Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Disney Nieces

Everybody knows that Donald Duck has three nephews: Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They've appeared in animated shorts, comic books, and they've even had two television series. And most Disney fans are familiar with Mickey Mouse's nephews Mortie and Ferdy, having also appeared in comic books as well as one brief screen appearance plus dozens of children's books. But a group of relatively unknown and low-key group of characters in the Disney universe are The Disney Nieces.

Yes, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck also have young relatives whose exploits are not as well known as their male counterparts. Daisy Duck is actually "Aunt Daisy" to three feisty little gals named April, May and June. According to the official Duck Family Tree, the girls are daughters of Daisy's brother Fred. They first appeared in a 1953 story "Flip Decision" featured in issue 149 of Walt Disney Comics and Stories. As with many of the early Disney characters there seems to be no organized or pre-planned history and background of the characters. An entry from the website HooZoo seems to have best captured the girls history...

April, May and June first appeared as three unnamed nieces of Daisy Duck (WDC&S #149 in the "Donald Duck" Flippism story, Feb. 1953). April was the first to be named ("Dell Giant" #35 in "The Course in Confusion,"1960), and the others were probably assigned names in the "Dell Giant: Uncle Donald and His Nephews, Family Fun" #38 (1960) where they are clearly listed on the Duck Family Tree, as well as being in attendance at Grandma Duck's ranch house. While we do not know who their parents are, it can be assumed that they are probably the daughters of a sister of Daisy Duck's, as was shown in their first appearance. Even at family gatherings their parents are not present, and Daisy usually brings them with her. Unlike the Nephews, they do not live with their Aunt Daisy, though they do visit her quite frequently. The Nephews, their cousins, have a 'love-hate' relationship with the Nieces. Sometimes the boys are fawning over them (i.e., "Dell Giant" #35 in "The Course in Confusion,"1960 or Dell 4C "Daisy Duck's Diary" #1055 in "The Double Date," 1959), while other times the girls are fawning over the boys (i.e., Dell Giant" #38 in "Clubhouse Crashers," 1960); but most times they seem to dislike each other (i.e., "Dell Giant: Donald Duck, Merry Christmas" #53 in "Tough Sledding," 1961). The girls are members of the Junior Chickadee Patrol under the brawny mistress Captain Ramrod, and are often in competition with the boys in the Junior Woodchucks. Most of their adventures concern Daisy or the Nephews, but the have had their own adventures as well (i.e., "Dell Giant: Merry Christmas" #39 in "April, May and June: The Bewitched Dolls," 1960).

The folks at Disney also recognize Millie and Melody as two nieces of Minnie Mouse. They made their first appearance in the Gold Key Comic "Mickey Mouse Album" issue 1 from 1963. The name of the story was "The Late Show." It is also considered that Millie and Melody made their only screen appearance in 1983's "Mickey's Christmas Carol" as the daughters of Bob Cratchit.

There isn't a whole lot of information about Minnie or Daisy's nieces available as they are only bit-players in the grand scheme of the Disney Universe. Perhaps if you've got some old comic books you can do a little hunting and find some tales of April, May, June, Millie and Melody.


Princess Fee said...

Thank you for the great article about the Nieces - I love April, May & June so it was brilliant to learn a little more about them...thanks!

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Great article, Ed!