August 30, 1940 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Pluto’s Dream House is Released to Theaters
“Man, if you don’t want nothin’, don’t rub us magic lamps!”
On August 30, 1940, the Mickey Mouse short film Pluto’s Dream House was released to theaters. This short is an example of dialect humor, which was a popular staple of entertainment in this time period, especially with radio programs. If one looks closely, you can see that Mickey and Pluto have been together a long time, as Pluto’s first doghouse was built in 1926 – two years before Steamboat Willie. The short was directed by Clyde Geronimi.
In Mickey’s backyard, Mickey and Pluto are studying the blueprints for Pluto’s new streamlined doghouse. Pluto looks over at his old house, which is falling apart rapidly. Mickey and Pluto then excitedly begin building. As Pluto digs, several things are pulled from the ground, including a magic lamp, which starts talking after Mickey rubs in. The lamp, after scaring Pluto, lets Mickey know that he will grant any wish Mickey asks. Mickey then asks for a doghouse for Pluto. The lamp sputters and spins, and a burst of magic comes out of his spout, causing all the tools to start work on the doghouse by their own accord.
Mickey watches in astonishment as the house is made, and Pluto is attacked by the tools when he gets a little too close to their activities. Finally, the hosue is created, all tricked out with neon lishgts and a diamond encrusted fire hydrant. The lamp then gives Mickey the idea to wish that Pluto had a bath, and Pluto is sent flying into a tub of water. After a while, Pluto begins to enjoy the bath. Mickey then sits and relaxes in the living room, but has trouble finding something to listen to on the radio. As the lamp scrubs behind Pluto’s ears, Pluto ends up slammed against the wall, hitting it hard enough to knock the radio over and break it. The lamp interprets the sounds from the broken radio as commands from Mickey, and starts beating Pluto up. As Pluto is being tortured, the audience then realizes that this has all been Pluto’s dream. When Mickey tries to wake the whimpering Pluto, the dog howls with fright and leaps into Mickey’s bed. Mickey laughs at his pet’s behavior as Pluto clutches his master tightly.