March 3, 1934 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Playful Pluto is Released to Theaters
“Now see what you’ve done, you big clown!”
On March 3, 1934, the Mickey Mouse short film Playful Pluto was released to theaters. It contains a piece of animation by Norm Ferguson that has been hailed within the animation field as being one of the first examples of personality animation, with the cartoon character expressing thoughts and emotions through their actions. The scene inspired the likes of Ollie Johnston to go into animation. The short was directed by Burt Gillett.
The short begins with Mickey raking leaves in his backyard and playing around with Pluto. As Pluto fetches a stick from Mickey, a small whirwind sneaks into the yard and starts scattering all the leaves. As Mickey accidentally knocks himself out with the rake, the whirlwind takes his basket and whirls everything once again neatly into the basket – which is soon knocked over again by an eager Pluto. Mickey is angry with Pluto to begin with, but realizes he can’t stay mad at his best pal. Mickey continues with his chores, with Pluto curiously following along and getting into trouble by pulling out the tap. Mickey rushes into the root cellar to turn off the water main, with Pluto holding the flashlight for him. The water main jumps out and hits Pluto in the teeth, knocking the flashlight inside. As Pluto hiccups, the flashlight briefly turns on, scaring the poor dog. Pluto races around the cellar with Mickey trying to calm him down. Pluto runs through the screen door and hides within Mickey’s chest of drawers before realizing that everything is okay. As Mickey steps inside to find Pluto, he sees that a whole swarm of flies has entered through the hole in the screen door, and lays down some flypaper to catch them. Pluto notices a fly nearby and starts following it, unfortunately getting his nose caught on one of the many strips of flypaper. As Pluto frees his nose he then gets the flypaper caught on his paws and his ears before accidentally sitting on it. As Pluto struggles, he ends up caught in the window shade until Mickey frees him.