Poster

First Aiders

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : September 22, 1944

Synopsis

Minnie practices first-aid on Pluto to Figaro's delight and amusement.

Characters

Minnie Mouse
Pluto
Figaro

Credits

Director
Jack Hannah
Animation
Judge Whitaker
Harvey Toombs
Art Scott
John F. Reed
Backgrounds
Thelma Witmer
Layout
Yale Gracey
Story
Bill Berg
Dick Shaw
Music
Paul J. Smith

Cut Scenes

A scene where Pluto lands in a garbage can and emerges with the lid on his head as a Chinese stereotype has been cut.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I: Minnie
Germany
Figaro und Cleo
Pluto Ein Schlappohr Hetzt die Meute
France
La Collection en Or des Studios Disney Volume 2
Les Nouvelles Aventures de Pluto
Italy
Le Nuove Avventure di Pluto
Cartoon Festival 1
Topolino e Soci
Cartoons Disney 1

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Minnie

Laserdiscs

Japan
Starring Mickey and Minnie
More Tales of Pluto
Minnie : Limited Gold Edition

DVD

United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 9 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 10 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 6: All Figaro All the Time
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 9
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 10, 1956

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 : So Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Figaro living together – sounds like a good set up for a joke, doesn’t it? Apparently the Disney staff thought so, too, as this odd trio are set up as the stars of First Aiders, a decidedly World War II short.

Minnie is attempting to learn first aid, which was a common thing to do during World War II. Fears of bombings like Pearl Harbor or other enemy attacks prompted lots of emergency readiness among Americans of all stripes. In this case, Minnie is learning lots of things by practicing on Figaro and Pluto.

You read that right. Minnie is practicing first aid on Pluto and Figaro. The comic possibilities are endless, right? As it turns out, the animators chose to focus on a rivalry between Figaro and Pluto. I don’t know for sure it was the right choice, but it’s pretty darn funny. The two of them have a natural vicious streak that we have seen in other cartoons, so they play well off of each other.

One of the best sequences comes when Minnie tries to bandage Pluto up with splints, then runs out of bandages. Leaving Pluto laying on the floor, stuck to a variety of boards and splints, Minnie runs out of the house. Since Pluto had been antagonizing him before that, Figaro attempts to take advantage of his rival’s precarious situation.

Seeing Figaro leap into action, baring his claws and trying to attack, is quite funny. It’s interesting that these two characters were not used together more often. They would seem to be a natural counterpoint to Tom and Jerry or Sylvester and Tweety, just with different animals.

When Figaro begins riding Pluto like a bronco, I had to laugh. Although the back and forth gags between them aren’t particularly inventive, they are tried and true funny stuff. Minnie is there primarily to serve the role of a straight man, imploring one or either of the animals to back off. It’s a simple role for her, but it fits.

First Aiders doesn’t showcase these characters as well as other shorts they have been in, but there is definitely a fun dynamic between Figaro and Pluto, and since that doesn’t appear that often, it’s worth a watch.


From Ryan : This could very well be considered a wartime cartoon in the fact that (aside from being produced during WWII of course) Minnie is practicing first aid. What other reason could it be for than to help wounded soldiers? Minnie is not actually a main character in this short. Pluto and Figaro get most of the action. I wonder why Disney never gave Minnie her own series or much of a personality for that matter. I enjoy the ending where Minnie tells Figaro and Pluto to "kiss and make up." Pluto licks Figaro, who is tied to a sling by bandages. Figaro bats at him, but as soon as Minnie scolds him, he pats Pluto on the head.
From Baruch Weiss : Minnie is practicing first aid on Pluto, but runs out of bandages and goes to the store to get more. While she's gone, Figaro torments Pluto and a war ensues, so what else is new?! In regard to Ryan's question about why Minnie was not given her own series of shorts or her own personality for that matter; it was because (as mentioned) Pluto and Figaro get most of the action and secondly (this is just my opinion) Minnie was created as a girlfriend for Mickey and was a minor character in the Disney stable.