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Bolivar

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Bolivar the St. Bernard

GENUS PEDIGREE: Dog (St. Bernard)
KNOWN ALIASES: unknown
KNOWN RELATIVES: none
KNOWN PETS: unknown
CITIZENSHIP: Duckburg
KNOWN CONFIDANTS: Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey & Louie, Uncle $crooge
KNOWN RIVALS: unknown
PARAPHERNALIA: Small keg (attached to collar)
1st PRINT APPEARANCE: possibly: "Donald Duck" daily from March 17, 1938 (later in a series of gags from Mar. 31 - June 25, 1938, reprinted in WDC&S #8 and DD #288).
1st FILM APPEARANCE: "Alpine Climbers" (July 25, 1936).
VOICE ACTOR: N/A
SIGNATURE: unknown
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Bolivar was introduced July 25, 1936 as the big friendly dog in the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Apline Climbers," where he and Pluto rescue Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and was introduced to the Donald Duck comic-strip by Al Taliaferro in 1938 (probably first seen in a series of "gags" starting March 17 in a gag where Donald steals an apple from inside a box. Bolivar is supposed to watch out for apple-thiefs and catches Donald by sitting on the box. A series of gags wasalso featured starting on May 31, 1938 where the Nephews torment Bolivar with a seltzer bottle, next seen 6-8; 6-13; 6-17; 6-21; 6-25), and continued to be used regularly by Carl Barks as a companion for the Nephews since 1944. He has remained a member of the cast from that point on, though he has not been used in animation since. The editors of "Donald Duck" feared that the name "Bolivar" might be seen as a slur on the, then, Venezuelan patriot Simon Bolivar. Therefore his name was changed to "Bornworthy," and he became the first Junior Woodchuck mascot (a position which was later given to Pluto and then to General Snozzie as depicted in WDC&S #125 in "Donald Duck: Operation St. Bernard", reprinted in "Junior Woodchucks" #5) where Huey, Dewey and Louie try to perform a Junior Woodchucks drill rescue mission with a St. Bernard, but the St. Bernard selected Bornworthy has other ideas (this was also the Junior Woodchucks first appearance). Later writers reverted his name to Bolivar, but he was often called by one of many nicknames such as "Bolly," "Bornie" or "Bernie" in the 1950s. And of course Bolivar is still around (for example in "Donald Duck Adventures" #32 & 33 from Jan. - Feb. 1993, where he starred in a new 2-part story "Return to Bear Mountain" when the Duck Family gathers for Christmas in a sequel to $crooge's first comicbook appearance: "Christmas on Bear Mountain" from 1947). This story also features Uncle $crooge, Grandma Duck, Gus Goose, Daisy Duck, Gus & Jaq and Huey, Dewey & Louie. Writer David Gerstein has used Bolly in some recent stories, including "Rolling in Dough," which has appeared in Europe. One of Bolivar's most common uses is as background comic relief (as when he can be seen in playing checkers with Gyro Gearloose's Little Helper from Dell's 4-C #1047, Gyro Gearloose: "The Gab-Muffer"). Bolivar had a pup, Behemoth (a.k.a. "Behe"), who appeared in the Taliaferro strips for a while in the late 1940s (many of which were reprinted in early issues of "WDC&S"), and even in one Barks story, "WDC&S" #111's love letter tale from Dec. 1949 when Donald takes him for a walk). Bolivar is also a friend of Pluto's in comics as depicted in "Pluto's Camp" from "WDC&S" #178 (July 1955) where he is gathered together with Dinah the Dachshund, Fifi the Peke, and even Butch the Bulldog for an outing in the woods inspired by a dream of Pluto's. Some other stories featuring Bolivar can be found in "Donald Duck: Three Dirty Little Ducks" (WDC&S #43 from Apr. 1944); After admiring Herbert's uncleanliness Huey, Dewey, and Louie do their best to escape Donald's attempt to make them bathe. Bolivar sporadically changes loyalties; Donald Duck: "The Cantankerous Cat" (WDC&S #76 from Jan. 1947, reprinted: DD #303), Donald is still determined to go fishing in the morning after having been kept awake all night by a howling cat; "Donald Duck: Magical Misery" (WDC&S #82, reprinted: "Mickey & Donald" #8), When Donald performs as a magician for Daisy, the nephews do their all to prove him a fraud; "Donald Duck: The Dancing Dog" ( Donald Duck Adventures #5 ), Donald uses a special collar, developed by Gyro, to teach Bolivar to dance for a talent competition (for some reason, Bolivar is called "Bernie" here, as he briefly was in the 1950s); "Donald Duck: Bolivar's Job" (DDA #38), when Bolivar becomes a messenger dog, delivering mail to miners on Bear Mountain; "Donald Duck: Scooting to Success!" (WDC #532), Donald needs to get across town to apply for a job, but his car is out of commission, so he takes any mode of transportation possible.
HISTORICAL FACTS: While Bolivar failed to return to the screen, a look-alike named "Toliver" did appear in "More Kittens" (Dec. 19, 1936). Also, another St. Bernard puppy named "Ronnie" appeared in at least two Pluto featurettes: "The Purloined Pup" (1946) and "Pueblo Pluto" (1949).
LITTLE KNOWN SECRETS: unknown
WORKING THEORIES: unknown

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