Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gladstone is a lazy and infuriatingly lucky creature who never fails to upset his first cousin Donald Duck. Gladstone's luck defies probability and provides him with anything he desires, with hardly the need of effort. His philosophy in life is summarised in leaving everything to chance and taking advantage of opportunities as they come. As Disney comics writer Don Rosa has commented on the character: "Gladstone is unwilling to make the slightest effort to gain something that his luck cannot give him, and, when things go wrong, he resigns immediately, certain that around the next corner a wallet, dropped by a passer-by, will be waiting for him". For all his luck Gladstone has no achievements to be proud of and no true ambitions, as he is incapable of long-term planning. All of this is in stark contrast to his relative Scrooge McDuck, who is also capable of taking advantage of opportunities but works hard to create situations favorable for him, is strongly motivated by his ambitions and takes pride in forming his fortune by his own efforts.
Gladstone finds working for a living deplorable and has held only one job in his lifetime; so ashamed was he at being forced to work that he hid his salary (one coin) in a safe. He is a rival of Donald for the love of Donald's girlfriend Daisy Duck. Gladstone is also considered among the prime candidates for Scrooge McDuck's succession. For all of these reasons, he and Donald have formed an intense rivalry with each other. Gladstone's arrogance and outrageous luck, combined with Donald's own ego and belief he can still best him despite all odds---or as Don Rosa's version of Scrooge comments, "Donald's eternal tendency towards self-destruction"---have set the stage for many stories featuring the two cousins' confrontations.
His exact relation to the Duck Family Tree is somewhat uncertain. In Carl Barks' original version of the family tree from the 1950s, Gladstone was the son of Luke the Goose and Daphne Duck who died by overeating at a free-lunch picnic. He was later adopted by Matilda McDuck and Goosetave Gander. Later, Barks is reported to have done away with the adoption, but no stories denying the event were published. In a more recent version of the family tree created by Don Rosa, Daphne Duck married Goosetave Gander and the two were Gladstone's parents; in Rosa's stories that is the case. In Rosa's story "The Sign of the Triple Distelfink", first published on February 4, 1997, he added the fact that Gladstone was born on the day of Daphne's birthday on 1920, under the protection sign of the Triple Distelfink, and that he has inherited his mother's luck.
A number of recent Italian stories feature Gladstone's protector goddess appearing in person. In those tales, the goddess is named Fortuna, Goddess of Luck, whose equivalent in mythology is Tyche, the Goddess of Luck in Greek mythology. Fortuna appears in one noteworthy tale, "Gastone e il debole dalla Fortuna" ("Gladstone and the Struck of Luck"), by Enricco Faccini and Augusto Macchetto , first published on March 24, 1998. In this story, the Goddess takes mortal guise in order to be able to date her favorite duck, and appears to be love-struck with him.
Gladstone appeared briefly in the animated series DuckTales. The episode "A Dime Enough for Luck" featured Gladstone as an unwitting stooge for Magica De Spell in one of her attempts to steal Scrooge's Number One Dime. Probably not coincidentally, this was the thirteenth episode of DuckTales (see thirteen and numerology). His voice actor was Rob Paulsen (March 11, 1946 -), later noted for playing Pinky on the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. Otherwise, Gladstone is unknown to the world of animation, but he remains a prominent character of the Scrooge McDuck Universe and is strongly familiar to its readers.
- His profile in the Inducks
- His profile in a "Who is Who in Duckburg"
- A Rosa interview on his view of Gladstone
- His voice actor's profile in the Internet Movie Database
- A screenshot of Gladstone's animated version
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