Poster

The Moose Hunt

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : May 3, 1931

Running Time : 7:22

Synopsis

Mickey and Pluto hunt for moose, the hunt being delayed when Mickey thinks he's shot Pluto and, later, when Mickey's gun falls apart in the foe's face.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Norm Ferguson

Cut Scenes

A scene of Mickey shooting at Pluto has been cut.

Video

Germany
Pluto's Größte Hits
Plutos Größte Hits
France
Le Meilleur de Pluto
Italy
I Capolavori di Pluto
Cani e Simpatia

Laserdiscs

Japan
Minnie's Greatest Hits / Pluto's Greatest Hits

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 37: Mickey's Pal Pluto
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 12, 1957

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by Columbia Pictures, Inc.

Comments

  • Pluto says his first and only words he will ever say; "Kiss me!" . It is also the first short where Pluto is called by name.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : The Moose Hunt is on the Mickey Mouse in Black and White DVDs, but it should really be classified as a Pluto short. This is the first time we see Pluto specifically named, and he steals the show. The animators clearly had a good time playing with this new character, as evidenced by his popularity over the next few years.

The story of this one is a good one. Mickey and his trusty sidekick Pluto are out on the trail, searching for wild game to shoot. It’s a simple construction that allows for several pleasurable meanderings from the main premise. Whether it’s Pluto trying to rid himself of fleas, playing with a scarecrow or stumbling upon a moose, it all fits together nicely.

Notice that I didn’t say Mickey did any of those things. In this short, Mickey is really a bystander, playing off of Pluto’s antics. If you’ll recall, Leonard Maltin said on the DVD introduction that eventually, the animators grew tired of Mickey, because he could not do a whole lot. Being an icon can be restrictive in that way. So, they started relying more on his supporting cast to carry the gags. This is really evident in The Moose Hunt.

What’s interesting about Pluto is that there is still no consistent design. In one sequence where he is seen up close, sniffing around a tree, he looks very much like the original design from The Chain Gang. However, for most of the short, Pluto looks much closer to the dog we know and love from his own cartoons or in the parks today. The old design has droopy, bloodhound cheeks, where the new one is more rounded and friendly.

There are some great moments in this short, playing gags that seem very familiar today, but at the time were likely quite inventive. One of the best is when Pluto is playing fetch with Mickey, and picks up a long stick that has branches on the end that look like antlers. Mickey sees the shadow bouncing along the terrain and shoots at him. When he discovers what he’s done, Mickey starts weeping over Pluto’s body. Of course, the gag is that Pluto is fine, looks up to watch Mickey, then plays dead some more. A funny bit that would seem old today, but holds up well in this short.

There are more, including the final sequence, when the moose is chasing Mickey and Pluto through the woods. They run straight off a cliff, Mickey standing on Pluto’s back, with Pluto flapping his ears to fly away. It’s a gag that would be the basis of a movie (Dumbo, anyone?), but it plays very nicely here.

My favorite part of the short, though is the innocence of Pluto. I understand now what Maltin was talking about when saying that Mickey was limited. Pluto acts just like a dog when he encounters a scarecrow, sniffing around it carefully, waiting for his moment to pounce. Mickey could not have done this, as we would expect him to be more sophisticated. But Pluto’s innocence allows for a new range of gags.

The Moose Hunt really shows the direction that the Mickey cartoons are heading. Mickey is the framework for the side characters to do great and funny little bits. This would really come to fruition in the color shorts, like Lonesome Ghosts or Clock Cleaners, but it starts back in 1930-1931.


From Mac : Yep, Pluto's back and from now on he'll be a regular in the Disney shorts. This one really is a showcase for Pluto, using a scenario that makes sense for Mickey to be out with his dog. This is the first short to highlight the relationship between Mickey and Pluto, leading to some great scenes. Disney must have liked this setting because we'll see Mickey and Pluto out hunting again in the future.

One of the fun things about this short is that not all the 'rules' have been set. Pluto is able to talk in this one. It's not full blown conversation and he's still very much a dog, but when the situation calls for it (if he's in danger or if it'll be funny) he can yelp "the moo -the moo- the moose!" or gasp "Kiss me" etc! Also Pluto can use his ears to fly in an ending taken right from the flying elephant scene of the lost Oswald Africa Before Dark.


From Anonymous : The ending of this short is similar to the feature length film, "Dumbo" in which Pluto uses his ears to fly Mickey and himself to safety.
From Jerry Edwards : In their misadventures on a moose hunt, Mickey accidentally shoots Pluto, who only pretends to be hurt. When a moose later chases them over a cliff, Pluto saves the day by flying with his ears. This cartoon is delightful to me - full of action, suspense, sorrow, laughter, and numerous gags. It contains what I consider one of the all-time great Disney scenes. Mickey thinks he has shot and killed Pluto. Mickey, sobbing, cries out to Pluto, "Speak to me!" Pluto sits up and says, "Kiss me!" I still get tickled over this scene, even after seeing it numerous times. The first cartoon where Pluto is known by that name. The only cartoon in which Pluto flies. Once again, the "bloodhound sniffing a trail" animation from The Chain Gang is recycled into this short. This is one of the last Disney cartoons I found. I remember being very frustrated at not finding this short, yet being able to watch it at the Main Street Cinema at Disneyland. I have never seen a complete copy of this short. I edited two different copies with different scenes missing in order to get what I think is the complete cartoon.
From Ryan : I have not seen this short in a long time. The last time (and only place I ever saw it) was on the "Ink and Paint Club." As someone else pointed out, the ending where Pluto flies Mickey to safety by flapping his ears is similar to the movie "Dumbo." One thing that just puzzles me is what the heck went wrong with Mickey's gun when he was getting ready to shoot the moose? After he pulled the trigger, a little cuckoo bird came out. I loved this short and recommend it to other Disney fans.
From Bill I. : Mickey and Pluto start out on a moose hunt. The opening scenery was well drawn. This short again had some funny gags, Mickey shoots the tree full of birds and just the leaves come off and Mickey jumping out of his shorts. There was also some nice animation, Pluto walking off in the distance and coming back, getting smaller and bigger. This short stands out because it is the only time Pluto speaks; He says "kiss me" and "mammy." The best part of the short was when Mickey thinks he shot Pluto, very moving with Mickey crying. That's why he is so popular, people relate to him. Great short.
From Mike : This short is okay. I wouldn't call it a favorite. It's interesting to have Pluto speak but it was a good idea to only have him do it once. That's worked out good for him.

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