The site I use to do my Disney research is going to injure themselves with that stretch. They refer to Pluto’s “nice, warm doghouse.” To my mind, though, it’s yet another example of Mickey’s failure as a pet owner. We’ve been talking about it a lot, as we go through this collection of Pluto cartoons I’ve found online, but I’m quite serious that Mickey Mouse is a terrible pet owner and almost always has been. Something you see a lot starting this time of year is a warning that, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. Pluto’s doghouse is open to the elements, apparently uninsulated, and what with one thing and another he’d be better off having that pet door from last week.
An egret—or heron; the taxonomy’s uncertain and imprecise—is freezing in a pond. It’s flying away to find somewhere warmer, and it encounters Pluto’s doghouse. Pluto comes in the loose board in the fence from the alley, and he goes back to his doghouse. Which moves. So he goes back in, and it moves again. He works out that there’s a big bird in there, and the battle is on.
This is also one where you see that the animators would sometimes run out of ideas. The ending would happen because they don’t know how to end it, so it just thuds into place. It’s cute. It’s fair enough. But it’s not much of an ending, and I’m not sure what a better one would be. It’s another one of those cartoons that falls on its face because it’s a gag without a resolution.
This cartoon is nothing more than slight. The animation’s no great shakes. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing special. It’s a one-note cartoon. One joke with no real punchline. One idea with no resolution. Pluto meets another animal. There is conflict. We move on.
I’d really quite like to go back to the live-action features. It’s a source of continual frustration to me that so many of them are unavailable. I’ll admit some of them are no better than this, just longer. The last of the True-Life Adventures, though, would be nice. I can think of a few others. It would be nice to get more things out of the Vault—more features, more episodes of Walt Disney Presents, just more. Don’t get me wrong; I’m watching the latest episode of Loki as I write this, and I’m really loving it. But they’re going to start charging me more for Disney+ next month, and I still haven’t gotten what I really want.