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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Original Production Animation Drawing of Mickey Mouse and Pluto from "Playful Pluto," 1934


Original production drawing of Mickey Mouse and Pluto from "Playful Pluto," 1934; Graphite and red pencils on peg hole paper; Numbered 42 lower right; Size - Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Stairs: 6 x 8 1/2", Sheet 9 1/2 x 12"; Unframed.

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"Playful Pluto," 1934 is a Walt Disney black and white short film directed by Burt Gillett and starring Mickey Mouse and his dog Pluto. Walt Disney provided the voice of Mickey and Pinto Colvig was the voice of Pluto. Music was by Frank Churchill, Larry Morey, and Paul J. Smith; and the film was animated by Norman Ferguson, Dick Lundy, and Art Babbitt. The film stands out as being the first cartoon in which Pluto was developed as major character.


Close up of the Mickey Mouse and Pluto original production animation drawing.

The summary of the short is that while Mickey Mouse is working around his house, but his dog Pluto keeps bothering and interrupting him. Soon poor Pluto accidentally swallows a flash light and ends up getting stuck on a sticky piece of flypaper. These action packed scenes were animated by Norm Ferguson, who is noted for his significant contribution to the character of Pluto. The great Walt Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston paid extensive tribute to Ferguson's work in their 1981 book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. They cited the famous "flypaper sequence" from Playful Pluto in which Pluto is stuck to a piece of flypaper as a: "milestone in personality animation...through it all, his reaction to his predicament and his thoughts of what to try next are shared with the audience. It was the first time a character seemed to be thinking on the screen, and, though it lasted only 65 seconds, it opened the way for animation of real characters with real problems."


Close up of the production number.

This is a great drawing of both Mickey Mouse and Pluto together on a single animation peg hole sheet of paper. The drawing is from the scene when Pluto has accidentally swallowed a flash light and is racing from the basement of Mickey's house, outside, and then back through the front door. Mickey is grabbing Pluto by the tail, trying to slow him down, and ultimately stop him. A wonderful and very action filled drawing from an early 1930's black and white Walt Disney short.