June 23, 1944 – The Pluto Short Film Springtime for Pluto is Released to Theaters
“Spring! Spring! Sweet, scented spring! Loveliest time of year!”
On June 23, 1944, the Pluto short film Springtime for Pluto was released to theaters. This was the first short directed by Charles Nichols, who would go on to have a long history of directing at the Disney Studios, including many of the Pluto shorts. Pluto’s allergy to goldenrod is seen here, which was used as a major plot point in the 1948 short film Bone Bandit (see April 30th entry for more details). The story for this short was written by Nick George and Eric Gurney.
The Spirit of Spring, appearing in the guise of a faun, skips through the winter surroundings, changing them into spring as he plays his panflute. He tries to wake Pluto, who follows the spirit in a dreamlike state, before realizing that spring is indeed there, and decides to explore the area. He watches as all signs of spring appear, including bluebirds and lambs, and hears the caterpillar sing a song about spring. The caterpillar then uses Pluto’s tail as a perch for his cocoon, and when she emerges as a beautiful butterfly, Pluto blushes at how beautiful she is. Unfortunately, as he tries to imitate her dancing, he disturbs a bee hive, and the entire swarm of bees chase after him, only stopping after Pluto dives into a patch of poison ivy to escape them.
When Pluto realizes what he’s jumped into, he starts writhing around as he starts to itch, sneezing when he ends up in a patch of goldenrod. It then begins to rain, and as Pluto tries to find shelter, he continues to sneeze so violently that he is thrown back several paces. It then begins to hail just as Pluto makes his way back to his doghouse. Pluto and his house have been ravaged by the time the storm ends, and as the Spirit skips by, Pluto stalks out of the broken shack, chasing after the fleeing Spirit.