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February 28

February 28, 1942 – Pluto Short Film Pluto, Junior is Released to Theaters

 

Pluto, Junior, a Pluto short film, was released by the Disney Studios on February 28, 1942. Directed by Clyde Geronimi and with the voice talent of Pinto Colvig, the short shows a different side of Pluto as a father to a rambunctious puppy that is so much like him in curiosity and ending up in precarious situations.

The short opens on a sunny day, and snoring is heard as the audience sees a ball rolling back and forth across the lawn. As the camera zooms out, we see Pluto and Junior, fast asleep in their respective doghouses, with the ball rolling in between their snores. Pluto’s snore is a bit too strong, and pushes the ball straight into Junior’s nose, startling him awake. Eyeing the ball bouncing up and down, Junior decides that it’s playtime, only to end up being more bullied by the ball than actually playing with it. The ball slips and lands in Pluto’s mouth, who ends up choking on the toy. Seeing his father awake, Junior barks enthusiastically, hoping his father will want to play. Pluto, however, is too tired, and angrily growls at the puppy, scaring the poor thing.

Junior ends up stuck to a stray balloon in the yard

As the puppy rolls backward from trying to get away from Pluto, he ends up rolling onto a balloon, which sticks to him and causes his ears to stand up from the static electricity. Curious, he turns around to sniff the balloon, and ends up trying to attack it, only to pull away the string and let the balloon fly across the yard, landing in Pluto’s mouth. Pluto unwittingly fills the balloon with air as he snores, and Junior, now thinking the balloon is an enemy, tries to sneak up on it, only to be scared of his own growing reflection in the balloon. Junior finally gets the courage to bite it, and it explodes. The sound makes Pluto shoot through the roof of his doghouse.

Junior, meanwhile, ended up in a patch of dandelions from the force of the explosion, and when he sneezed away the dandelion fluff, a worm landed on his head, and is not happy about his new location. Junior tries to pull the worm from his face, only to have it stuck in more humorous positions, such as around his eye like a monocle. Junior finally flings the worm away, and goes after it like a shot, determined to fight it. The chase goes all over the backyard and up a tree, where a hungry bird is waiting to devour the worm.

The hungry bird comically welcomes the worm to walk straight into his mouth

As the bird tries to chase the worm, it accidentally grabs a hold of Junior’s tail, and Junior angrily chases the bird in revenge. The bird flies around with Junior on its tail, until the puppy falls and lands into a sock on the laundry line, with only a feather as his spoils of war. He looks down to see that the ground is so far away, and begins yelping helplessly. Pluto wakes to see Junior in his precarious position and rushes to try and save him.

As Pluto pulls on the laundry line, the line stops when a knot prevents it from moving. Pluto tries his best to get the line to move, and finds himself being carried out on the line and having to walk it like a tightrope. After one daring swing, he ends up flying through the air and landing in some socks, only to have the socks snap away from their pins. Pluto then uses his tail to stay on the rope, and Junior, impressed, begins to cheer his father on. Still trying to rescue the pup, Pluto tries to pull his way down the laundry line, until Junior is right on top of him. Unfortunately, Junior’s enthusiastic wagging hits Pluto’s nose, and he lets out a mighty sneeze, sending both of them into the laundry tub.

 

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