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September 10

September 10, 1948 – The pluto Short Film Pluto’s Fledgling is Released to Theaters

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On September 10, 1948, the Pluto short film Pluto’s Fledgling was released to theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Milt Shaffer and Eric Gurney.

It’s a beautiful spring day, and several birds are practicing their flying. A baby bird wishes to practice as well, but when they jump from their nest, they tumble to the ground, landing in Pluto’s water bowl. Pluto is awakened from his nap to find the baby bird drowning and quickly saves it. Pluto then locates its nest and becomes determined to return it. Pluto gets it back to its nest, but the bird is actually annoyed by the gesture. The baby bird once again attempts to fly, this time landing on Pluto’s nose. The baby bird tearfully explains that it wants to fly, and Pluto volunteers to assist it. The bird grabs on to Pluto’s tail and Pluto runs, with the bird practicing its flapping. After tripping over a deflated inner tube, Pluto gets the idea to create a catapult, but the plan almost backfires when the bird gets out of the inner tube and grabs on to Pluto’s tail again. The pair are released into orbit, and Pluto barks at the bird to flap its wings. The bird is flying on its own, but poor Pluto once again crash lands into his doghouse. The bird cheerfully thanks Pluto, while Pluto gives him a wink.

August 31

August 31, 1935 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Pluto’s Judgement Day is Released to Theaters

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“Always chasing cats, aren’t ya? Well, you’re gonna have plenty to answer for on your judgement day!”

On August 31, 1935, the Mickey Mouse short film Pluto’s Judgement Day was released to theaters. It was directed by Dave Hand.

The short begins with Pluto chasing a kitten around the yard until it jumps inside the house. The chase creates a huge mess, and Mickey chastises the pup. Pluto angrily lies down in front of the fire and starts to nap while Mickey cleans up the frightened kitten. Pluto then dreams that a cat has come to the door to call him out for a challenge, and Dream Pluto heads out, though Dream Mickey attempts to stop him. Pluto is led to a special cat cavern, where he is taken deep below and decried as Public Enemy No. 1. He is sentenced for his crimes against all cats, with the judge, jury, and all present all cats, with a wink to the audience that justice certainly is not on Pluto’s side. Each witness is brought in, with one crime more horrific than the next. The jury deliberates for one second before they deliver a guilty verdict for Pluto, and the cats carry him out to his punishment of being held over a fire. Pluto is woken up by a stray piece of coal from the fire, and lands in the tub, splashing Mickey and the kitten. Although initially frightened of the kitten, Mickey convinces the pair to kiss and make up.

August 13

August 13, 1948 – The Pluto Short Film Cat Nap Pluto is Released to Theaters

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On August 13, 1948, the Pluto short film Cat Nap Pluto was released to theaters. This is one of the few shorts that featured the character of Figaro from the animated feature film Pinocchio. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Eric Gurney.

It’s a quiet morning in suburbia, with Figaro snoozing away on his pillow. He goes to wake his friend Pluto, only to find an empty bed. Figaro is soon distracted by the milk man, and spies an exhausted Pluto coming in through the gate. Pluto can barely keep his eyes open, and narrowly manages to get back inside before being greeted by Figaro. Pluto’s Sandman appears and puts Pluto to sleep, which doesn’t last very long when Figaro appears, wanting to play. Pluto manages to make his way under the couch, but Figaro disturbs him again. Pluto’s Sandman uses more and more sand to put him to sleep, but his efforts are thwarted by a playful Figaro. Pluto chases Figaro around the house until he is too tired to move, and falls asleep in Figaro’s bed, with Pluto’s Sandman knocking him out with a hammer. After this, Figaro is unable to wake Pluto in any way, and is soon visited by his own Sandman, who puts the cat to sleep with a hammer. The two Sandmen also put each other to sleep while Pluto and Figaro snooze away happily.

August 7

August 7, 1946 – The Special Pluto Short Film A Feather in His Collar is Delivered to the Community Chests of America

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“That’s the spirit, Pluto! Thank you!”

On August 7, 1946, the special short film A Feather in His Collar was delivered to the Community Chests of America. During World War II, Disney characters were used frequently to encourage viewers to support the war effort, from buying war bonds to paying their taxes. This short film used Pluto to encourage people to donate to their local Community Chests.

The advertisement begins with Pluto sleeping in his doghouse when his nose is splashed with billboard paste. He sleepily looks up to see an ad asking people to give to their Community Chest. Pluto decides to open his safe and donate several of his bones, and is awarded with a red feather placed in his collar. Inspired, Pluto walks around town advertising for people to give to their Community Chest.

July 9

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July 9, 1948 – The Pluto Short Film Pluto’s Purchase is Released to Theaters

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“Now, here’s the money, and hurry home!”

On July 9, 1948, the Pluto short film Pluto’s Purchase was released to theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Eric Gurney and Bill de la Torre.

Pluto is snoring in the living room, when Mickey calls out for him. Mickey has a job for Pluto: to go to the butcher shop. Pluto excitedly sets off on his task, passing by enemy Butch on the way. When Butch sees where Pluto is going, he follows him, and makes sure that Pluto purchases the biggest sausage. He then slinks back to his fence, where he waits to trip Pluto up and steal the sausage. Unfortunately, Pluto just walks over Butch’s paw. He continues to try and snatch the sausage from Pluto, but Pluto unknowingly outwits him. Butch then attempts to use fleas to distract Pluto from his task, and Butch replaces the sausage with an iron block. Pluto finally spots Butch with the sausage, and attempts to take it back. A battle of strength and wits begins between the two, but Pluto manages to grab the sausage and make a break for it and trap Butch in the sewer. Butch manages to make his way out and chases Pluto across town, ending back at Mickey’s house. Mickey then tells Pluto that it’s a birthday present for a friend of his, which to Pluto means his sweetheart, Dinah. Unfortunately for Pluto, the “friend” Mickey means is Butch, who heads home with the sausage happily while Pluto sulks.

May 18

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May 18, 1951 – The Pluto Short Film Plutopia Premieres in Theaters

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“Oh, my life is ruined! You won’t bite me! Oh, woe is me!”

On May 18, 1951, the Pluto short film Plutopia premiered in theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Ralph Wright and Al Bertino. It was one of the last Pluto shorts created.

Mickey and Pluto arrive at Camp Utopia, and Pluto starts sniffing all the trees excitedly, until he spies a cat on their welcome mat. Unfortunately, just as Pluto is enjoying himself, Mickey finds that there are several rules for the guests, including Pluto not being allowed in the cabin and having to wear a muzzle and a leash. Pluto is dismayed, but finds himself outside, muzzled and tied to the door. He tries to eat some food left outside, but also spies the cat again, who taunts Pluto by taking the food and devouring it. Pluto decides to try and sleep for the night, but the cat continues to torment him. That night, Pluto has a strange dream, where he is taken to a place called Plutopia, where the cat appears as his servant. Pluto beats up the cat, but the cat seems thankful for the beating. He continues to torment the cat out of spite, but is shocked at how the cat punishes himself for not serving Pluto well. Pluto continues to enjoy himself in Plutopia, eating to excess and tormenting his cat servant. Pluto then wakes up to find it’s all been a dream, and Mickey finds Pluto and the cat sleeping peacefully on the welcome mat, until Pluto, still sleepy, bites the cat’s tail. The two start fighting, and accidentally drag Mickey into their mess.

May 10

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May 10, 1946 – The Pluto Short Film In Dutch is Released to Theaters

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“And never don’t you two come back!”

On May 10, 1946, the Pluto short film In Dutch was released to theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Harry Reeves and Jesse Marsh.

Pluto is delivering milk in a small Dutch town, when he arrives at the mayor’s house, home of Dinah, Pluto’s sweetheart. He treats her to a small bowl of milk, though he gets distracted and accidentally pours out too much. He tries to make it up to her using tulips, which works, as Dinah kisses him. The two accidentally set off the dike alarm, warning the townspeople of a hole in the dike, and Pluto gets berated by the whole town. Pluto and Dinah are kicked out of town, but as they walk away, they realize that there really is a problem with the dike. Pluto rushes back to town to pull the alarm, but the townspeople think it’s another false alarm. Pluto then tricks the townspeople to follow him to the scene of the problem, where Dinah is dangerously close to drowning. The townspeople find the pair and realize that the two are heroes, and invite them back to town, where Dinah continues to help Pluto with his milk rounds.

April 29

April 29, 1949 – The Pluto Short Film Pluto’s Sweater Premieres in Theaters

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“You can go outdoors now, and your sweater will keep you so warm and comfy!”

On April 29, 1949, the Pluto short film Pluto’s Sweater was released to theaters. This is one of the few shorts that features both Figaro and Butch with Pluto. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Eric Gurney and Milt Schaffer.

Pluto and Figaro are quizzically studying Minnie’s new knitting project, which Pluto thinks is a long john for Minnie. However, Figaro corrects him: the sweater is for him. Minnie forces Pluto to wear the sweater, which he finds incredibly itchy. Although Pluto doesn’t want to be seen in the pink monstrosity, Minnie insists that he go outside, and throws him out the doggie door. As he stands outside, Butch and his gang come across him, and laugh hysterically. Pluto tries to hide, but the pink makes him stand out. The sleeves on the sweater are also too big, and Pluto finds himself completely tied up at one point. Pluto tries to free himself and ends up in a pond; when he gets out, the sweater shrinks at an alarming rate, and Pluto heads home with the sweater around his head. When he arrives, Minnie is distraught and begins to cry, and Pluto feels guilty about upsetting her – until he realizes that the sweater is the perfect size for Figaro, who puts up a fight when Minnie places it on him.

April 7

April 7, 1950 – The Pluto Short Film Wonder Dog Premieres in Theaters

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On April 7, 1950, the Pluto short film Wonder Dog premiered in theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Bill Peed and Nick Banta. The short features Pluto’s on-again off-again girlfriend Dinah, and his nemesis Butch; the short also features circus music used in the feature film Dumbo.

Pluto is in his doghouse, dreaming of Dinah, when Dinah happens to pass by, ignoring him. Pluto tries to get her attention, but she is more interested in Prince, the Wonder Dog of the circus. Pluto slinks away, saddened by this, but gets an idea: if he were like Prince, then he would have Dinah’s affection. He then goes into a daydream of being Pluto the Wonder Dog, unaware that he is acting it out in reality, with his stunts waking up Butch. Butch laughs as Pluto continues to practice simple circus tricks, but stops laughing when he notices Pluto mocking him. When Butch chases after Pluto, Pluto is able to perform the stunts out of desperation to get way from Butch. Dinah is able to see Pluto performing, and is duly impressed. In the end, Pluto gets the affection he has so longed for from Dinah.

 

March 3

March 3, 1934 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Playful Pluto is Released to Theaters

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“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.