding out that it acted as a protective charm for him. Scrooge starts losing one billion dollars each minute, and comments that he will go bankrupt within 600 years. This line is a parody of Orson Welles's line in Citizen Kane “You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years”. To convince his nephews to return it, he pursues them throughout Morocco, where they had headed to earlier in the story. Memorably during the story, Scrooge interrogates Donald by having him tied up and tickled with a feather in an attempt to get Donald to reveal the hourglass's location. Scrooge finally manages to retrieve it, exchanging it for a flask of water, as he had found his nephews exhausted and left in the desert with no supplies. As Scrooge explains, he intended to give them a higher offer, but he just could not resist having somebody at his mercy without taking advantage of it.

In 1952, the first story with Uncle Scrooge as its title character appeared, called Only a Poor Old Man. Ever since, Scrooge, besides being featured in many more 'Uncle Scrooge'-titled comics, has also starred in a large amount of one-pagers, which were often centered around his extreme stingyness.

The above mentoined stories all being written and drawn by Carl Barks, Scrooge was never used by any other writer or artist until his appearance in a 1950 comic called Trail Blazer by Bob Moore, followed by many more artists and writers who picked up the Scrooge character for their own stories. Barks kept writing and drawing Uncle Scrooge comics until his retirement in 1967. Scrooge has been used by many different writers and artists, and is still one of the most frequently appearing Donald Duck characters today.

Appearances in Animation

The character of Scrooge has appeared in various media aside from comic books. Scrooge's first appearance in animated form (save for a brief cameo appearance on the Mickey Mouse Club television series) was in the 1967 theatrical featurette Scrooge McDuck and Money, in which he teaches his nephews some basic financial tips. In this featurette, Scrooge was voiced by Bill Thompson

In the short, Huey, Dewey and Louie come to Scrooge with their piggy bank in hand, wanting advice on how they can save it and one day become wealthy like Scrooge. Scrooge agrees that the boys should learn more about money, and begins with a history, first talking about ancient forms of money. Proper forms of money were invented to provide a easier way to determine the value of goods. Scrooge then elaborates on the development of coins, paper bills, and finally credit. When the grandnephews ask why the government doesn't just print more money, Scrooge gives them a brief lesson on inflation, using comparisons to give the boys idea of just how much money is billion dollars actually is.

Finally, Scrooge gives the boys a lesson on budgeting for expenses. Proper budgeting should leave a profit. According to Scrooge, investing the profit was how he obtained his wealth. By using the same strategies, the boys can grow their savings as well. Scrooge leads the boys into his boardroom and accepts their piggy bank, making them stockholders. Scrooge takes a small fee for his time and consultation, informing the boys that good things are never free. The boys leave with a much better knowledge of money and finances.

Scrooge McDuck and Money

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Scrooge in his animated debut, Scrooge McDuck and Money.

The character of Scrooge has appeared in various media aside from comic books. Scrooge's first appearance in animated form (save for a brief cameo appearance on the Mickey Mouse Club television series) was in the 1967 theatrical featurette Scrooge McDuck and Money, in which he teaches his nephews some basic financial tips. In this featurette, Scrooge was voiced by Bill Thompson.

In the short, Huey, Dewey and Louie come to Scrooge with their piggy bank in hand, wanting advice on how they can save it and one day become wealthy like Scrooge. Scrooge agrees that the boys should learn more about money, and begins with a history, first talking about ancient forms of money. Proper forms of money were invented to provide a easier way to determine the value of goods. Scrooge then elaborates on the development of coins, paper bills, and finally credit. When the grandnephews ask why the government doesn't just print more money, Scrooge gives them a brief lesson on inflation, using comparisons to give the boys idea of just how much money is billion dollars actually is.

Finally, Scrooge gives the boys a lesson on budgeting for expenses. Proper budgeting should leave a profit. According to Scrooge, investing the profit was how he obtained his wealth. By using the same strategies, the boys can grow their savings as well. Scrooge leads the boys into his boardroom and accepts their piggy bank, making them stockholders. Scrooge takes a small fee for his time and consultation, informing the boys that good things are never free. The boys leave with a much better knowledge of money and finances.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

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Scrooge in his iconic role in Mickey's Christmas Carol.

Scrooge stars as his namesake Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1983 featurette. Scrooge plays out the exact role as the original story. After he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past (portrayed by Jiminy Cricket), Present (Willie the Giant) and Future (Pete), Scrooge changes his ways

Sport Goofy in Soccermania

Scrooge appears as a main character in the television special Sport Goofy in Soccermania. Scrooge accidentally gives Huey, Dewey and Louie a valuable trophy. The nephews then decide sell it to be a prize for a soccer tournament. Scrooge finds out and realizes that the only way to get back his trophy back is to win the soccer game against the Beagle Boys. With the help of Goofy, Scrooge wins and regains his trophy.

In this special, Scrooge was voiced by Will Ryan.

DuckTales

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Scrooge with his great nephews in the opening toDuckTales.

In the DuckTales series, Scrooge has adopted the nephews (due to Donald leaving home and joining the Navy) and, as a result, his rougher edges are smoothed out somewhat. While most of his traits remain from the comics, he is notably more jovial and less irritable in the series. In an early episode, Scrooge credits his improved temperament to the nephews and Webby, saying that "for the first time since I left Scotland, I have a family." Though Scrooge is far from heartless in the comics, he is rarely so openly sentimental. While he still hunts for treasure in DuckTales, many episodes focus on him attempting to thwart villains. He remains, however, just as tightfisted with money as he has always been. Scrooge displays a strict code of honor, insisting that the only valid way to acquire wealth is to "earn it square" and he goes to great lengths to thwart those (sometimes even his own nephews) who gain money dishonestly. This code also prevents him from ever being dishonest himself, saying that "Scrooge McDuck's word is as good as gold." He also expresses great disgust at being viewed by others as a greedy liar and cheater. The show fleshed out his upbringing by depicting his life as an individual who worked hard his entire life to earn his keep and fiercely defend it against those who were truly dishonest, such as a value he teaches his nephews.

Also, it was shown that money is no longer the most important thing in his life. For one episode, he was under a love spell, which caused him to lavish his time on a goddess over everything else. The nephews and Webby find out that the only way to break the spell is to make the person realize that the object of their love will cost them something they truly love. The children make it appear that Scrooge's love is allergic to money; however, he simply decides to give up his wealth so he can be with her. Later, when he realizes that he'll also have to give up his nephews to be with her, the spell is immediately broken, showing that family is the most important thing to him. Similarly, Scrooge McDuck, after regaining his wealth after it got lost on cyberspace (and his nephews unintentionally making their misadventure even worse when they mistook his savings account for a computer game), briefly celebrated his regaining his wealth, although he eventually grew despondent, feeling that there was a "better treasure" where he was going (at the time, due to miscommunication between Scrooge and Dr. Quackerpelt, Scrooge believed he had been diagnosed as terminally ill, when Quackerpelt was in fact trying to tell Scrooge that he was trying to repair a grandfather clock that his nephews broke). On occasion, he demonstrates physical fitness by single-handedly beating bigger guys.

In the Season 3 episode "Blue Collar Scrooge", when attempting to use a scooter from his nephews, he accidentally crashed into a pond, and began to grow amnesiac. He then grew to believe he worked at the same company Fenton worked with and dated Fenton's mom, although when Fenton, to cover up the fact that Scrooge had disappeared, posed as him too well to put the company in danger, Scrooge deliberately rammed himself into the wall with a scooter to regain his memory and throw the duck out.

In the comic book continuation of Darkwing Duck, Scrooge comes in at the end of the first arc to help re-organize the Quackwerks corporation, naming Launchpad its CEO.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Scrooge, along with Daisy and Aunt Gertie, visits Donald and the nephews for Christmas Day. After dinner, he sings carols while playing his beloved piano. Like the other adults, Scrooge is oblivious to the repeating Christmas Day. When the boys try to "liven things up", the piano is destroyed. The next repeat day, the boys make it the best Christmas ever, even singing the carols with Scrooge.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

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Scrooge in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas.

This Christmas holiday, Scrooge is the host at his mansion and invites Donald, Daisy and the nephews over for the season. On Christmas Eve, the boys swipe Scrooge's tasty cookies and are sent to their room by Donald, who is ready to give them harsh discipline, but Scrooge volunteers to talk to them. In their room, he tells them the tale of Santa Claus and that if you act naughty, you won't get presents. Scrooge also tells them about his own past, and reveals that he never got what he always wanted: getting a place on Santa's list.

The boys decide to travel to the North Pole to write their names on the list themselves after realizing how naughty they had been that year. When they finally get to the list, however, they put Scrooge's name on it instead of theirs. The next morning, Scrooge finally gets what he always wanted—a pair of bagpipes. Santa also left the boys gifts for thinking of Scrooge instead of themselves. One of the gifts is opened by the nephews right away - ear plugs for Scrooge's poor bagpipe-playing. At the end of the story, Scrooge can be seen wearing his native Scottish costume while playing his bagpipes, while Donald and the nephews try to cover their ears.

Later on, when Pluto goes missing, Scrooge purchases a snow plow company to help find him. After Mickey and Pluto are reunited, Scrooge joins Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and the others as they sing carols at Mickey's house.

Mickey Mouse Works

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Scrooge in Around the Word in 80 Days.

Scrooge was also featured in three cartoons in the 1990s TV-series Mickey Mouse Works.

In "Around the World in 80 Days," he takes on the role of the main antagonist and challenges Mickey, who just won a fortune, to travel around the globe in only 80 days and if he fails, the fortune goes to Scrooge. Scrooge of course, cheats to win by stealing the coal from Mickey's ship. Mickey succeeds and Scrooge is foiled.

In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," he plays the role of Donald's uncle and goes to the duke, played by Ludwig Von Drake, after the woman Donald is betrothed to, Minnie, refuses to marry him. In the end, he watches Donald marry Daisy while Minnie marries Mickey.

Scrooge also appears briefly in "Mickey's Christmas Chaos," where he and the nephews were carolers as part of Mickey's over-the-top decorations.

House of Mouse

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Scrooge in his appearance on House of Mouse.

Scrooge also appears in a few House of Mouse episodes. His most notable appearance is in "House of Scrooge", where he buys the club from Pete. At first, Mickey was overjoyed with Pete's departure, but became distressed when Scrooge's new "innovations" began to kick in. Scrooge changes the entire show and even replaces Huey, Dewey and Louie with a radio. In the end, when he sees that his budget cuts have driven the audience away, Scrooge claims that he cannot stand show business anymore and takes his money back from Pete, making Pete the club's landlord again.

He also appears in "Snow Day" (where he is seen with a wheelbarrow full of "cold-hard" cash out in the snowy city streets) and "Goofy for a Day" (in the Penguin Waiters advertisement).

Cameos

Scrooge made an extremely short cameo appearance in the animated opening sequence of the 1950's television series Mickey Mouse Club. He is briefly seen popping out of the hat of The Big Bad Wolf. This is also, quite notably, his first appearance in animation, proceeding Scrooge McDuck and Money.

Scrooge was briefly seen on a billboard in the Darkwing Duck episode "Tiff of the Titans".

Disney Parks

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Scrooge posing for a photo at Tokyo Disneyland.

Scrooge is a semi-common character in the Disney Parks. His appearances in the US parks were especially common during the original run of DuckTales and The Disney Afternoon. He is now mostly seen at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, but he does show up at Walt Disney World very often during the Christmas season, even taking part in the Magic Kingdom's annual Christmas parade.

He also appeared during the Long-Lost Friends Weeks at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland alongside Ludwig Von Drake in 2013.

He also appears in the Disney's Magical Express bus videos.

A Little Tale of Christmas

In the Christmas show at Tokyo Disneyland, Scrooge is a miser who only cares about money while Mickey and Friends try to give him the spirit of Christmas.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Scrooge appears on his own float in the Magic Kingdom's annual holiday procession.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Scrooge joins Mickey and many other Disney characters as they celebrate Christmas in a Magic Kingdom party.

Mickey Mouse Revue

Scrooge appeared in this show as a member of its orchestra, playing a ukulele.

Trivia

  • 1943-43-3
    He is named after the character Ebenezer Scrooge from the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
  • Scrooge is one of the few Disney comic characters to have a confirmed year of birth: according to Don Rosa, he was born in 1867.
  • In 2002, Forbes magazine named Scrooge McDuck history's fourth richest fictional character at $8.2 billion but moved him down to sixth place in 2005. In 2006, Scrooge was moved back up to third place, with a worth of $10.9 billion, trailing only Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks and Charles Montgomery Burns. In 2007, the self-made Scottish businessman finally got on the top of the Forbes Fictional 15 with a net worth of $28.8 billion. In 2009 he landed in second place and eventually made it back to first place in 2011. In 2012, he didn't appear on the list although Flintheart Glomgold made the list at #2 that year. Scrooge made his way back to #1 in 2013.
  • Scrooge is one of five characters in the Disney company to make the Forbes Fictional 15 list, with the others being Glomgold, Warbucks, Cruella De Vil, and Tony Stark (even though Stark is a character from Marvel).
  • In 2007, Glasgow City Council added Scrooge to its list of "Famous Glaswegians", alongside the likes of Billy Connolly, Sir Alex Ferguson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
  • In 2008, The Weekly Standard parodied the bailout of the financial markets by publishing a memo where Scrooge applies to the TARP program.
  • Scrooge McDuck was the very first image to be displayed on the first Macintosh computer.
  • In the 1955 comic 'Paperino e l'uomo del West', uncle Scrooge was given a twin brother, called "Mani buche" De' Paperoni. Literally translated from Italian, his name means ' "Hands with holes" McDuck'. In contrast to Scrooge, he was shown to be a very generous person. Mani Buche was never used again after his first comic appearance.
  • Some believe that the Scottish duck seen in The Spirit of '43, a Donald Duck war cartoon from 1943, is the prototype of Scrooge McDuck. Since Carl Barks was one of the scriptwriters of the short, it is possible that he based Scrooge's design upon this character's.

Credit

  • Disney Wiki
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