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Gamer Tuesday!

By Pedro "Pap" Hernandez


March 19, 2019  (originally published November 8, 2011)

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Donald Duck

Developed by: Kemco

System: Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System

Licensing in the video game world can be kind of tricky. Sometimes, the owner of the license will give the developer enough freedom to create a game based on it. But in other occasions, the owner will be very strict and supervise the creation of the game so it meets expectations. In the worst case scenario, the game developer loses the rights to the license, forcing them to re-think the original game concept. Such is the case with today's game: Donald Duck.

Developed by Kemco and released for the Nintendo Family Computer in Japan, Donald Duck is a mini-game collection title based on various Olympic/Field Day events. Playing as Donald and competing with Daisy Duck, players take on events such as the sack race, a pizza stacking game, and a wall jumping competition. Huey, Louie, and Dewey also join in the fun as helpers during the events.

Donald Duck is a very simple game: perhaps a little too simple. With no real storyline besides the 'Donald goes to Italy and plays on different sporting events' concept and a limited amount of mini-games, it comes as no surprise that the game has remained so obscure for so many years. I didn't even hear of the game until I was looking up info on classic Disney games.

But it turns out that I HAD played the game before, just under a different title and franchise. This is where the tricky concepts of licensing come into play. Kemco was hoping to bring Donald Duck to North America as a Nintendo Entertainment System title. Apparently, in the process of renewing the game's license, Kemco lost the rights to Donald Duck.

Another explanation as to why the game was changed during the localization is that at the time, Capcom had the exclusive rights to the Disney name, and they were in the process of releasing many Disney games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. So in order to release the game here, they had two options: either re-invent the game as a new franchise, or acquire a new license to headline the game. Kemco chose the latter.

Instead of playing as Disney's Donald Duck and friends, North American players saw the Peanuts gang grace the cover of the game. Donald Duck was now known as Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular. Donald was replaced with Snoopy, Daisy was now Snoopy's brother, and Woodstock was the friendly helping hand. The mini-games and the overall game's concept remained the same as in the original Japanese release. It just had a change in franchise.


As you can see, a game's journey of localization and licensing is one filled with many hurdles to overcome. Kemco's Donald Duck started out as a bonafide Disney game, but many circumstances prevented it from being seen by the entire world as a Disney game. Now, it is a game many remember for being a quirky Peanuts/Snoopy effort.

Past Gamer Tuesday

Animated film based games
Aladdin (SEGA)
Alice in Wonderland
Alice's Paint Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Board Game

Beauty and the Beast - two games
Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Computer Game 
A Bug's Life
Cars: The Video Game

Cars Game Reviews
Cinderella's Midnight Dash
Disney Friends
Disney Friends - The Friends of Disney Friends
Finding Nemo Games

Jungle Book, The
Lion King, The
The Little Mermaid
Little Mermaid II: Pinball Frenzy

Tangled, the Video Game
Tigger's Honey Hunt
Toy Story

Live Action film based games
102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Disney's A Christmas Carol
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Muppets Cruise Party

My Muppets Show
Prince of Persia
Roger Rabbit

Mickey and Friends
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD Remake
Disney Golf
Disney Magicboard Online
Disney Sports Soccer

Disney Super Speedway
Donald Duck
Donald Duck: Goin' Quakers
Epic Mickey
Epic Mickey 2: Power of 2

Goofy's Hysterical History Tour
Lucky Dime Caper, The
Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
Magical Tetris Challenge
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mousecapade
Mickey Mouse Magic Wands
Mickey's 123's: The Big Surprise Party
Mickey's Dangerous Chase
Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland

Mickey's Speedway USA
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Where's My Mickey?

The Kingdom Hearts Retrospective
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Part 11
Part 12

Fun Finds
Diddy Kong Racing
Rayman 3
Sonic Colors

101  Dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts
2013 recap
Some of the Bravest Disney Characters
Carousel of Gaming Progress
Christmas list
The D Show
Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves

Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix
Darkwing Duck: Remastered
Disney DVD games
Disney Fighting Game that was never made
Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity: Frozen
Disney Infinity: Holiday Guide
Disney Infinity: Play Set Wish List
Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life

Disney Princess
Disney Villains Revenge
Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure
Disney's Game and Watch
Disney's Sing It Family Hits

Disney's Th!nk Fast
Easter Egg in Kinect Disneyland Adventure
Epcot's Innoventions
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Future of Star Wars Gaming and LucasArts

Game Guide for 2012
Guilty Party
Hidden Levels of Mickey's Speedway USA
How the Pap saved Christmas
Just Dance Disney Party

Kingdom Hearts III announcement
Kingdom Hearts III Dream Summons Predictions
Kingdom Hearts III prediction
Kingdom Hearts III live action predictions
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Lady and the Tramp appearance
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Love Scenes in Video Games

Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade Game)
Mickey Mouse games released during Presidential terms
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena Introduction
Nightmare Before Christmas Appearances
Pico Games

Pop Century's History of Video Games
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Fighting Game from Runaway Brain
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Steamboat Willie through the years
Summer Games

Tiger Handheld Games
Video Game References found within the parks
Where's My Water?
Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Wreck-It-Ralph Trailer Analysis
Wreck-It Ralph Trailer Analysis Part 2

Wreck-It Ralph Meet and Greet queue
Wreck-It Ralph's appearance in All-Stars Racing Transformed

Park themed games
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom clarification
Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea
Disneyland Explorer

Disney Fireworks
Disney TokyoSea snack appearance
Finding Fantasyland
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Magic Kingdom Board Game

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Tortuga Tavern
Toontown Online
Toy Story Mania!
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour - Looking back after a year

Pap's Picks
E3 Highlights
The Marvel Connection
Top 5 Weird Games
Top Marvel and Disney super hero games

Television Based Games
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers
Darkwing Duck

DuckTales: Remastered
Goof Troop

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