The Bing Crosby era of Mickey Mouse is probably clinched with the idea of Mickey golfing. Donald golfed at least once, but that seems to have been because that’s another place where he and the nephews can fight with one another. Mickey’s genuinely out for a nice day of golf with his weirdly sentient dog. (As established, there are levels of sentience in cartoon animals, and Pluto is squarely in the middle ground, where he doesn’t have personhood and still has personality.) He’s not learning to golf like Goofy, either. This is just one of those things Mickey enjoys.
Mickey, again, is out golfing. Pluto, again, is his caddy. There’s a little dabbling in the idea that Pluto has a hard time with the idea of utter silence while someone’s trying to hit the ball. Then we discover that part of his job is to be a pointer, finding the ball and showing Mickey where it is. Then, Mickey hits the ball into a gopher hole, and Mickey’s left behind to do his own thing while Pluto fights with the gopher. It ends with one of those moments that makes you wonder who’s responsible for some of the design choices in the world these characters inhabit.
So Mickey is, again, letting his dog just wander off without any supervision. In this case, Pluto’s digging up the golf course. Now, as the documentary Caddyshack tells us (I haven’t seen Caddyshack), gophers can be a real problem on a golf course. After all, golfers are relying on a smooth, even surface except in the traps, one without holes their balls can disappear down. But Mickey is not having his dog sensibly help with rodent control; he’s just letting it tear up the course further.
Also, you know, the concept of “play it as it lays” is an important one in golf, and I’m sure there’s a certain appeal to the ready-made sand tee on Pluto’s butt when Mickey’s ball ends up in a sand trap, but also he is hitting a golf ball off his dog’s butt. Obviously he’s going to miss. Of course he is. Yes, it’s because it’s a cartoon, but while Mickey may not know he lives in a cartoon, he knows he lives in a world with cartoon rules. Those are the rules that have always governed his life. Which means he’s got to know that he’s risking his dog’s personal wellbeing for golf.
The more Mickey Mouse cartoons you watch, the less appealing he can seem. He’s a lousy pet-owner, and this cartoon doesn’t change that view. If anything, it emphasizes it. There’s no one else on this golf course other than Mickey, Pluto, and the gopher, but can you imagine being another golfer somewhere in their vicinity? Pluto and the gopher literally destroy part of the course. Granted, it’s a part that doesn’t mesh with any golf course I’ve ever seen, indeed that seems actively detrimental to the game, but that’s not really the point, is it?
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