Donald first appeared in the Silly Symphonies cartoon The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934. However, his personality was not developed at that point.
Bert Gillett, director of The Wise Little Hen, brought Donald into Mickey Mouse cartoons, starting with The Orphan's Benefit on August 11, 1934.
Donald continued to be a hit with audiences. The character began appearing in most Mickey Mouse cartoons as a regular member of the ensemble with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. Cartoons from this period, such as the 1935 cartoon The Band Concert — in which Donald repeatedly disrupts the Mickey Mouse Orchestra's rendition of The William Tell Overture by playing Turkey in the Straw — are regularly hailed by critics as exemplary films and classics of animation. Animator Ben Sharpsteen also minted the classic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy comedy in 1935, with the cartoon Mickey's Service Station.
Donald was redesigned in 1936 to be a bit fuller, rounder, and cuter. He also began starring in solo cartoons, the first of which was the January 9, 1937 Ben Sharpsteen cartoon, Don Donald. This short also introduced Donald having a love interest, namely Donna Duck. In 1940, in the short Mr. Duck Steps Out Donald's official female counterpart, Daisy Duck first appears.