Poster

A Gentleman's Gentleman

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : March 28, 1941

Synopsis

Mickey sends Pluto downtown to fetch the paper, but Pluto loses the coin he was to do it with. His effort to retrieve the coin with bubble gum only makes things worse.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto

Credits

Director
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Asst. Director
Don Duckwell
Animation
Ken Muse
Reuben Timmins
Edwin Aardal
John Noel Tucker
Ed Parks
Volus Jones
Basil Davidovich
Art Fitzpatrick
Norman Tate
Frank T. Onaitis
Nick de Tolly
Paul B. Kossoff
Andy Engman
Jack Huber
Eric Gurney
Russ Dyson
George Nicholas
Frank T. Onaitis
Vernon G. Witt
Chuck Otterstrom
Cornett Wood
Ernie Lynch
Emery Hawkins
Layout
Bruce Bushman

Video

Germany
Zeitungsjunge Pluto
Italy
Pluto Amico Quasi Perfetto
Qua la Zampa Pluto
Topolino and Co. : Avventure Tutte da Ridere

DVD

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

Television

Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 11

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Since Mickey Mouse became a big star, Disney was very hesitant to put him into roles that might be less than flattering. For the most part, Mickey was there to direct the action, like in the trio shorts or with Pluto. In A Gentleman’s Gentleman, however, Mickey doesn’t come off in the most appealing way.

The short is about Mickey spending the day in bed while Pluto waits on him hand and foot. No, really, that’s what it’s about. Mickey wakes up and “summons” Pluto to bring him breakfast, and has the poor dog schlepping a tray, pouring coffee and the like. I think the attempt here was to make it look like there was a joke going on, where Mickey was playing the aristocrat and Pluto was playing along. However, it came off as sort of cruel to me.

This is really just a set up for having Pluto run out of the house. Mickey gives him a quarter, and sends Pluto into the world to fetch the paper. Hilarity ensues.

Pluto faces a few obstacles in this short, not the least of which is the fact that he’s a dog! Imagine a dog trying to hold a quarter in his teeth and then go put it into a newspaper stand. If you are laughing at the thought, you get the idea of what was so funny about Pluto trying to do it. He ends up losing the quarter, having trouble picking it up with his teeth, and loses it down the sewer.

The solution is, of course, to stick gum to the end of his tail and fish the coin out of the sewer. Because what could be more obvious?

The part of the short I find particularly amusing is the next sequence, where Pluto is walking down the street, paper clutched in his teeth, and nose stuck in the air. People are lauding him for how well trained he is and what a good dog he is, and he swells with pride. And then right after he falls over and drops the paper.

It gets even better though, as he sees a Pluto comic strip in the paper, which shows him ending up covered in mud. Pluto laughes, but after a breeze blows the paper away, he ends up in the mud, just like the comic strip. It’s a funny case of Disney sort of breaking the third wall, and acknowledging that these are characters in a cartoon universe.

When Pluto returns with his muddy self and the torn up paper, at first Mickey is very mean to him. Apparently, though, someone realized that made the unsympathetic Mickey even more so, and he laughs the whole thing off. It’s just a weird dynamic, as we’ve seen Mickey get onto Pluto before, but never treat him as such a slave. Even though Pluto is very funny in this, it’s still very strange.


From David Krause : I like to hear Pluto(nium) cry after he loses his dime and when he comes back with the mud covered paper.
From Baruch Weiss : In this short Pluto (who is called "James" by Mickey at the beginning for some reason) is sent out to get the Sunday paper, but looses the dime in a grate. Eventually, he gets it back with bubble gum and proceeds to get the paper and despite other tribulations he finally presents the paper to Mickey all covered with mud. Wonderful cartoon, but like many other cartoons with Mickey's face on them (e.g. Canine Caddy) Pluto is the main character.
From Trae Robinson : There is a blackface scene in this cartoon where Pluto splashes in mud trying to get the newspaper. I kind of like the ending where Mickey gives Pluto a mad face and Pluto starts to cry and Mickey chuckles and pats Pluto's back. I even noticed Pluto has a green collar and he looks at himself in the newspaper.