The Duck Hunt

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : January 28, 1932

Running Time : 7:10

Synopsis

Mickey and Pluto go duck hunting, stopping to jam to "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean." The ducks get their own back, carrying the hunters through the air and dropping them on a clothesline.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Norm Ferguson
Dave Hand
Jack King
Ben Sharpsteen
Charles Couch
Charles Hutchinson
Harry Reeves
Dick Lundy
Rodolfo "Rudy" Zamora
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi

Cut Scenes

Scenes of Pluto's fleas were cut in the 80's.

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years

DVD

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

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 46
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 27
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 29, 1955

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

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

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : It would appear based on the shorts I have reviewed recently, that the Mickey Mouse team of Disney animators decided in 1931 to have their shorts become solely about fun and frivolity. They succeeded in the last half of 1931, and the first short of 1932, The Duck Hunt, delivers more of the same.

This one doesn’t feature the heartwarming scenes of Mickey’s Orphans, but it does feature the inspired chaos and classic fun. The title gives you the full story of the short, as Mickey and Pluto head out on a duck hunt, stopping to do a little dance to “Columbia.” But the difference is, the dance here feels organic, and there’s a good reason for it.

In past shorts, Mickey would simply pick up something from around him, either plant, animal or mineral and start banging away on something like a drum. This time, after Pluto gets in trouble for dousing Mickey with mud, he barks out commands to the dog. When Mickey sees the dog tapping its foot, he is struck with inspiration and starts playing his gun like a flute to spark the dance scene. It’s a subtle change, but a good one.

The rest of the short features the interplay between the ducks and their adversaries, Mickey and Pluto. One of the best tricks is when Pluto dons a wooden duck “hat” and wades into the water. He manages to fool some of the ducks until Mickey sneezes and blows reeds at them, and Pluto’s head pops up out of the duck. It’s quite funny, and the work on Pluto’s expressions during this sequence is inspired animation.

The final scenes feature Pluto and Mickey being grabbed by the ducks and flown through the air over rocks, barns and other landscaping. Again, nothing especially original about it, but it’s funny, and that’s what these Mickey shorts are supposed to be about. Another great gag is when Pluto’s fleas decide to parachute off of him while he’s falling out of the sky. When he and Mickey land in a pair of longjohns on a clothesline, the fleas parachute back in, causing Pluto to start scratching again.

This short is much more predictable than some of the other Mickeys of the time, and that’s probably it’s biggest drawback. The gags are not as funny as they could be, because they are somewhat expected. However, that does not detract from the personality and character in the animation, which is stellar. The reaction shots from Mickey and Pluto are very well done.

This short definitely passes the test of time. I watched it the other day with my kids, separate from my viewing for the review, and they laughed hysterically. Yes, today’s kids can laugh at a black and white cartoon from the 1930s. I think that says all we need to know about The Duck Hunt.


From Mac : Another fun short with some good funny bits. There's nothing really 'new' in this short to add to your comments, but I suppose we can add Pluto's fleas to the growing list of recurring characters!

I'm really glad to read that your kids enjoyed this one so much, Ryan. I had wondered what they thought of the cartoons since you mentioned how much they liked Steamboat Willie. I remember how much I enjoyed Mickey Mouse cartoons when I was very young and it's nice to know that kids still enjoy them today.


From Jerry Edwards : Mickey and Pluto find duck hunting not what it's quacked up to be when they are turned upon by a group of angry ducks. Discovering that the "female" duck is a decoy worn over Pluto's head, the ducks angrily grab Pluto by the ears and start flying off with him, with Mickey holding onto Pluto's tail. Mickey and Pluto are dropped into long underwear on a clothes line. One fun gag is Pluto's fleas parachuting off Pluto when the ducks have him in the air, landing back on Pluto when he reaches the ground.
From Ryan : This was a pretty funny short. I saw the colorized version of it (and taped it) off the "Its Gotta Be the Shorts" marathon. I especially liked the part where Mickey and Pluto are marching to various songs and Pluto's fleas jump off of him and start marching single file behind him. Another fun scene with the fleas was where Pluto and Mickey are being carried by the ducks and his fleas jump off of him with parachutes.
From Bill I. : Mickey and Pluto go duck hunting. Standard story, but this short had lots of action and sight gags. Also, the scene with Mickey and Pluto walking past the water with their reflections in it and the scene with Pluto in the water also showing his shadow shows how the animation becomes more sophisticated as the Mickey shorts continue. I liked when Pluto, wearing the decoy, was sniffing the ground using the decoy's head. There was lots of action with poor Mickey taking a beating while being flown along with Pluto by the ducks. Pretty enjoyable short.