This doubles as both awesome and heartwarming. In Knight in Shining Armor, Donald gets invited to a Suppressed Desire Party where you dress as the type of person you've always wanted to be. So, Donald dresses up as a knight. His nephews don't think it's such a good idea and everyone makes fun of him once he arrives at the party. But when a lion tamer accidentally releases his lions into the crowd at the party, Donald in his armor is the only one able to beat them back into their cage. Needless to say, no one laughs at him anymore and even praise his courage. His nephews even offer to carry his rubber sword and shield on the way home.
This page in The Olympic Hopeful. The entire comic is basically just everybody laughing at Donald Duck's incredible lack of physical fitness while the real athletes all get disqualified for one reason or another, but because of his determination to try, Donald goes through all the tryouts despite wheezing and suffering a concussion. And then it culminates in the last page where his nephews help him finish the last tryout and even pushes him forward so that he could actually break the finish tape. And then they give him a medal. It's just...so cute...
"Super Snooper Strikes Again". Huey, Dewey and Louie's love for Super Snooper comics isn't approved by their uncle, who would prefer them reading stuff with more plot and character, so he concludes that their superhero stories are "the pits". Annoyed, one of them cracks that Donald isn't any better, being an overage messenger boy. Donald gets a lump in his throat, and leaves the scene in complete silence. Depressed because he thinks his nephews may be right, he ends up finding a drink that grants him superpowers. He rushes to show the kids and regain their respect, but they don't believe him when he tries to prove it to them. They think he's just gone crazy. Towards the end the super-powers wear off, before his nephews ever get to see him in action, and Donald still thinks his nephews see him as a failure...But when they're alone, the boys comment on how Donald is their true hero, how none of their comic book heroes could ever measure up to someone who took in his three nephews and does whatever he can to support them in life.
I'd say Unca Donald is a pretty super kinda guy!
Yeah! "Super Snooper" may be the mightiest mortal to ever trod the soil...But he's no Donald Duck!
"Dream of a Lifetime." Donald travels through his Uncle Scrooge's dreams to thwart the Beagle Boys from making Scrooge tell them the combination to his money vault. But, Donald almost forgets his mission to spend a few precious moments with his mother! It's absolutely heart-wrenching and touching that the only time Donald is shown to have direct contact with his mother is in someone else's dream and she was a toddler and didn't recognize him. This is especially a Tear Jerker given the known fact that Donald's parents and sister all inexplicably disappeared from his life in reality. Despite that, Donald cries out "MA!" in joy and desperately hugs her all the while calling the meeting a miracle and asking her to say something to him. To which she says, "glxblt" right before Donald's kicked out by Scrooge's dad for "acting peculiar with Hortense."
Goofy's musical tribute to Donald in "Gone Goofy". It must be heard to be believed. Donald's expression actually made this troper cry.
In the same episode is the short "Donald's Goofy World", where Donald has a nightmare of everyone (including himself) becoming Goofy. At the end, he wakes up and he lashes out at the real Goofy. Then when Goofy walks away sadly, Donald runs up to him and says "At least there's only one of you."
The very first episode of Ducktales, "Don't Give Up the Ship" is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. Donald leaves for the Navy and leaves his three nephews in the care of his Uncle Scrooge. But before he goes, he gives them a little farewell speech. When Scrooge shows up and tries to dissuade Donald, Donald says that he's already enlisted and wants to see the world. Then he tells him to take care of his nephews and that he chose Scrooge to take care of them because he's the only one he trusts his nephews with. Throughout the first half of the episode, the kids misbehave and Scrooge just ignores or scolds them, at one point questioning Donald's parenting skills. Needless to say, the kids got pretty defensive of their Unca Donald. After they overhear Scrooge tell his butler how troublesome they are, they even run away from home, hoping to go back to Donald. This whole series, especially the episodes with Donald proved that although Donald and his nephews drive each other crazy sometimes, they truly love each other!
This isn't from any particular show, but it deserves mention anyway. This clip from Donald Duck's 50th anniversary special, in which Donald is the guest of honor at an extravagant parade, really makes you feel happy for him. It probably doubles as a Tear Jerker of the happy variety, as the song brings a tear to this troper's eye.
Heck, the whole special is one of the single most heartwarming things done for Donald considering how he always feel like no one really appreciates him. Most of it is available on youtube but this troper would kill to get her hands on a copy of the entire thing.
That same anniversary gave us this fantastic birthday song for the Duck. Catchy as hell and just as warm! Three whole minutes with nothing but "We love you, Donald Duck, thanks for these wonderful fifty years!"
The Disneyland special episode "This Is Your Life, Donald Duck!" is all about looking back at the important events in Donald's life and celebrating him as the guest of honor. We meet his grandma for the first time ever in animation as his grandma and not a cameo and their reunion is so touching! Even Chip and Dale and Pete are nice to him! All the Disney characters who were around at the time sing "Quack, Quack, Quack, Donald Duck" and "Jolly Good Fellow" including: Capt. Hook, the Seven Dwarfs, Ichabod Crane, the Reluctant Dragon, Cinderella, the Lost Boys, etc. But most heart warming of all is at the very end when his nephews jump into his arms, hugging and kissing him, and one of them says, "Wasn't this nice, Unca Donald?" and they laugh together as the curtain falls.
Another '"Disneyland'' episode, "A Day In The Life Of Donald Duck", features the Mouseketeers visiting the Disney studio and presenting Donald with a special pair of mouse ears, naming him an honorary Mouseketeer. Considering that these live-action kids are interacting with an ink-and-paint character, this is an example of the Roger Rabbit Effect.
From Mickey's 60th Birthday, a spell causes Mickey to disappear from the public eye and Donald is the prime suspect and is sent to jail. When Mickey reverses the spell and is "found" by Roger Rabbit, Donald (though shaking him furiously) begs Mickey to tell where the heck he's been!
Not only that but during all the fiasco, never ONCE did Donald blame Mickey for it, though the whole thing was Mickey's mistake in the first place.