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Mickey's pal Pluto developed from the pair of bloodhounds in "The Chain Gang" (1930). Walt Disney liked animator Norm Ferguson's handling of the dogs' expressions, so the artists continued to work with the character. Ferguson's breakthrough animation of the flypaper sequence in "Playful Pluto" (1934), available on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Vol. 2, showed that the cartoon character could think and react to a situation through pantomime. Many cartoons follow the pattern of "Playful Pluto": the ochre dog tries to cope with either a recalcitrant object--skates in "On Ice," an inflatable rubber horse in "Beach Picnic"--or a cute but troublesome animal: a seal in "Pluto's Playmate," a gopher in "Canine Caddy" and the title character in "Pluto and the Armadillo."

Pluto's quick temper and willingness to rush in where pedigrees fear to tread made him a popular subject for cartoons (and military insignias) during World War II. In "First Aiders," Pluto serves as a reluctant subject when Minnie practices splinting and bandaging. Eager to do his bit, he serves as a military watch dog in "Private Pluto," "Dog Watch," and "Canine Patrol." In several of these cartoons, Mickey is reduced to playing straight man to Pluto, who gets the laughs. Pluto is pitted against a black housekeeper, reminiscent of Mammy Two-Shoes in the Tom and Jerry cartoons in "Pantry Pirate"--a rare example of ethnic stereotyping in a Disney short. (Unrated, suitable for ages 5 and older: cartoon violence, occasional ethnic stereotypes)

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Special Features

* The Life And Times Of Pluto
* Pluto's Picture Book (Excerpt From 'A Story Of Dogs')
* Pluto's Pal Fergy (Norm Ferguson Tribute)
* Pluto 101 (Character Design And Animation)
* Art Galleries: Pluto On Paper, Pluto's Posters, Background Paintings, Animation Drawings

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WD35057 Complete Pluto DVD (1930 - 1947) $32.99 $27.99