Trail of the Unicorn is a comic story written and drawn by Carl Barks. It features Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, and, in their debuts, a Gnoof, Unie the Unicorn and the fictional Mustapha Handout.
Upset that it appears to be the only animal still missing in his Zoo, Scrooge McDuck sends Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck and Gladstone Gander to Shangri-Lala in the Himalayas, to bring him back what his sources tell him is the last known living Unicorn!
- Unicorns can only feed on a certain type of Himalayan moss. They possess enormous physical strength.
- The Ducks travel to Shangri-Lala, in the Indian Himalayas.
- McDuck Zoo is believed by its owner Scrooge McDuck to contain at least one of every species of animals in the world.
- Donald Duck compares Unicorns to Fauns and Satyrs, calling all three figments of the imagination. He describes and mimicks Fauns and Satyrs as humanoids who hop about going BAA! BAA! with a malicious gleam in their eyes.
- The Trail of the Unicorn (1951), serialized in the British Mickey Mouse Weekly, was a redrawn retelling of the events of Trail of the Unicorn.
- Though neither is a straight-up sequel, Carl Barks's own The Billion Dollar Safari (1964) and Jack Bradbury's The Flying Horse (1953) are not without ties to this story, sharing the setting of McDuck Zoo and the plot device of Scrooge sending his nephews for a new mythical beast to draw in numbers to the Zoo.
- Don Rosa's The Crocodile Collector (1988) and Escape from Forbidden Valley (1999) also borrow the same scheme while explicitly referencing the events of Trail, down to Unie the Unicorn having cameos in both stories. Rightful Owners (2011) also featured a cameo by Unie inside McDuck Zoo.
- François Corteggiani and Santiago Barreira's Return to Shangri-Lala (2008) is a direct sequel to Trail, focusing on an attempt to find a female Unicorn for Unie to breed with so as to save the species, and ending with the escape of Unie back into the wild.
- Trial of the Unicorn (2019) is also a straight-up sequel to Trail, with numerous callbacks to events of the story (such as the capture of the the Unicorn and Gladstone Gander's disguise as Mustapha Handout, the latter act depicted as much more significant than in the original).
Behind the scenesEdit
Written in 1949, this story was first printed in February of 1950 in Four Color Comics #263. It was reprinted in Donald Duck #252, Walt Disney's Vacation Parade #5, and, of course, in the various versions of the Carl Barks Library. It was also printed in English in the Australian One Shot #18, Donald Duck #16 and #179.