My mother told me, years ago, the story of a postal inspector who freaked out over something being sent through the mail under the name “Lady Elaine’s Purple Palace of Pleasure” or something similar. It turned out that it was Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and the video or film or whatever it is was from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Because it turns out that things that are completely innocent can, in the presence of a certain kind of thought, be obscene. (It’s worth noting that the “blunder” sense of the word “boner” dates to 1912, and the, you know, other sense is only from the ’50s, and since the comic we’re all thinking of is from 1951, maybe that’s before the change?) Quite why this happens so often with Pluto cartoons, I cannot say.
Pluto (Pinto Colvig) is once again doing basic household tasks for Mickey (not appearing in this cartoon). In this case, he’s checking the mail. There are some letters, and there’s a mysterious box. Despite is, you know, airholes, Pluto is convinced that maybe it’s something wonderful for him like imported bones. But it is not. It is a turtle. It really wants to go swimming; Pluto really wants to get it, and the letters, inside. They end up all over the place, including going over your standard Conveniently Placed Animated Cliff.
Seriously, though, what’s that all about? I won’t say I’m completely unfamiliar with cliffs; I have a lovely picture of my son climbing up a clay hillside that’s steep enough to basically be a cliff. (There are several of those in and around the Puget Sound area; some, they literally are cliffs and you can’t climb them without special equipment.) The mountains in California have no few of them as well. It’s just that I have never seen anywhere near as many as appear in cartoons, and they pretty well all have convenient shrubbery sticking out of them.
Also, we never do find this out, but who mailed Mickey a turtle and why? I mean, I assume it’s Mickey; Pluto is canonically Mickey’s dog. Certainly someone sent someone a turtle by mail. I actually did find a site after a very quick Google search about how to send a turtle or tortoise by mail, should you have an interest in doing so, but I genuinely don’t know why the average person would want to. Did Mickey buy it? Is it a gift? Why would you give someone a random turtle?
This short is bewildering. It’s one of those where I feel certain that someone came up with a pretty basic idea—Pluto interacts with a turtle—and didn’t really put much thought into it beyond that. It’s a collection of gags. That’s fine, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a series of fairly tepid gags that rely on Pluto’s being thwarted from doing work I’m not sure a dog should be doing on his own anyway. And it’s into the “how sentient are the animals?” weeds again, as most purely Pluto cartoons seem to be.