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Our Top 5 List of Famous Donkeys

Horses get all the press, but donkeys (both real and fictional) have been entertaining us in film, literature, and even music for a century. At Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA, we provide a safe sanctuary for donkeys on a beautiful farm in the Wine Country. Phil Selway and Ron King have created an oasis for donkeys by providing them with good food, clean water, shelter, a wide range of health services and most importantly— LOVE.

Here is our list of the Top 5 Famous Donkeys in the history of donkey hood. We took a straw poll by asking all of our donkeys and that’s how we assembled this list. 1.) Eeyore: Winnie the Pooh’s friend Eeyore is probably the most famous donkey of all. He is a stuffed toy donkey that was once owned and loved by author A.A. Milne’s young son, Christopher Robin. He and Christopher Robin’s other stuffed toys star in two immensely popular children’s books, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), The House at Pooh Corner (1928) and several full-length Disney cartoons. He now resides with his friends Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Kanga in a controlled-climate showcase in the Central Children’s Room at the Donnell Branch of the New York Public Library, where he is viewed by more than 750,000 people every year. 2.) The Shrek Donkey: Donkey is one of the main characters of the Shrek franchise and in many of the films, he steals the show. He was created by William Steig and adapted by DreamWorks Animation for the Shrek franchise, and voiced by Eddie Murphy. Donkey is extremely talkative and loves to dance, enjoys singing, and an endless supply of idle chatter. 3.) Nestor: The Story of the Birth of Christ isn’t complete without mentioning Nestor, the iconic little gray donkey who carries Mary to Bethlehem in the favorite long-running Christmastime TV special. It’s a 1977 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions and the story is based on the 1975 song of the same name, written by Gene Autry, Don Pfrimmer and Dave Burgess. Santa Claus' donkey, Spieltoe, narrates the story of a donkey named Nestor with abnormally long ears, who lived in the days of the Roman Empire. Every animal in the stable ridicules Nestor because of his ears. One day the animals in the stable are celebrating the winter solstice. Nestor's mother gives socks to Nestor to cover his ears. 4.) El Rucio: Also known as Dapple, El Rucio was Sancho Panza’s donkey in the classic book Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. He helped Quixote as he took on windmills and raced through the hills of Spain like a crazy man. Sancho Panza’s donkey is not given a name either in the Spanish editions or in Edith Grossman’s English translation, but the name “Dapple” appears in many English translations of the novel. 5.) Baba Looey: Known was Quickdraw’s Mexican burro sidekick in the 1960s-era cartoon series, Quickdraw McGraw, kids who are now senior citizens grew up on this donkey created He is the deputy and best friend to Sheriff Quick Draw McGraw. He speaks English with a Mexican accent. He was originally voiced by Daws Butler and is currently voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, a Bay Area standup comedian. Here are some other famous donkeys that didn’t make our top five list: Brighty was a real-life donkey and the sweet title character in Marguerite Henry’s children’s book, Brighty of the Grand Canyon (Simon & Shuster Children’s Publishing, 1991). Edward (Edouard) is the charming donkey protagonist of French children’s author Philipe Dumas’s The Story of Edward (Macmillan Publishing Co., 1977). This is one of Mom’s all-time favorite children’s books. If you can find it, read it. You’ll love it! Dickey, Jacquot, Tewfik, Florence and Jenny were some of Queen Victoria’s donkeys. Queen Victoria loved donkeys all her life. Her first donkey, Dickey, was given to her by her uncle when she was a little girl. In her old age, donkeys pulled her carriage. Her favorite was Jacquot, a donkey she saw pulling a peasant’s cart in the French Riviera. She haggled with the peasant herself and bought Jacquot for 200 francs. He served her many years. Robert Lewis Stevens’ long-eared companion in Travels in the Cevennes with a Donkey was Modestine. Number 7 was Mad Jack’s donkey in the 1970s-era television program, Grizzly Adams. Puzzle is a character in C.S. Lewis’ book The Chronicles of Narnia. Fanny is the donkey who modeled for Big Ass Fans’ logo. Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey is the star of Lou Monte’s 1960s-era novelty record. It’s still a Christmas favorite in many Italian-American households.

About Oscars Place Adoption Center & Animal Sanctuary Oscar’s Place | The Selway Family Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of donkeys abused or abandoned. When an animal suffers because humans are unkind, Oscar’s Place steps in. While we’re just a team of everyday individuals, we deeply care for and are committed to providing a safe haven for farm animals in need. Sources:, Reddit and Wikipedia

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1 Comment

Ed Attanasio
Ed Attanasio
Sep 09, 2021

Eeyore deserves to be in the top spot.

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