Poster

The Army Mascot

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : May 22, 1942

Running Time : 7:14

Synopsis

Pluto longs to be an Army mascot (especially after he sees how well they are fed) so he hatches a plan to take the place of the real mascot.

Characters

Pluto
Gunther Goat
Paco
Butch, the Bulldog

Credits

Director
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Story
Carl Barks
Jack Hannah

Video

United States
Canine Commando
Germany
Pluto's Größte Hits
Pluto Held Wider Willen
Plutos Tollkühne Abenteuer
Plutos Größte Hits
France
Les Aventures de Pluto
Le Meilleur de Pluto
Italy
Le Avventure di Pluto
Cartoon Festival 2
Cartoons Disney 2
I Capolavori di Pluto

Laserdiscs

Japan
Minnie's Greatest Hits / Pluto's Greatest Hits

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 56: Wartime Disney
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 18, 1958

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 : We’re back in the Army again, with another wartime short, this time featuring Pluto. Once again, Disney is using its lead characters to promote the wartime efforts, but so far, doing it in a subtle way. Simply inserting Pluto into an Army situation is not the same as later shorts, where we’ll see Donald and others taking a more direct role in the war.

This short all stems from Pluto’s stomach, or more accurately, his desire to fill it. As he is standing outside the fence at an Army base, Pluto sees how the mascots on the base are fed, and gets very jealous. A bulldog gets a ham hock, for example, while a tiny little Chihuahua gets a full steak. Pluto decides that he’d like a piece of that action, and who could blame him?

The theme in this short is a lot like Donald Gets Drafted, that the Army’s not so bad anymore. It’s a subtler message here, without the accompanying song, but the idea is the same. That idea is immediately lampooned of course, in the finest Disney fashion.

Pluto tries to replace one of the mascots, but the only one he finds is a goat named Gunther. Pluto slides Gunther’s door closed, and steals the drape that goes over him, then twists his ears up into horns to try and look like a goat. This is just the first of the imaginative things Pluto does with his face in this short. It’s the best of the Pluto shorts in that regard.

Needless to say, things don’t work out the way that Pluto expected. Rather than ham or steak, the goat gets old tin cans to eat. Not only that, but when Gunther gets loose, he takes it personally that Pluto tried to edge him out. Gunther takes out his frustrations on Pluto, naturally.

Having messed up his first attempt, the ever valiant Pluto tries again, this time in a tobacco chewing contest with Gunther. The soldiers are so impressed with Gunther’s ability to chew tobacco that Pluto tries to outdo him. That leads to the funniest sequence of the short, after Gunther causes Pluto to swallow the tobacco.

Pluto’s face does all kinds of contortions, his eyes fill with tears, his ears go up and down in unnatural ways, and he starts turning green. Even more, he starts hiccupping and changing colors, from green to polka dot and even plaid. This part of the short is just laugh out loud hilarious.

There’s a nice twist to the end of this one, though. Normally, Pluto gets frustrated in his pursuits, ending up in the wreckage with nothing to show for his efforts. This time, though, Gunther ends up worse for the wear, missing Pluto in a charge and ending up blowing up the explosives warehouse. Gunther ends up smacked into an oncoming airplane, and Pluto gets his food!

I wonder a little bit if Pluto’s better fate in this short is because of the fact that it’s “supporting” the war effort. After all, you don’t want to show an eager Army volunteer ending up unsatisfied, do you? Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see Pluto get what he wants, even if it’s just this one time.


From Jerry Edwards : Pluto yearns to be an army mascot because of the good food they get. He attempts to outwit a goat mascot to earn the job, but is continually bested by the goat. But Pluto gets lucky when the goat misses butting Pluto and instead butts an ammo shed instead. The explosion blows the goat sky high, with his horns sticking into the front of a Yankee Clipper flying overhead. At the end, Pluto enjoys a hearty roast in his new job as a mascot.

The funniest part of the cartoon for me is at the beginning of the cartoon, when Pluto sees other dog mascots getting a nice roast and a huge steak as food. When he notes that the goat mascot is asleep and disguises himself to get the goat's food, Pluto is showered by a pile of tin cans instead of meat.

I enjoy this cartoon some, but not one of my favorites.


From Ryan : Here's a wartime cartoon with Pluto in it. I liked the part where Pluto sees the goat chewing tobacco. He then takes the whole stick and chews it. The goat butts him and Pluto swallows the tobacco. This causes him to get sick, and his body turns into all sorts of colors and designs (e.g. yellow and green checker). This is a great cartoon that I enjoy watching quite a bit whenever I get time.
From Baruch Weiss : Pluto yearns to be an army mascot because of the good food they get, and he outwits a goat mascot to earn the job. I know how he felt; when I first started high school I liked it because of the good food that was served at lunch.
From Severin : Probably my favorite Pluto cartoon. And that's saying something! This just has one of my favorite chase scenes at the beginning with Pluto and the goat. In my opinion, the Pluto cartoons weren't all that bad, and this one is no exception. 8/10