April 2, 1943 – The Pluto Short Film Private Pluto is Released to Theaters
“Private Pluto, there are saboteurs in the vicinity! Guard that pillbox with your life!”
On April 2, 1943, the Pluto short film Private Pluto was released to theaters. This short marks the first appearance of chipmunk duo Chip and Dale, although they are not yet named (their official names were announced with the release of the 1947 short film Chip an’ Dale). The short was directed by Clyde Geronimi.
It’s morning at the Army camp, and Pluto marches with the other soldiers. He is then given orders to guard a pillbox from sabotage. Pluto takes his job seriously, and turns around to see a cannon being used to smash apart a nut, with a chipmunk stepping from the cannon and picking up the pieces. As Pluto goes to investigate, another acorn is sent flying from the cannon to the ground, and as he goes to sniff it, the cannon whacks him on the head. The chipmunk looks at him, unafraid, and takes the acorn from a dazed Pluto’s mouth. They then tease the dog, using his helmet to place several acorns, and once again smashes his head (and acorns) with the cannon. Pluto is finally able to see who his nemeses are, and manages to take their acorns before they can use the cannon again. He continues to steal their acorns, but they quickly catch on to his plan and seek revenge. They trap Pluto by his backside in the mouth of the cannon, and fire him high into the air. The chipmunk pair watch Pluto fall, and put one more plan into action: they place acorns in the area occupied by Pluto’s shadow. When Pluto lands on the ground, he smashes all the acorns the chipmunks placed. They remove Pluto by biting his tail, and collect all the acorns, escaping before Pluto can catch them. The short ends with Pluto whining and banging on the pillbox door.