Poster

Private Pluto

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : April 2, 1943

Running Time : 6:41

Synopsis

Pluto is in the infantry guarding a pillbox from saboteurs.

Characters

Pluto
Chip 'n' Dale

Credits

Director
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Animation
Al Bertino

Milestones

First appearance of Chip 'n' Dale, although not named in this short.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 2 : Pluto
Germany
Die Abenteuer von A-Hörnchen und B-Hörnchen
France
Les Aventures de Tic et Tac
Italy
Le Avventure di Cip e Ciop

CED

United States
Cartoon Classics - Pluto

Laserdiscs

Cartoon Classics : Pluto

DVD

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 4: Disney Firsts

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 : To call Private Pluto a wartime short is probably a stretch, as the only thing that it has to do with the war is that it takes place on an Army base. Still, that is a great set up for a short that introduces a version of Chip and Dale, messing with Pluto in their own special way.

We’ve seen chipmunks before in the Disney shorts, but this seems like an early version of Chip and Dale. While Dale does not have his trademark red nose, the voices and mannerisms of the chipmunks will be very familiar to anyone who’s watched Chip and Dale shorts before.

Most Pluto shorts involve Pluto as the mischief maker, getting into some kind of trouble. In this case, he’s the responsible one, not the one making trouble. It’s a definite switch, and to my mind, not for the better. Pluto works great as a little devil, swaying between his good and bad side. But as the hero? Not so sure.

Chip and Dale have commandeered a cannon to store their nuts, and Pluto, told that there is a saboteur on the base, is sniffing around for them. The ingenious plan that the chipmunks have developed is to drop the nuts out of the cannon, then crack the shells by dropping the cannon on them.

Sadly, that’s the main gag of the short, and it doesn’t go much farther. Chip and Dale stay in the cannon most of the time, and Pluto stays outside. Their interactions are limited to peeks out of the end of the cannon by the chipmunks or looks through the cannon by Pluto.

There are the requisite jokes of hitting Pluto over the head (three times), but for the most part, there’s not a lot of creativity to the short. It’s fun to see these characters together, but I would have loved to see Chip and Dale get more creative in their attacks on Pluto, or see Pluto weigh some truly awful things to do to them, just to spice it up. It’s a decent short, but not great.


From Jerry Edwards : Private Pluto is ordered by his drill sergeant to guard a pillbox gun because saboteurs are in the area. Pluto suddenly has a private war on his hands - two chipmunks have been using the pillbox to store their nuts, with the gun as a giant nut-cracker. In Pluto's attempts to evict them, the chipmunks continually get the best of him. They fill Pluto's helmet with nuts and then crunch the gun down on top of the helmet to crack the nuts - unfortunately for Pluto, he is wearing the helmet at the time. When Pluto steals their nuts, the chipmunks use the gun to shoot Pluto up into the air and fill his landing site with nuts. The impact of his fall cracks the nuts and the chipmunks retreat into the pillbox with their nuts. Pluto is left outside - beating against the locked door, weeping with frustration.

This is considered the first appearance of Chip and Dale, although the chipmunks are rather generic in appearance and do not have the later distinctive features that separate Chip from Dale.

The cartoon is well done, but I'm not much of a fan of the "Chip 'n' Dale against Pluto" cartoons.


From Ryan : Here are Chip and Dale in their first cartoon. Except that they aren't named Chip and Dale and they don't even look like they do in later shorts. I'm not really a fan of Chip and Dale as I find them quite annoying. Pluto was standing guard at an army base. Chip and Dale store their acorns in the cannon and use it to crack them on Pluto's head. I can't help but feel sorry for poor Pluto. Not one of my favorite shorts, but it's still okay to watch from time to time.
From Baruch Weiss : This cartoon marks the first appearance of Chip and Dale who were originally intended to be used once and never again after this short. Anyway, they are depicted as generic chipmunks in this short. They wouldn't get their distinctive personalities(and their names) until a later cartoon in 1947 titled Chip 'N' Dale". They didn't receive their distinctive looks (Dale with the red nose and Chip with the black nose) until the 1948 cartoon Three for Breakfast. They were named after the 18th century furniture maker Thomas Chippendale. So now that I gave a history of these two chipmunks back to the short, I like some Chip and Dale cartoons while some I don't, this one I don't like because Pluto was doing nothing to the chipmunks, all they did was torment him throughout the cartoon.

Referenced Comments