No doubt you're familiar with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and their posse of pen-and-ink pals. They all have incredibly complicated (and sometimes contradicting) backstories involving rarely seen relations who pop up when it's convenient to a comic strip plot. Here are 10 little-known Disney characters you're probably never going to find signing autographs at a theme park.
1. Dumbella Duck. According to a 1938 Donald Duck cartoon called "Donald's Nephews," Donald has a sister named Dumbella. She's the mother of Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Later cartoons refer to her as "Della" instead. More P.C., perhaps?
2. Marcus Mouse. Should Mickey ever get over his fear of commitment, he may want to start by talking to Marcus Mouse, Minnie's dad. He appeared in one comic strip called "Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers" and was depicted as a farmer. Minnie's mom was also there, but she wasn't given a name.
3. Pluto Jr. Scandal!! Pluto has a son whose mother remains unnamed. He was never seen or heard from again after the 1942 cartoon "Pluto, Junior." It's too bad, actually. P.J. is pretty cute.
4. Amelia Fieldmouse. For obvious reasons, it's easier to give the main Disney characters nieces and nephews rather than sons and daughters. But even nieces and nephews have to come from somewhere. Enter Amelia Fieldmouse, the rarely-seen mother of Mickey's two rambunctious nephews Morty and Ferdie.
5. Penny or 'Glory-Bee' Goof. Goofy is one of the rare main characters that has a son. His name is Max and he's found quite the following from starring in the TV series Goof Troop and a couple of subsequent movies. Max came from somewhere, obviously — we assume it's from Goofy's wife from the much earlier days of Disney when he was still referred to as "Mr. Geef." We never see her face, though.
6. Madeline Mouse. She's Mickey's city-slicker cousin, reflected, I suppose, by her hat and lipstick. You can see a very small picture of her on Mickey's unofficial family tree. Madeline only appeared in the plot line of the comic strip for a few months in 1941.
7. Trudy Van Tubb. Peg-Leg Pete has been one of Mickey's greatest antagonists since 1928, but even Pete fans would be hard-pressed to find much information about his wife, Trudy. Unless you're Italian, that is. Created for the Italian Disney comics, Trudy has been part of Pete's crimes against Mickey since the world's favorite mouse was a baby — one comic strip the pair was featured in showed them kidnapping baby Mickey from his crib. In Goof Troop, Pete has apparently moved on to a wife named Peg; together, the couple has two kids named P.J. (Pete Junior, of course) and Pistol.
8. Humphrey the Bear. Humphrey was once popular enough to have his own series of cartoons. He lived in Brownstone National Park and was always trying to steal food from tourists. Sound familiar? That's because Hanna-Barbera's Yogi was based on Humphrey. Though Humphrey was a pretty short-lived character, Disney artists seem to have a soft spot for him and often sneak him into other projects such as Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He's even a mascot for the Wilderness Lodge Resort at Walt Disney World.
9. K.B. Not only does Pluto have a son, he has a kid brother no one likes to talk about as well. K.B. only appeared in the 1946 animated short "Pluto's Kid Brother."
10. Donna Duck. Before Daisy entered the picture in 1940, Donald's love interest was a duck who was basically Donald with a hair bow. Don and Donna were even both voiced by Clarence Nash.
More from Mental Floss...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Pope Francis' American problem
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
- This week I learned your coin toss odds are better than you think, and more
- Cuba should beware of Westerners bearing gifts
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
Subscribe to the Week