- “After all, adventure is the mother of industry!”
- ―Scrooge McDuck[src]
Scrooge McDuck, or Uncle Scrooge, is a Glaswegian duck created by Carl Barks. He is Donald Duck's rich 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 world only to become one of the most popular and recognizable Disney characters.
Scrooge is currently voiced by Alan Young.
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 has been 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.
Scrooge had 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 whom had gone to Scotland in search of a bride. Touring 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 ditchdigger 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" has been considered to be the source of his good fortune, but Scrooge has privately confided to Donald and the nephews that the dime's "great luck" may only be a superstition. 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 5 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. His most famous prized possession is his Number One Dime. 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. Barks himself has said that the fortune is five billion quintiplitilion unptuplatillion multuplatillion impossibidillion fantasticatrillion dollars. Whatever the amount, Scrooge never considers it enough: he has to continue to earn money by any honest means possible.
Scrooge, maternal uncle of previously established character Donald Duck, made his first named appearance in Christmas 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!"
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."
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 reads the Arabic alphabet.
The latter theme would be developed further in later stories. Barks and current Scrooge writer 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 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: 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 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 boys 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 Duck," when attempting to use a scooter from his nephews, he accidentially 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.
Scrooge made an extremely short cameo appearance in the animated opening sequence of the 1950s television series. He is briefly seen popping out of the hat of The Big Bad Wolf.
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.
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.
Scrooge appears as a main character in the television special Sport Goofy in Soccermania. Scrooge accidentally gives Huey, Dewey and Louie a valuable trophy. Huey, Dewey and Louie sell it to be a prize for a soccer game. 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.
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.
This Christmas holiday, Scrooge is the host at his mansion and invited 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 past, as he never got what he always wanted because he always ended up on the naughty list.
The boys travel to the North Pole to write their names on the list themselves after realizing how bad they were 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 said to be opened right away - ear plugs for Scrooge's poor bagpipe-playing.
Later on, when Pluto goes missing, Scrooge purchased 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.
Scrooge was featured in two cartoons in this series. 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. 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 he 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 and part of Mickey's over-the-top decorations.
Scrooge appears in a few episodes of this series.
His most notable appearance is in "House of Scrooge", where Scrooge 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 in exchange for the club.
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In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Scrooge rewards Ventus for saving him from Unversed by giving him three life-time passes to Disney Town, telling him to give two to "grown-ups". He also speaks with Aqua briefly and sells Lea and Isa sea-salt ice cream.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Scrooge lives in Hollow Bastion with his three great-nephews, Louie, Dewey and Huey. He is still selling sea-salt ice cream and finally has success towards the end of the game. He also offers a skateboard mini-game. The end credits show him reunite with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, his nephews and Chip and Dale.
He made his appearance in Toontown Online when visiting his employee Gyro Gearloose. Inside Gyro's lab, Scrooge finds an inactive "Cog" with a sign saying "Do Not Touch!". As cheap as he can be, he still activated the "Cog" thinking it would be a big "help" to Toontown and to earn money. However, this started an endless-production of Cogs, from The Big Cheese to Pencil Pushers and Robber Barons. Scrooge regrets activating the "Cog". The "Cog" produced many Cogs, which made the machine malfunction and caused the production to speed up. Nervous Scrooge watched in horror, while the Cogs fly away from the "Cog's" orders. The "Cog" comes up to Scrooge, and the screen fades away. Scrooge's current location is unknown.
Other video games
Outside of the above mentioned games, Scrooge's other video game appearances include starring in the three DuckTales video games (DuckTales, DuckTales 2, and DuckTales: The Quest for Gold). He is also a secret playable character in the 2008 quiz game, Disney TH!NK Fast. Scrooge is also featured in some of the Disney Sports games as well as being a theme park tycoon in Disney's Party.
Scrooge also appeared in Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. He was captured by the witch Mizrabel in an attempt to drain him of his paint until Mickey rescues him. Afterwards, he serves as the game's shopkeeper to give Mickey items and power-ups. In addition, Mickey can also summon Scrooge for assistance, and he will attack enemies, using his cane as a pogo stick like in the DuckTales NES games. He also asks that Mickey call him Uncle Scrooge, considering him an honorary nephew as Donald's best friend.
Scrooge makes a cameo appearance in Disney INFINITY. In the 3DS version; when he appears on the board, he will say this board needs to be more classy. So, he hides on a space and moves each turn until a player or the CPU lands on it and it gets a lot of coins.
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 with Ludwig Von Drake at Disneyland in 2013 .
He also appears in the Disney's Magical Express bus videos.
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.
Scrooge appears on his own float in the Magic Kingdom's annual holiday procession.
Scrooge joins Mickey and many other Disney characters as they celebrate Christmas in a Magic Kingdom party.
Scrooge appeared in this show as a member of its orchestra, playing a ukulele.
- 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 but 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).
- Also 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.
- Scrooge McDuck also has starred in a video game based on DuckTales,where he is the main playable character.
- 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.
- Scrooge McDuck is based on the main character of A Christmas Carol (book and movie), Ebenezer Scrooge.
- Scrooge McDuck on Wikipedia
- Scrooge McDuck at the INDUCKS
- An index of historical figures appearing in Scrooge McDuck stories
- Who's who in Duckburg: profiles of Scrooge McDuck and the Billionaires Club
- Disney's HooZoo - Scrooge McDuck
- The Loves of Scrooge McDuck, as they have appeared in comics by various artists
- Scrooge McDuck at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Scale model of Scrooge McDuck's Money Bin
- Virtual tour in Scrooge's Money Bin
Heroes and Allies: Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Launchpad McQuack | Webby Vanderquack | Betina Beakley | Duckworth | Gyro Gearloose | Doofus Drake | Fenton Crackshell | Donald Duck | Bubba the Cave Duck | Tootsie the Triceratops | Gene the Genie | Glittering Goldie | Admiral Grimmitz | Duchess of Swansylvania
Villains: Beagle Boys (Big Time, Burger, Bouncer, Baggy, Bankjob, Bugle, and Babyface) | Ma Beagle | Flintheart Glomgold | Magica De Spell | Poe De Spell | El Capitan | Merlock the Magician | Dijon | Cinnamon Teal | Dracula Duck
Organizations: Junior Woodchucks