Bone Trouble

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : June 28, 1940

Running Time : 8:44


An empty dog dish is all that awaits Pluto when he gets up in the morning, so he tries to steal a bone from the dog next door.


Butch, the Bulldog


Jack Kinney
John Lounsberry
Reuben Timmins
Norm Ferguson
Jack Gayek
Art Fitzpatrick
Carl Barks


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 2 : Pluto
Pluto's Größte Hits
Hier ist Pluto
Plutos Größte Hits
Le Meilleur de Pluto
Cartoon Festival 1
Topolino e Soci
Cartoons Disney 1
I Capolavori di Pluto


United States
Cartoon Classics - Pluto


Cartoon Classics : Pluto
Minnie's Greatest Hits / Pluto's Greatest Hits


United States
Lady and the Tramp II : Scamp's Adventure
Old Yeller / Savage Sam
Lady and the Tramp II : Scamp's Adventure (Special Edition)
Old Yeller
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Susi und Strolch 2
Lilli e il Vagobondo 2


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 17: Pluto's Rival Butch
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 8
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 13

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.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Pluto has had his own shorts before (Pluto’s Judgment Day, Mother Pluto, Pluto’s Quinpuplets), but Bone Trouble feels like the start of something bigger. It would be sort of the kickoff to Pluto’s long running series of shorts, and it’s executed so well that you can see why Walt would keep things going with Mickey’s pet.

The plot of this is simple – Pluto has no food in his bowl, and heads over to the next door neighbor’s yard to steal a bone. Unfortunately for him, there is a big bulldog there that has dibs on the bone in his bowl. It’s not an original set up, but the payoff to the story is fantastic.

First, a little point of interest – Pluto is not living out in the suburbs with Mickey in this short. Perhaps that is why this feels different. In his past shorts, Pluto has been in the farmlands or in suburbia with Mickey, whereas here, he and his pursuer are running through city streets. It’s a very well done background, as we see details all over the cityscape letting us know that this is a well worn town.

The two dogs end up in a carnival, running through the various rides before ending up in the Hall of Mirrors. Pluto manages to hide there, and gets into one of the best sequences in any of his shorts so far. While walking through the hall, Pluto ends up creating all sorts of funny reflections in the mirrors, which are bizarre, hysterical, inventive and fun all at the same time.

A lot of the work in this sequence reminded me of the Pink Elephants on Parade part of Dumbo. It’s a work we’ll get to soon enough, but the mashing and bending, squashing and stretching of Pluto’s figure in the mirrors hearkens back to earlier days of the Disney shorts, while also looking forward to some of the more psychedelic and free form animation to come in things like Fantasia and Dumbo.

It’s a great sequence that does not end until the bulldog comes up on Pluto, and tries to get his bone back. Even then, though, Pluto manages to outsmart him, by luring him into a room of mirrors and scaring him off at the multiple Plutos hidden there. It’s a bit that shows Pluto at his craftiest, and that’s a side of him we have not seen before.

Bone Trouble is easily my favorite of the Pluto shorts so far, and makes the case for Pluto to continue getting center stage. It’s not surprise to me that Pluto would go on to be a bigger star for Disney after this short.

From Ted : I bought this on silent 8mm film a long time ago. It holds up beautifully as a silent, as most of the footage is the funhouse mirror sequence, probably inspired by the Marx Brothers "mirror" routine. Is a good cartoon for repeated viewings, so I am giving it a 9.
From Per Nilsson : Not much of a plot. Pluto steals a bone, Pluto enters a house of mirrors, Pluto use the mirrors to scare Butch. The mirror sequence is fun to watch but there is not much else to keep your interest. At least Pluto wins in the end over his foe, and because of that I will give the short a better than average rating.

I noticed that a non-standard music score was used during the title presentation, not the usual with Mickey calling for Pluto. Perhaps this is an earlier version?

From Michelle I. : Cute and fun to watch, this one is nonetheless average compared with other Disney and Pluto cartoons. The story becomes most interesting and amusing when Pluto is inside the house of mirrors at the carnival.
From Baruch Weiss : Wow! Pluto was really hungry and I'm suprised he got the upper hand, Mickey should have just fed him. Pluto sure went to a lot of trouble to get into trouble!
From Dino Cencia : Funny Pluto cartoon. All Pluto wants is a big juicy bone so he digs under the fence and crawls very slowly and tries not to wake up Butch. The funny part is when Butch chases Pluto with his bone and goes into a carnvial and chases around the carnvial. Then Pluto when into a house of mirrors and there were funny images of Pluto in the mirrors. Also in the mirrors, he was some different animals like a crocodile, a camel, a gorilla, a kangaroo, and a seal. These parts of animals of Pluto were really funny! Then Butch chases Pluto in the house of mirrors and he uses the mirrors to scare Butch. Funny too. Then Pluto goes home with his bone that he got and he's proud of himself. Pluto is my favorite Disney dog. I give this short a 900.
From Billy Joe : In this Pluto cartoon, Pluto tries to steal a tougher dog's bone. When Pluto succeeds, the tougher dog chases Pluto to a house of mirrors. The house of mirrors sequence of this short is quite enjoyable. Pluto passes through mirrors to look like animals, and he even scares himself by looking in a certain mirror. It was courageous for Pluto to scare the tougher dog, but it was wrong for Pluto to steal his bone. I rate this cartoon 8 out of 10.
From Rich Adamson : This is my favorite Disney short of all time. It still makes me laugh. When I was about 6 or 7 I had a little handheld movie player that you put cassettes into that looked like a movie camera. You would wind it forward to watch the movie through a veiwfinder and could rewind it as well. I used to crack myself up running it back and forth. I wish I still had that thing.