The Pet Store

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : October 28, 1933

Running Time : 7:21

Synopsis

Tony Dinero enlists Mickey to watch the shop while he's away at lunch. Unfortunately Beppo the Gorilla escapes from his cage and uses Minnie as Fay Wray in a King Kong imitation.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Beppo the Gorilla
Tony Dinero

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Art Babbitt
Norm Ferguson

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

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 39: Minnie Mouse
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 19, 1955
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 14, 1956

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 United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Mickey as a working stiff is not something we’ve seen a lot of in his shorts, but in today’s subject, The Pet Store, Mickey is out on the town and picks up a job. As is the usual in Disney shorts, something goes horribly wrong, leading to hilarious consequences.

The main focus of this short is Mickey getting a job in Tony Dinero’s pet store. As you can imagine, Tony is an Italian stereotype, but that doesn’t stop him from being funny. One of the great little jokes in this short are all the signs littered around the pet shop that features writing in an Italian accent, such as “Birda Seed Cheep.” They’re in almost every scene, and you have to have a sharp eye to catch them, but it’s worth the hunt. All of them are very funny.

As I said, getting the job is only step one for Mickey. After that, he has to perform the job, and that proves a little trickier. Tony leaves the store for lunch, leaving Mickey in charge. Mickey reverts back to his earlier self a bit, using some of the birds in the store as tools to get his job done, like sweeping trash into a pelican’s mouth or using another exotic bird as a grabber to stack bird seed. This harkens back to his earliest shorts, when Mickey always used the local wildlife as tools.

Minnie comes into the store and distracts him, as any good woman is wont to do. Minnie is thrilled to see Mickey in the store, and comes in to say hello. She then starts singing and gets the animals involved. They all start singing along, and Mickey and Minnie start dancing. Seriously, if you’re an employer, why would you hire someone who starts dancing at the drop of a hat? Not a great example, Mickey.

The twist in this one comes with our old friend Beppo the Gorilla. Beppo is in a cage in the store, and starts reviewing a movie magazine. The first picture he comes across is Stan Laurel, and Beppo does an imitation of him. The second picture he sees is King Kong. You can guess what comes next.

Yes, after grabbing Minnie, Beppo scales a tower of cages and boxes, and fights off the attacks of birds and other pets trying to knock him down. Mass chaos ensues in the pet store. It’s a throwback to some of the Silly Symphonies, like The Spider and The Fly or The Bird Store, where the inhabitants team up to attack an interloper.

Mickey and Minnie choose discretion as the better part of valor here, and after Minnie is freed, they run for the hills. It’s funny and quite different than what you would expect. Normally, we get to see Mickey give his embarrassed or sheepish face when the boss shows up. This time, though, Mickey runs like crazy. Can’t say as I blame him.

This is a great short, full of good gags, great work on Mickey and Minnie by the animators, and fun stuff with Beppo. They even make Beppo sympathetic by introducing his wild side as a result of the magazine, not a natural characteristic. Good work all around and well worth the viewing.


From Mac : Another really good one that's just full of gags. I like how the brand of bird seed is called Sure Sing! Disney was pretty quick to get a King Kong reference in – this classic film was released the same year.

I actually think this may be the first appearance of Beppo. He's much gentler than the beast from The Gorilla Mystery, but I suppose he's rather like the ape from The Castaway. I like how every time Beppo does something aggressive he then looks worried and curious. Of course every one else in the shop is too panicked to notice how friendly and playful he is and it's not long before the place is trashed!

One curious thing about this cartoon and the preceding one, The Steeple Chase is that they both have the 'wrong' opening and closing music – taken from much later color cartoons. I think this must have happened when they were reissued, maybe at some point in the 40s.


From Jerry Edwards : I most enjoy the fun gag of the gorilla mimicking stars from a movie magazine, which leads to trouble when it mimics King Kong. Enjoy the colorized colors.
From Ryan : After Mickey gets a job at a pet store, the owner leaves him in charge while he goes away. Minnie comes in and sees him. One thing I noticed was that there was an ostrich there. What kind of pet store sells ostriches? What kind of pet store sells gorillas? True, I have seen a monkey at a pet store, but never a gorilla. Wasn't that ostrich in an unspeakably small cage? Oh God, that would be terribly uncomfortable. Seeing the gorilla do impersonations of various movie stars was pretty funny as well as the "King Kong" parody. In fact, "King Kong" was released in 1933 as well. What a coincidence!
From Bill : One of the best "gag" filled and "slapstick" of the Mickey shorts. The imagination of the writers of the 30's to this day can't be topped! Subtle gags of Mickey dusting the goldfish off and picking up boxes with the bird are just starters. Mickey was at his bravest, even as Beppo picks him up by the shorts, he still tries to punch him and save Minnie. The gag of Beppo imitating King Kong, complete with the "birds" flying around him like the bi-planes. Clever! (Poor Faye Raye, I mean Minnie!) I wonder if any fans picked up on the two best gags in this short. If anyone watches The 3 Stooges, they should know the Stooges copied these two gags. When Mickey is dodging the boxes thrown by the chimps, every time he tries to throw the cage at Beppo, he gets clobbered. He finally ducks, smiles like he's in the clear, goes to throw the cage, and gets nailed in the head with the cash register drawer. I could not stop laughing; Donald Duck was never this funny. And the last gag, when Mickey and Minnie are running out of the store, they run into each other (ala The Three Stooges), fall down and take off again into the sunset. This was just one funny short and should be in every fans collection.
From Gijs Grob : Mickey applies for a job in an Italian pet store. Then Minnie drops by and they perform their usual sing-and-dance-routine. This was Mickey's last cartoon to feature half a song-and-dance routine and half a story (a structure that had become old-fashioned by now). This time Minnie's quite tiresome lalala's are interrupted by 'Beppo, the movie monk', an ape who has read about King Kong (released that same year) and who wants to imitate him. This leads to a nice spoof of King Kong, in which the ape climbs a pile of boxes with Minnie under his arm while being attacked by birds, mimicking the planes in the original feature. In the end Mickey and Minnie are fleeing the pet shop, just before the owner returns, leaving it in complete ruin. Part of the fun in this cartoon is provided by pseudo-Italian labels (like "birda seed" and "biga da sale"), a type of pun that was later borrowed extensively by Chuck Jones in his Pepe le Pew-cartoons.

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