Poster

Mail Dog

A Pluto Cartoon

Release Date : November 14, 1947

Running Time : 6:53

Synopsis

Pluto is pressed into duty to deliver a sack of mail to a remote arctic outpost, helped along by a playful arctic rabbit.

Characters

Pluto
Flutterfoot, the Rabbit

Credits

Director
Charles Nichols
Animation
George Nicholas
Bill Justice
Jerry Hathcock
Jack Boyd
Backgrounds
Ray Huffine
Layout
Karl Karpe
Story
The Kingsmen
Eric Gurney
Music
Oliver Wallace

Video

United States
Here's Pluto
Germany
Hier ist Pluto

Laserdiscs

United States
Here's Mickey / Here's Pluto

DVD

Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 2

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 28
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 57
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 3, 1957

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

  • The title card shown at right is incorrect although it is the one attached to the short currently (2009.) According to Dave Smith of the Disney Archives, the credits shown below are the correct ones.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : We’re back to Pluto with Mail Dog as the latest short in 1947. And as if keeping with the theme so far in this year, it’s a bit disappointing. As we’ve said here before, Pluto is a difficult character to do well, since he does not talk and does not move or act in a human way. To make him interesting, the animation and story team has to deliver top notch work.

In Mail Dog, the concept is pretty good. Pluto serves as a dog in the winters of the North, whose sole purpose is to carry mail across the frozen tundra in storms where planes could not traverse. The short takes the first minute to set up this premise, without a sight of Pluto. That’s an interesting decision to take that much time, but it does set things up well.

From there, it’s a quick sprint through two confrontations where Pluto is trying to make his appointed rounds. The first of these is with an inanimate object, which is not bad. Pluto gets his mail bags stuck with a totem pole, and seeing him struggle against the inanimate faces is pretty amusing. This is the kind of thing that works with Pluto, seeing him struggle with things that should be routine. It plays to the fact that he is a dog, and not a person.

His second encounter, with a rabbit that must have lost its way a long way away, is less amusing While the rabbit is merely interested in getting warm, and goes to great lengths to do so, while Pluto is trying to simultaneously stay warm and deliver the mail. The problem is that the conflict between the two seems forced, and not natural other than the fact that both are freezing.

I’ll give the animation team credit for an ending that is heart warming and fun, but it doesn’t make up for a short that tends to drag through the middle. Without some real fun gags, the short doesn’t measure up to the type of work that we have seen in other Disney work of the previous years. Especially when you look at Fun and Fancy Free or other feature work, the shorts like Mail Dog are not in the same league.


From Ryan : In this short, Pluto plays a "mail dog" in the Arctic. I enjoy the scene where Pluto runs into a totem pole and growls into it, thinking it's a monster. The totem pole appears to growl back (which of course is actually Pluto's echo). Perhaps a greater obstacle is a hare that Pluto encounters while delivering a package. Pluto tries to get rid of the hare, but after they both end up delivering the package, they become good friends. One of my favorite Pluto shorts that I enjoy watching every now and then.
From Erik Palm : It seems that this cartoon got the wrong credits when its opening titles were remade. My version incorrectly has Jack Hannah as director, and also credits for effects animation (Jack Boyd, written in large letters). Otherwise, the credits are as above, though these credits seem to belong in a Donald Duck cartoon of the 1950's (since Bob Carlson, Bill Justice and Volus Jones were all Donald animators). Has anyone seen Mail Dog with the original opening titles (RKO Radio as distributor?)
From Baruch Weiss : This is a good short but this time instead of the music, a scene won me over. It was the scene where Pluto turns blue.
From Stephen : I like this short. Used to watch it as a kid, and my two favorite parts were when Pluto growled into the totem pole and it growled back and when he turned into an ice cube. I now own this on VHS, so I can watch it whenever I want. I give it a 7.
From Michelle I. : This is a superb Pluto cartoon. His sled, the totem pole, and the cute bunny work together to make it highly enjoyable.

Referenced Comments