Donner is one of Santa Claus's reindeer, originally named in the poem The Night Before Christmas (though in the original text, his name was spelled Donder). Donner's name is also the German word for 'Thunder', and in ancient pagan times, the similarly-derived 'Donar' was the name in German lands for the Aesir deity Thor.
In the following specials, Donner makes a prominent appearance in the story and/or has a speaking part.
|Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer||Paul Kligman||1964||Donner plays a prominent role in this Rankin/Bass special, in which he is Santa's lead reindeer and also the title character's father. While teaching Rudolph the art of being Santa's reindeer and surviving in the world, Donner finds his son's glowing nose a shock and attempts to disguise it by covering it with a fake nose made of dirt. When this ultimately fails, Donner receives some harsh scolding from Santa and is disappointed in his son. After Rudolph runs away, Donner becomes worried and goes looking for him, eventually being joined by his wife and Rudolph's girlfriend, Clarice. They eventually get captured by The Abominable Snowmonster of the North, but Rudolph comes to their rescue. Later, after Santa asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh on Christmas Eve, Donner expresses how proud he is of his son.|
|Rudolph's Shiny New Year||1976||As this is a sequel to the 1964 Rankin/Bass special, this version of Donner is the same version from that special. He makes a brief cameo in Rudolph's flashback. In the flashback, Donner has dark brown fur rather than the light brown fur he had in the first special.|
|Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July||1979||As this is a sequel to the 1964 Rankin/Bass special, this version of Donner is the same version from that special. He briefly appears in the flashback to Rudolph's birth at the beginning of the film.|
|Santa Claus: The Movie||1985|
|Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie||Matt Hill||1998||Unlike the 1964 film, Donner is not Rudolph's father; instead it is Blitzen.|
|Robbie the Reindeer series|| Jane Horrocks (original UK version)
Britney Spears (US redub)
|1999, 2002, 2007||In this trilogy, Donner is a female reindeer who serves as the second love interest (first love interest being Vixen), girlfriend and later wife of Rudolph's son Robbie. Unlike the other members of the Sleigh Team, she doesn't pull the sleigh instead she serves as support crew and doing things such as physio, cooking and washing up for the reindeer. In the third film, Close Encounters of the Herd Kind, it is revealed that she has a sister named Emmy who works for a secret government agency that monitors alien activity on Earth.|
|Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys||2001||As this is a sequel to the 1964 Rankin/Bass special, this version of Donner is the same version from that special. But unlike the first film, Donner's role is only minor and he has a slightly different appearance.|
|Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas||Jeff Bennett||2004|
|The Flight Before Christmas||Michael Iwannek||2008|
|Back at the Barnyard: "It's an Udderful Life"||John DiMaggio||2009||Alongside Blitzen, Donner is a college friend of Otis's.|
|Doctor Who: "Last Christmas"||2014||Donner along with Rudolph and Blitzen appear in this Christmas special.|
In the following specials, Donner is named onscreen, but is indistinguishable from other reindeer.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948)
- Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970)
- A Christmas Story (1972)
- A Flintstone Christmas (1977)
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! (2009)
- Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011)
|Santa's team|| Dasher • Dancer • Prancer • Vixen • Comet • Cupid • Donner • Blitzen • Rudolph|
|Others||Arrow • Chet • Clarice • Fireball • Frost • Holly • Lightning • Mrs. Donner • Oona • Scratcher • Thrasher • Zoey|