The history of Daisy in animation can be traced to the appearance of her precursor Donna Duck in the cartoon short Don Donald . The short was directed by Ben Sharpsteen. The plot had Donald courting Donna somewhere in Mexico. His efforts were frustrated and Donna leaves him alone and rides away in her unicycle by the finale.
The short is important for introducing a love interest for Donald. But one should note that Donna had little in common with Daisy other than both being female ducks and sharing a temper. Donna was more or less a female version of Donald both in design and voice. Her voice was provided by Clarence Nash and was a slightly higher version of that of Donald. Donna was not intended as a recurring character and the Donald shorts of the following three years featured no female companion for him.
Daisy first appeared with her familiar name and design in Mr. Duck Steps Out (June 7, 1940). The short was directed by Jack King and scripted by Carl Barks. There, Donald visits the house of his new love interest for their first known date. At first Daisy acts shy and has her back turned to her visitor. But Donald soon notices her tailfeathers taking the form of a hand and signaling for him to come closer. But their time alone is soon interrupted by Huey, Dewey, and Louie who have followed their uncle and clearly compete with him for the attention of Daisy. Uncle and nephews take turns dancing the jitterbug with her while trying to get rid of each other. In their final effort the three younger Ducks feed their uncle maize in the process of becoming popcorn. The process is completed within Donald himself who continues to move wildly around the house while maintaining the appearance of dancing. The short ends with an impressed Daisy showering her new lover with kisses.