Poster

Society Dog Show

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : February 3, 1939

Running Time : 8:09

Synopsis

Mickey enters Pluto in a ritzy dog show where they are hopelessly outclassed and have little chance of winning until the building catches on fire and Pluto saves the day.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto
Fifi, the Pekinese
Judge

Credits

Director
Bill Roberts
Animation
Les Clark
Seamus Culhane
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Al Eugster
Cy Young
Milt Schaffer
Dick Lundy
Marvin Woodward
Norm Ferguson
John Walbridge
Ray Patin
Fred Moore
John McManus
George Rowley
Win Hoskins
Lee Morehouse
Cornett Wood

Video

United States
Mickey Loves Minnie
Starring Pluto and Fifi
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 2
Germany
Käpt'n Donald
Pluto Präsentiert
France
Les Aventures de Mickey et Minnie
Italy
Video Parade 15
Sono Io ... Pluto
Cartoon Festival 2
Cartoons Disney 2

CED

United States
Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 4

Laserdiscs

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 1
Starring Donald and Daisy / Starring Pluto and Fifi
Japan
Mickey and His All Stars

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Mickey and Minnie's Sweetheart Stories
Germany
Schmetterlinge in Bauch
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 37: Mickey's Pal Pluto
The Mickey Mouse Club : January 28, 1958

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I’ve just returned from a week at Walt Disney World, refreshed and ready to get back to work. Actually, truth be told, I’m exhausted, but thrilled to have gone. I hope to have some pictures and articles for the site from the trip up sometime soon. Welcoming me back, though, was another great Mickey short – Society Dog Show.

This short brought up a couple of easy comparisons to me. The short opens with Mickey entering Pluto in a very upscale dog competition, similar to the Westminster Dog Show that we see each year. Pluto is obviously out of place, and is derided as such by other owners, dogs and the judges. However, due to a tragedy with an old flash camera, Pluto ends up rescuing Fifi from a fire, and is crowned as the #1 Hero of the Public.

The first comparison this brings to mind is that Mickey and Pluto’s experience here must feel similar to what Walt felt going into Hollywood as he was working on Snow White. His original place in Hollywood as the producer of shorts was no challenge to the Hollywood elites, but when he ventured out into features, he was treated with disdain. Seeing the “cartoon guy” edge into the territory of the major studios was a shock to the system of 1930s Hollywood.

It’s odd to think of, when you look back at it, but Hollywood in the 30s was a definite closed system. The big studios controlled things and did not take kindly to outsiders like Walt trying to crash the party. Not to mention, that for all the sophistication that his work would eventually show, Walt was still a country boy at heart.

It shows just like Pluto and Mickey in this short, that Walt was crashing a high society party. I imagine that his feelings were reflected in the short, because you have to imagine that the animators felt the same things. The Disney Studio in those days was very much a familial atmosphere, especially in the build up to Snow White. Remember, this was the Depression, and these people were grateful to be employed and feed their families, and grateful to Walt and Roy for giving them that opportunity.

The other comparison was the ending of the short, where Pluto saves Fifi from the fire. Pluto’s charge into the burning building was an accident of sorts, as Mickey put him on skates and sent him in, but it was still heroic. It reminded me a great deal of the ending of Bolt, the fine Disney release of couple of years ago. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

Years from now, I imagine people will look back at Bolt as the canary in the coal mine of a third Golden Age of Disney animation. At the end of the film, Bolt rushes into a burning movie studio to rescue his owner, Penny. It was very similar to the ending here, complete with the dog being named a hero.

Society Dog Show was fun, with good gags and a nice set up. But the main thing I liked about it was the possibility that it was a window into something a little more informative about Walt and his team.


From Mac : That's a very good point – I'd never thought of comparing Mickey at placing Pluto in a Society Dog Show to Walt making it big in Hollywood before. You can't help but root for Mickey in this one – a naive little guy turning up in his shorts at a do so posh that even Goofy wears a suit (look out for his cameo)!

I thought of this cartoon when I saw Bolt too. In fact one of the things I found a little disappointing about Bolt was that the climax was less exciting than Pluto's heroic skate across the burning rafters.


From Ryan : While watching this short, I noticed that all of the "people" at the dog show were actually dogs themselves (except for Mickey). That seems quite ironic. This is one of those shorts where a character is rejected by the group until they save someone's life. In this case, Pluto saves Fifi who is trapped in the building while it is burning. Pluto certainly deserved that big medal labeled PUBLIC HERO NO. 1 (rather than the usual PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1). The short itself was full of humor and the animation was wonderful, especially the burning building scene.
From Baruch Weiss : I like this short a lot but I hated when the building got on fire thanks to that stupid photographer who used to much flash powder, but Boruch Hashem (that means Thank G-D in Hebrew) that no dogs were killed.
From Michelle I. : Being a dog show fan myself, I quite like this short. As someone pointed out, it is very ironic that most of the handlers and judges at this show seem to be dogs themselves. A few pretty show dogs are seen, and out of them Pluto chooses the future wife, Fifi the Pekingese. Other than that, his luck isn't so hot at the show, until he winds up saving Fifi from the burning building.
From Jeff Wiener : This short displays a very good example of the sympathetic relationship between Mickey and Pluto. I think that this is the last cartoon where Mickey's eyes took the form of two big black ovals. After this short was produced, the Disney artists altered Mickey's design. Mickey had pupils in his eyes in all of the subsequent shorts. Like all of of the other Disney cartoons of this period, the technical quality of the animation is superb.
From Bryan Hensley : Pluto was proclaimed "Public enemy #1" in the 1935 short Pluto's Judgement Day. But at the end of this short from 1939, he was proclaimed "public hero #1" for saving Fifi's life! You wouldn't believe what he went through to save her, and on roller skates yet! So much for Mickey and Pluto being "riff-raff" when they arrived at the dog show at the beginning! Nearly all the dog owners were dogs themselves (except Mickey of course!), as well as the judge! Don't try to use too much flashpowder in an old-fashioned camera, or a whole building will burn to the ground! This is Mickey's last short for him to have Oswald-esque eyes. The next shorts in 1939 featured Mickey very much as he looks today. (The Pointer and Mickey's Surprise Party.) Pluto had trouble with ice-skating 4 years earlier in On Ice, but he didn't have quite as much trouble in roller-skating in this short. I hope you enjoy this "wags to riches" story from 70 years ago, as of 2009!

Referenced Comments