Poster

Pluto's Playmate

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : January 24, 1941

Synopsis

Pluto fights with a baby seal during a visit to the beach, but the seal soon has to come to his rescue from an attacking squid.

Characters

Pluto
Seal (unnamed)

Credits

Director
Norm Ferguson
Animation
Basil Davidovich
Ed Dunn
Grant Simmons
Art Fitzpatrick

Cut Scenes

A scene where Pluto has his head held underwater was cut at one time. It has since been reinstated for some showings.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : From Pluto with Love
Germany
Pluto auf der Jagd
Pluto Ein Schlappohr Hetzt die Meute
France
Les Nouvelles Aventures de Pluto
Italy
Video Parade 7
Le Nuove Avventure di Pluto
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : Da Pluto con Amore

Laserdiscs

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : From Pluto with Love
Japan
More Tales of Pluto

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 6

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 : Pluto shorts are a double edged sword for me. I don’t particularly care for the character, because I don’t think he’s all that interesting. However, the animation in these shorts is definitely great, because there is no dialogue. That leaves me with the conundrum that is Pluto’s Playmate.

In some ways, this is a warm up for the much superior Mickey and the Seal short, which incidentally was on Playhouse Disney this morning. Good to see that Disney is realizing the potential in these shorts again. Anyway, like that short, this one features Pluto interacting with a seal, although Mickey is absent here.

The main issue I have with this short is that there’s no real hook to grab on to and keep me interested. Pluto is trying to play with a ball on the beach, and the seal tries to take it. And that’s about it…until the very end of the short.

The ending sequence is good, with an octopus wrapping itself around Pluto’s nose, while Pluto is literally over a barrel. The contortions of Pluto and the octopus are very funny, and the climax, when the seal comes to grab Pluto away, is heartwarming. The problem is, that’s the only part of the short that is compelling.

The earlier parts of the short are just flat in the humor department. It seems as though the team went a little too far in the direction of making Pluto realistic, which they did well. The problem with that is that he doesn’t really do anything that funny. It plays off like watching a real dog stomp around the beach. It’s interesting, but not funny or engaging.

I do have to say, though, that the work on Pluto here is very good. He moves and acts like a real dog, which has been more and more the case as we go along in the shorts. It makes for technical wizardry, but unless done properly, not for interesting stories. Pluto’s last short, Pantry Pirate, was much more compelling, because he was involved in constant gags trying to keep quiet. Pluto’s Playmate could have used a little more storytelling and less worry about keeping Pluto realistic.


From Nikki : Can't say this is my favorite Pluto short. Poor Pluto's fun is interrupted by a seal who is in at least one other short, the seal just won't leave Pluto alone. All Pluto wanted to do was play with ball alone but the seal won't let him and Pluto doesn't consider sharing. When he saved from the squid (and the seal gets all the water out of Pluto's system) Pluto accepts the seal as a friend and goes out into the sun set. Its a very nice friendship short.
From Ryan : I found this short to be quite boring. Pluto is at the beach playing with his ball when a baby seal come up and wants to play. Pluto, however, is not interested in the seal and continues to play with his ball. There was one scene of suspense: that where Pluto has his head dunked underwater by an octopus. Other than that, the cartoon focuses on Pluto and the seal.
From Baruch Weiss : There was a nice music score at the beginning and end of this cartoon, but on the surface it is another predictable one. Pluto encounters another small animal who he does not like at first, but eventually befriends after saving his life. In this case, a baby seal saves him from a squid. The short also reminds me of a Little Audrey cartoon titled "Surf Board".
From Mike : Despite some of the comments I've read. I do like this cartoon. I liked the seal character, he was pretty funny. I like the friendship that came at the end from the adventure.

Referenced Comments