Grandma Duck (first name given as Elviry or Elvira) is the grandmother of Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander, as well as the Duck family matriarch. In most stories, she is simply referred to as Grandma.
ComicsGrandma Duck was introduced to the Disney comics by Al Taliaferro in the Donald Duck newspaper comic strips. She made her very first appearance in 1940, on a portrait in Donald's house, behind which Donald hides his money from burglars.
In 1943, Grandma Duck visits Donald and the nephews in person in a series of newspaper strips and became an occasionally recurring character in the strips. Taliaferro found inspiration for her in his own mother-in-law, Donnie M. Wheaton. Grandma also got an increasingly more prominent role in other Donald Duck comics, where she could be seen living on her farm with Donald's country cousin Gus Goose as her farmhand. However, Gus is very lazy and does not work much. In some stories, especially older ones, Jaq and Gus, the two mice from Cinderella, live at Grandma Duck's farm.
Grandma is Grandpa Duck's wife and the mother of Quackmore Duck (Donald Duck's father), Daphne Duck (Gladstone Gander's mother) and Eider Duck (Fethry Duck's father). According to The Invader of Fort Duckburg, Grandma and her husband used to be nicknamed "Ma and Pa Duck".
Grandma's farm is the center of the Duck family's annual holiday gatherings, with said gatherings usually arranged by her. These are always merry and warm and interesting occasions. Grandma Duck is a great cook and is often praised for her cooking skills.
She is depicted as driving a Detroit Electric automobile. She is often shown to be very old-fashioned, refuses to acquire any modern gadgetry, and only watches weather programs on the TV.
Grandma's first name 'Elviry' (a rural pronunciation of "Elvira") was given in an untitled 1950 comic (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #121), and later used by Don Rosa in his Duck Family Tree and The Invader of Fort Duckburg. In an untitled 1953 comic by Frank McSavage and Carl Fallberg (published in Walt Disney's Christmas Parade (Dell) #5), Grandma's first name was said to be "Abigail".
In various European stories (including Marco Rota's From Egg to Duck), Grandma is said to be Scrooge McDuck's older sister. Occasionally they have also been portrayed as being cousins, another now rarely enforced tradition. According to the Donald Duck family tree Carl Barks sketched out for personal use in the 1950s, Scrooge is the brother of Elvira's daughter-in-law . For this relationship, there is no word in the English language.
Grandma Duck's parents made a brief appearance in Grandma's flashback in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #161 (1954). In Don Rosa's 1993 Duck Family Tree, her parents' names are given as Clinton Coot and Gertrude Gadwall, while her grandfather was said to be Cornelius Coot, the founder of Duckburg (introduced by Carl Barks in Statuesque Spendthrifts, first published in 1952's Walt Disney's comics and Stories #138). She was also given a brother called Casey Coot on this tree.
Appearances in animation
Grandma made her animated debut in the 1960 Wonderful World of Color episode "This is Your Life, Donald Duck", where she was voiced by June Foray. The episode depicted her great difficulty in raising Donald, a strong-willed and ill-tempered duckling from the moment he was hatched. She also made a non-speaking cameo as a guest at Fezzwig's party in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), and a speaking cameo (voiced by Russi Taylor) in Sport Goofy in Soccermania (1987), reading the newspaper in her rocking chair. In the DuckTales episode "Horse Scents" (1987), Grandma can be seen very briefly among the spectators of the horse race. Finally, she was mentioned in the Quack Pack episode "Can't Take a Yolk" (1996). When the nephews discover that the formula will keep their uncle getting younger until he hatches back into the egg, Huey says: "Better call Grandma. She's in for a big surprise..."
Appearances in video games
Grandma Duck had a minor appearance in Donald Duck no Mahō no Bōshi, in which her pet bird, Pippi, has escaped and was consequently captured by Pete. She offers to pay Donald to sneak into Pete's house to retrieve the bird, as one of the optional jobs Donald may take during the first portion of the game, and explains the controls for deactivating noisy objects so that Donald does not attract the attention of Pete's watchdog, Butch.
Grandma Duck's farm was the inspiration for a children's petting farm as part of Mickey's Starland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, where Minnie Moo, a cow with a Mickey Mouse-shaped marking, was featured. Grandma also joined Donald at Donald's 50th Birthday Parade in 1984, one of Grandma's rare Disney Park appearances.
- In the 1987 Disney version of the board game Trivial Pursuit, she was featured in the question: "Is Scrooge McDuck the son of Grandma Duck?" (the correct answer being no).