December 27, 1940 – The Pluto Short Film Pantry Pirate is Released to Theaters
“You let me catch you messin’ around in my kitchen again, and I’m gonna bust all the hide off’n you!”
On December 27, 1940, the Pluto short film Pantry Pirate was released to theaters. The short has been cut when released on television, due the depiction of the cook as a somewhat stereotypical black servant, which was a normal depiction in films of this time period. The short was directed by Clyde Geronimi, and stars Lillian Randolph as the cook.
Pluto is thrown out of a kitchen by the scruff of his neck, with the cook tying him to his doghouse in the backyard. She warns him to stay, and Pluto lets one tear roll down his cheek. Inside, the cook pulls a roast from the oven, with the scent leaking through the screen door and wafting all the way to Pluto. He frees himself from the rope and sneaks into the kitchen once again, his mouth salivating at the thought of the roast.
Inside the house, Pluto slips on the polished floor, and is almost spotted by the cook. He has an idea to use the ironing board to get close to the roast, but immediately steps back to the wall when the board starts to buckle under his weight. He tentatively tries again, but he still isn’t close enough. Keeping his toes on the board, he is able to reach the handle of the oven, and is finally close enough to reach the roast, when he accidentally falls, pulling the oven door down and ending up in the oven himself. He flies out with a cry, and bumps into a box of soap, spilling its contents into a nearby bucket of water. The soap also fills the air, and Pluto sneezes from the irritation. Each sneeze sends out a stream of bubbles from his mouth. One bubble in particular sticks to his nose, and when he attempts to blow it away, the bubble only increases in size until it explodes.
Trying to return to his main mission of the roast, Pluto stalks his prey, until he sneezes and knocks into a table with china cups. None of the cups break, but the sound is enough to alert the cook, who has been upstairs. After she leaves, Pluto sneaks towards the roast again, this time bringing with him the tablecloth and cups without him noticing. When he does, he sneezes again, sending the cups flying into the air. Thinking he’s done for, he closes his eyes, but the cups neatly stack themselves on his backside, the handles slipping onto his tail. He breathes a sigh of relief, but not for long, as he keeps sneezing. All the cups finally break, with the cook racing downstairs to see what’s going on. As he races to the door, he keeps getting thrown back by his sneezes, but finally makes it outside and pretends he’s been asleep the entire time. The cook is fooled by his act, and Pluto smiles, bubbles still leaking from his mouth.