Donald's Nephews(IMDb link) (directed by Jack King) with the same theme, but due to the longer production time it didn't premiere until 1938. In the daily strip the boys first stayed with Donald only for a while, but later they returned for good.
In their premiere Sunday page Donald gets a letter with the following text:
Dear Donald:Supposedly this cousin Della is the boys' mother, but it's not made explicit. (The name Della may have come from Al Taliaferro's aunt Della.) In the cartoon the letter (addressed to mr. Donald Duck, Hollywood, Calif) instead said:
I am sending your angel nephews Louie, Huey and Dewey, to stay with you while their father is in the hospital. A giant firecracker exploded under his chair. The little darlings are so playful. I hope you enjoy them.
Dear Brother ---Supposedly this sister Dumbella is the boys' mother, even if it never really says so this time either.
I am sending
your angel nephews
to visit you ---
In the fifties Carl Barks made a
Duck Family Tree
for his own reference, and there he calls HD&L's mother
and she is a sister to Donald. This Thelma has never been used in a
story though, and in Don Rosa's revised version of the family tree her
name is Della instead and she is Donald's twin sister. The poor
father of the boys has never had a name anywhere.
The short answer is that Huey wears red, Dewey blue, and Louie green, but that this has not always been the case.
In the old cartoons HD&L wore different colours in different cartoons, and sometimes two or all three of them wore the same colour, very often red. In their very first cartoon Huey wore a green shirt and cap, Dewey orange and Louie red.
So this red-blue-green thing was invented in the comics, where their shirts are black but their caps have different colours. Earlier the colourists weren't consistent about it though, so not only do they wear different colours in different stories, but also they seem to switch caps between panels!
[Hm, I skipped over the Sunday pages. What about the colouring of them?]
The current official colour scheme was first used in the modern TV animation, i.e., in DuckTales, and later adopted by Gladstone and Disney Comics most of the time.
But at least Pat Block lets the boys have different personalities. Huey is particularly brave and thoughtful, while Louie is most impulsive and reckless.
Here are the known instances of that. The first two stories are maybe not true appearances of Fooey. They show four Junior Woodchucks ducklings in the same panel, but maybe the fourth one is just some other Junior Woodchuck who happens to look a lot like Huey, Dewey and Louie. The rest of the stories listed are much better examples.
Medaling Aroundby Barks, page 10, panel 6.
Beach Boyby Barks, page 3, panel 7, and page 5, panel 8.
Mastering the Matterhornby Barks, page 6, panel 5. (One nephew is seen in close view while three are seen far away in the background.)
The Phantom Lighthouse, page 9, panel 4 (picture).
On the letter page in Uncle Scrooge #246 was a comment
about the fourth nephew seen in
The Phantom Lighthouse in the
previous issue, and he was called Fooey. (The editor was
Bob Foster, and presumably this name
was his invention.)
At least on the Disney comics mailing list
this name has stuck, but mostly the alternate spelling
In Comics Buyer's Guide some issue in April 1996 [#?]
there was an article by the Carl Barks Studio that claimed that
artists/editors/writers had named the surplus nephew
as a tribute to Carl Barks.
Bill Grandey had gotten that information from Lena Balleby, vice
president of information for Egmont.
When these errors have been noticed by the editors it has been too late too do anything about it, even though when they have noticed it long before the books were published. When one of these stories was published in Norway the Norwegian editor notified the press beforehand and they allowed readers to name the fourth nephew.
In Denmark a popular TV show had a phone-vote where viewers named
the fourth nephew
Huey, Dewey, Louie are
Rap, Rup, and
Fup means fake/phoney.)
Rupu has been used as a Finnish name, rhyming with
Tupu, Lupu, and having the same [?] meaning.
Find the names in other languages for: Huey Dewey and Louie
[Characters] [The Inducks] [DCML home]