Professor Ludwig Von Drake is a supporting character in the Mickey Mouse franchise. He is given the most attention and involvement of any character in the series outside of The Sensational Six.
He was first introduced on September 24, 1961, as the presenter (and singer of "The Spectrum Song") in the cartoon An Adventure in Color, part of the first episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on NBC. Said to be an uncle of Donald Duck, he was supposedly named after either Ludwig von Mises or Ludwig van Beethoven. He is described as a scientist, lecturer, psychologist, and world traveler. The character displayed his "expert" knowledge on a variety of subjects in eighteen episodes of the classic anthology series, as well as on a number of Disneyland Records.
Paul Frees was the original voice of Ludwig Von Drake. After Frees' death in 1986, Walker Edmiston and Albert Ash took over the role. Since 1988, Corey Burton has voiced the character.
Von Drake has appeared on several Disney animated cartoon series: DuckTales, Raw Toonage, Bonkers, Mickey Mouse Works, Quack Pack, Disney's House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey Mouse and in numerous television specials. In all of these, Von Drake wears a pink shirt, black tie, red vest, and a lab coat.
In House of Mouse, Von Drake appears as a recurring character. In "Ask Von Drake", Mickey tries to prove that Ludwig Von Drake doesn't know everything. At the end, Mickey convinces him that during the headcount of all the Disney characters, he forgot himself. Also, in "House of Genius", Ludwig creates robot duplicates of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto. At the end, when Ludwig brings in a robot duplicate of himself, Mickey tells the robot to send the real Ludwig packing.
The Disney studio encouraged the writers of Duck comics to introduce this new character in print, and already in September 1961, Von Drake started appearing in Al Taliaferro and Bob Karp's featured daily strips. However, aside from a solitary cameo appearance in a one page story in Uncle Scrooge #54 (December 1964), the character was not used by leading Disney duck artist Carl Barks.
In 1961, Dell Comics launched a comic book series starring Von Drake and illustrated by Tony Strobl, but it only lasted for four issues before being discontinued. The character made subsequent appearances in other comic titles such as Walt Disney's Comics and Stories and in the Donald Duck newspaper strip.
Professor Ludwig has often been used by Italian cartoonists, including in some of the long sagas inspired by famous books that they usually produce with the Duck Family, such as "La storia di Marco Polo detta Il Milione" (free translation "The Million - A Story of Marco Polo") and "Paperino in: Il mondo perduto" (free translation "Donald in: The Lost World"). As a result, he has achieved a quite significant popularity in Italy (he's known there as Pico De' Paperis).
- Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse
- (archived footage)
- Fun and Fancy Free
- (Mickey and the Beanstalk segment)
- Disneyland television series
- Quack Pack
- Mickey Mouse Works
- House of Mouse
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
- Mickey Mouse
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