Donald and Pluto

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : September 12, 1936

Running Time : 8:22

Synopsis

Donald is a plumber dealing with Pluto and an unwieldy leak. The real fun comes when Pluto accidentally swallows one of Donald's tools - a magnet.

Characters

Pluto
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Ben Sharpsteen
Animation
Al Eugster
Seamus Culhane
Fred Spencer
Bill Roberts
Norm Ferguson

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 9 : Donald Duck's First Fifty Years
Germany
Pluto's Größte Hits
Pluto Räumt Auf
Plutos Größte Hits
Donald 50 Verrückte Jahre
France
Le Meilleur de Pluto
Bon Anniversaire Donald
Italy
Pluto Aiutante Offresi
I 50 Anni Folli di Paperino
I Capolavori di Pluto
Cani e Simpatia

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald Duck : A Star is Born
Donald Duck's 50 Crazy Years
Minnie's Greatest Hits / Pluto's Greatest Hits

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 26: Classic Donald
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 68

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
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 : Ever wonder what would happen if they had a Mickey Mouse cartoon and Mickey never showed up? Well, then you should watch the latest “Mickey” – Donald and Pluto. The only appearance that Mickey makes is in the title card. Otherwise, this is a Donald and Pluto starring turn.

I’d have to qualify this as an early Pluto solo short, much like Pluto’s Judgment Day was. Pluto takes up the majority of the short with a simple premise: he swallows a magnet and ends up having all sorts of things being attracted to his rear end where the magnet is lodged. Pots, pans, knives, Donald’s hammer – they are all chasing Pluto throughout the short.

I feel that Pluto is the best work of the animators, because they can’t necessarily rely on human body language or voice to create mood or emotion. Instead, they have to convey Pluto’s mood through his actions. That’s a difficult thing to do, but it is done well here, as you get the sense of bewilderment that Pluto is going through as things keep attacking him.

That’s the other thing that amazes me about Pluto, is that the animators always seem to keep in mind that he is a dog. The human reaction to the magnet antics would be much different than a dog. As a dog, Pluto spends half of his time trying to figure out what is going on, then trying to move on when he’s satisfied that it’s “over.” This is exactly what a dog would do, so it makes perfect sense.

As for Donald, his role here is more of a bit player. He is there at the beginning, trying to fix some pipes in the basement, but for the most part, he’s absent. It’s his magnet that ends up getting swallowed by Pluto, though. Donald’s real role comes towards the end of the short, as Pluto, magnet still inside him, is on the roof, and Donald, holding a hammer gets stuck on the ceiling.

What’s not clear to me from this short is why Disney thought that Donald and Pluto would be a good pairing. They have limited interaction in the short, and their styles are not very complimentary. Donald’s aggressive, angry tone doesn’t match with Pluto’s simple bewilderment and innocence. Goofy and Donald play off each other well, but I don’t quite see the same thing with Pluto.


From 411314 : Perhaps Disney only put Donald and Pluto together because he was experimenting. By the way, Ryan, is this the first cartoon where two "Mickey Mouse characters" appear together without Mickey?
From Richie : I doubt it was a mere experiment, since they would be paired in 5 more shorts. Something about the concept of pairing those two evidently appealed SOMEONE at the staff.

Also, this is the (first?) in the list of many, MANY endings where Donald is firmly stuck in a place by the iris out.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : Nichols' Rule: When Pluto shares a post-1935 cartoon with other characters, Pluto will invariably get the most attention—no matter how interesting the other characters/situations might be. I'm naming the rule for Charles Nichols—whose "Mickey" cartoons were infamous for this. But lots of directors practiced it. It seems like Disney was simply incapable of putting Pluto into a cartoon without making him the star.
From Mac : It was going to happen eventually. A cartoon in the Mickey series in which the Mouse doesn't even show up (yes, this is the first time it happened)! I remember the first time I saw this cartoon as a kid waiting for his appearance after the initial head shot. It's interesting that the reissue version (with frustrating lack of original title) still designates this as a Mickey cartoon – by then Pluto and Donald would have had their own series.

The best stuff for me is when Pluto is on the roof unknowingly dragging Donald across the ceiling with the magnet. I also enjoy looking at the backgrounds in this one. The house and all the furnishings are so lovely I almost want to live in it! There's a definite Art Deco influence. I'm not too sure about that washing machine though – did people in the 30's really have contraptions like that?!

Also did anyone else notice the abrupt cut in this cartoon? It's between Donald's first fall into the water and Pluto running up the stairs. I wonder if something was cut from this cartoon at some point.


From Jerry Edwards : Released as a Mickey Mouse film, but only Donald and Pluto appear. Fun cartoon, full of action and gags. First of several Donald/Pluto duet shorts.
From Ryan : As Jerry Edwards pointed out, Mickey Mouse did appear on the screen at the opening of the short, yet he never appeared in it. It should have been Donald Duck/or Pluto who appeared on the screen. This short got pretty tiring after Pluto was having all those problems with the magnet.
From Ajisai : There's some funny moments in this one, like when Donald winds up in that laundry machine (predating Donald's problems with technology in later years.) And Pluto is funnier than usual.
From Baruch Weiss : Released as a Mickey Mouse cartoon except the famous mouse makes no appearance in it whatsoever, Donald Duck, joined by Pluto, is the star. In it Donald is a plumber until Pluto swallows a magnet and destroys Donald's work. Ok for a cartoon, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites!
From Matthew Cooper : I first saw this short as a kid on the Disney Channel and liked it so much that I wanted to see it again, but I didn't until I found The Chronological Donald Vol 1. There is a blooper in this short that the site didn't pick up on: When Pluto is up on the roof, a green ladder falls on him but when he starts to climb across it, it's brown. Then the next time we see it (When Donald is hanging off it,) it turns green again! Anyway this short was probably released as a Mickey Mouse cartoon because around this time, Donald was just coming onto the screen, so Mickey was still the most popular character. Donald's Ostrich was the first cartoon released with Don's name.

Referenced Comments