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Pluto is Mickey Mouse's pet dog and closest companion, first appearing as nameless bloodhounds in 1930's The Chain Gang. Pluto is very unique for a character in Mickey's world, in that he is not anthropomorphic beyond showing a broad range of facial expressions; he is actually represented as a normal dog, lacking speech and the ability to walk upright.
Following The Chain Gang, Pluto would appear again as Minnie Mouse's dog Rover in The Picnic. It wouldn't be until The Moose Hunt in 1931 that Pluto would finally appear with his proper name (given to him by Walt Disney) as the faithful dog of Mickey Mouse. From then on, the character of Pluto quickly grew in popularity. 1934's Playful Pluto is often credited as Pluto's defining short, mainly for a scene animated by Norman Ferguson, in which Pluto gets stuck to flypaper and must figure out a way to escape his plight, all with no dialogue.
Pluto's ability to convey emotion through pantomime made him a favorite amongst animators. His prominence in Disney shorts eventually surpassed even that of Mickey's, with a number of cartoons dedicating more screentime to Pluto despite headlining as a Mickey picture. In 1940, Pluto was given his own series of cartoons beginning with Bone Trouble, which saw Pluto budding heads with Butch the Bulldog over a bone.
Pluto is truly a well-trained dog. Like his master Mickey, he can get into a large amount of trouble but has enough brains to escape the situation. He acts as Mickey's sidekick, best friend, conscience on some occasions, and pet. The pet is extremely loyal but on occasion does have the tendency to argue and be fussy with people or even Mickey.
He shows a strong disliking towards cats. This hatred could have mostly been sparked by not only natural instincts but the rivalry with Minnie's cat Figaro. The two constantly compete for Minnie's attention and love but in recent years have been much kinder to each other. Pluto is also famous for his powerful sense of smell. According to Mickey, Pluto can find anything and anybody with his nose. He appears to be a mixed breed containing both a bloodhound and a pointer.
While intelligent enough, Pluto can be a bit clumsy and his childlike persona is often mistaken for stupidity. He's not immune to being outwitted but can get back on track which is usually bad news since Pluto can have a nasty temper. He has two consciences. One evil (which is Pluto's devil counterpart) and one good (which is Pluto's angel counterpart). They occasional appear in hard situations and Pluto tends to listen to the negative side at the beginning but the positive doesn't take no for an answer, having Pluto do good in the end.
The pup has an A-list life: a good home, family, and the greatest owner for his type, but he has been accidentally mistreated. Being that he spends the most time in the house, he has been blamed for a handful of things. His pal Mickey has always forgiven him in the end as he is often reminded why Pluto is deemed his best friend. This situation showcases the strong bond between Mickey and Pluto who can be inseparable at times.
Pluto also has a tendency to fall in love rather quickly. Whenever this would occur, Pluto would usually stop at nothing to win the heart of the girl in question. Some of the girls Pluto has been smitten with include: Fifi the Peke, Dinah the Dachshund, and Tiki. Despite his recurring love bug, the cartoon Pluto's Penthouse Sweet showed that Pluto's friendship with Mickey can overshadow his love interest.
Pluto is also considered one of the first Disney characters to break out of the "rubber hose and circle" formula style the studio had relied on; the dog's design gave him the appearance of actually being round instead of flat. In addition, Pluto is one of the first cartoon characters that is actually shown to have thought processes through the use of character animation. His thought processes are showcased in a landmark scene from 1934's Playful Pluto, in which Pluto becomes stuck to a piece of flypaper and attempts to figure out a way to get himself unstuck.
Pluto is sometimes billed as "Mickey's Pal Pluto" (which is also the title of a 1933 cartoon), as he is very devoted to his master. Even though he's been known to run in the opposite direction when confronted by something frightening, Pluto is protective of Mickey. In many cartoons, Pluto tried his doggedness to assist his owner, and nothing made the happy hound happier, even if their plans didn't always turn out as expected. Puppy Love (1933) found Pluto accompanying Mickey on a romantic visit to Minnie; the pooch tries to help out with spring cleaning in Playful Pluto (1934); and in On Ice (1935), the curious canine was out for a day of ice-skating, even though in Pluto's case it is thanks to two pairs of skates attached to his paws by Donald Duck.
Audiences so took the loose-limbed hound to heart that, even as continued to co-star in many of Mickey's films, he was given his own series of solo-starring cartoons, starting with Pluto's Quinpuplets (1937), but even before that he became the only Disney standard character to star in his own Silly Symphony, Mother Pluto (1936). Pluto has a veritable kennel-full of supporting players, including his nemesis, the bullying bulldog called Butch, and not one but two canine-cuties as sweethearts Fifi, the temperamental Pekinese and also Dinah the long-lashed dachshund. Interestingly, in "Pluto's Quinpuplets", Pluto and Fifi are seen as "Mr. And Mrs. Pluto," the parents of five mischievous mutts. Pluto is also seen as the pop of a pup in Pluto Junior (1942) and as the big bro of a little guy in Pluto's Kid Brother (1946). In films such as First Aiders (1944), Pluto has been teamed with Figaro the feisty feline from Pinocchio (1940), whose annoying antics gets the easily frustrated pooch's hairs up. A definite highlight for the humble hound was Lend a Paw (1941) which was awarded the Oscar® for Best Cartoon of the Year.
Throughout the 1950s, Pluto would continue to appear in short films. But, as the studio began focusing on other endeavors such as their animated features, the introduction of television, and the début of Disneyland, Pluto's career in animated shorts would eventually cease; his last theatrical cartoon in the original Mickey Mouse series being The Simple Things (1953).
Afterward, Pluto would make appearances in comic stories and some episodes of the Walt Disney anthology series, until finally vanishing from the mainstream audience for nearly three decades. Unlike the rest of the classic cast, Pluto did not return for the short film Mickey's Christmas Carol, instead reappearing in the 1990's short The Prince and the Pauper, reprising his classic role as Mickey's dog and companion. From this point, forward, Pluto's vocal performance would be provided by Bill Farmer, who also began voicing Goofy around the same time. Pluto's red collar was also revamped as an identical green collar for most modern appearances, something that was first introduced in Society Dog Show (1939)
Today, Pluto remains one of Disney's most recognizable and popular characters, appearing in various forms of media, and every incarnation of the Mickey Mouse franchise. Along with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, and Daisy, Pluto is one of the six leading characters of the Walt Disney Company.
In Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Pluto appears in the last segment as Mickey's faithful dog and co-worker. Pluto helps Mickey gain enough money to buy Minnie a chain for her watch. When their boss Pete fires them and takes their money Pluto tries to find a way to help Mickey gain more money. Mickey and Pluto end up performing at a charity and after the performance, Mickey realizes he can maybe trade his harmonica for the chain. The owner states the harmonica is not worth much and when he hears Mickey sad melody on the harmonica he changes his mind. Pluto and Mickey return to Minnie's home and his presence was a bone.
Pluto appears in the last segment in the computer-animated sequel Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. In the short, Pluto runs away from Mickey after destroying the decorations and having a fight with Mickey. Pluto runs into a train and ends up in the North Pole. Pluto meets and befriends Santa's seven reindeer who name him Murray (as in "Murray Christmas"). Pluto begins to miss Mickey, while back in town, Mickey is looking for Pluto. Mickey meets Santa Claus and tells him about missing Pluto. Santa returns home and finds Pluto with his reindeer Donner and Blitzen. Santa and the reindeer return Pluto home. Mickey and Pluto reunite and celebrate Christmas together.
Pluto plays a supporting role in the film. Here, Pluto lives alongside janitors, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. The three dream of being musketeers after being saved by three as children. Pluto was also present as a puppy during the experience. However, their dream seems as far away as ever. Pluto often reminds Mickey never to give up, presenting him with the hat the musketeer gave him after the rescue years ago. Later on in the film, the villainous Captain Pete plots to steal the throne from Princess Minnie and hires Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to be her musketeer bodyguards. He believes they'll do a terrible job and prove no obstacle to his plans. On the day of meeting the Princess and her lady in waiting for Daisy, Pluto gives himself a facepalm as his friends made a terrible first impression attacking Daisy thinking she's a villain. Pluto is seen again after Pete's minion Clarabelle kidnaps Goofy. Pluto rushes to warn Mickey. Unfortunately, Mickey is kidnapped by Pete. Pluto is then seen with Donald and the freed Goofy rushing to save Mickey and then Princess Minnie. Pluto is last seen at the royal ceremony in which Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are dubbed royal musketeers.
Pluto appears as a main character in the animated series Mickey Mouse Works, once again appearing as Mickey Mouse's faithful pooch. A recurring segment was the Pluto Gets the Paper mini-shorts, where he is asked to fetch the paper for Mickey but always winds up getting into trouble. Aside from this, Pluto also has his own cartoons reliving the classic Walt Disney cartoons using an expression to tell an entertaining story.
Pluto appears once again in the series House of Mouse as the club's official mascot. Despite being apart of the main cast, Pluto usually makes only cameo appearances in most episodes not revolving around him. A notable episode featuring him is "Pluto Saves the Day" in which Pluto feels unappreciated and becomes a hero after Pete poisons everyone with the Witch's poisoned apple. In another episode "Pluto vs. Figaro", Pluto needed a helper, Figaro, Minnie's kitten, after Minnie thinks Pluto has been working too hard.
Pluto reappears as the main character in the computer-animated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Pluto joins in nearly every adventure Mickey and Friends set off on and helps the gang solve many puzzling problems. While being apart of the main cast, Pluto's role is usually supporting often adding comic relief rather than advancing the episode's plot like other characters.
Several episodes revolved around Pluto such as Pluto's Best where he competes with longtime rival Butch and others like Pluto's Puppysitting Adventure which has Pluto and Mickey watching over Clarabelle's puppy Bella. Pluto's most important role in the series is Mickey's sidekick joining him on most adventures and seen with Mickey more than all other characters. In the recent episode Pluto's Tale, Pluto was the central character who must rescue Princess Bella from the evil Wizard Pete.
Pluto returns in the 2013 Mickey Mouse television series.
His very first appearance was in "Dog Show". In this episode, he and Mickey were getting ready for a dog show, practicing tricks in the park when Goofy arrives. Believing that they're playing as opposed to practicing, Goofy decides to join in on the fun and grabs a stick to play fetch with Pluto. Pluto chases the stick and catches it, but accidentally runs off the edge of a cliff and gets hospitalized. Due to this, Mickey cleverly gets the idea to have Goofy take Pluto's place in the dog show.
Pluto reappears in "Space Walkies", where he and Mickey travel to outer space, though Pluto's uncontrollable habits (such as his uncontrollable bladder and urge to chase Chip & Dale) cause chaos.
Pluto plays another central role in "Doggone Biscuits", where he is left in Minnie's care while Mickey goes out of town. Pluto's favorite treats are incredibly fattening, however, and despite Mickey's warnings, Minnie accidentally feeds the entire bag of treats to the pup, resulting in him gaining a massive amount of weight. The rest of the episode revolves around Minnie struggling to restore Pluto's health and figure before Mickey comes home.
Pluto also has a central role in "Coned!", when Mickey puts on a dog cone to show Pluto it's not so bad being coned, he ends up blindly putting himself in danger so Pluto has to keep him safe.
In "Year of the Dog", Pluto is a stray living in the streets of Shanghai. Upon smelling the food coming from a nearby home owned by Mickey, he sneaks inside and eats nearly every meal, apart from the main dish. Mickey catches him in the act, and a chase ensues. In the end, upon realizing Pluto was stray eating for survival, Mickey warmly takes the pup into his home.
Pluto appeared in the opening theme for the 1950's television series The Mickey Mouse Club. As Mickey and the gang perform the song, Pluto creates music with the use of his drums, even having a solo.
He also makes a minor cameo in the DuckTales episode "Down and Out in Duckburg": in Scrooge McDuck's nightmare of what his life and that of his friends would be like if he lost all his money, Pluto is a stray dog whom Scrooge must wrestle for a little bit of food.
Pluto appears in the fourth book, Power Play. Here, he and Minnie help guide Finn and Amanda to get to Tom Sawyer Island. In the way, they encounter the Big Bad Wolf, who Pluto stays to distract and confront.
In the series, Pluto appears as King Mickey's pet and also appears to be a messenger for him in some Kingdom Hearts games. Pluto has so far appeared in all games released except for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Pluto has a notable role in Kingdom Hearts, where he informs the group of Mickey's absence from a letter and is the first to greet Sora in Traverse Town, and is seen carrying a mysterious letter with Mickey's seal on it at the end of the game, causing Sora, Donald, and Goofy to chase after him, concluding the game. Kingdom Hearts II gives Pluto a more major role in the game, where Pluto becomes something of a guardian to Kairi after chasing Axel into the Destiny Islands and accompanies her throughout the rest of the game. During the credits, he returns with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to Disney Castle.
Pluto appears in the game as a meet-and-greet character near the entrance to Tomorrowland on Main Street, U.S.A. and near Toontown City Hall in Mickey's Toontown. Pluto is one of only two meet-and-greet characters that do not speak (the other being Duffy). When Donald finds the map to Pluto's buried bones, Mickey asks the player if they can return it to Pluto and also to find more of his bones. Pluto also marches alongside Mickey's float in the Mickey's Soundsational Parade mini-game.
Pluto's doghouse could be found in the backyard of Mickey's House in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland. A counter-service restaurant called Pluto's Doghouse is also found at Disneyland's Toontown, selling hot dogs. He can also be found in Toontown for meet-and-greets, as well as Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure.
In the hub of Disneyland, surrounding Sleeping Beauty Castle, a bronze statue of Pluto is featured alongside other classic characters.
Pluto spoke once in his career - "Kiss Me" in The Moose Hunt. He also had one somewhat-spoken line after that - "Huh?" in Pluto and the Armadillo and Mickey and the Seal.
Like Sora becoming friends with Donald and Goofy, and Riku becoming friends with King Mickey, Pluto may be the Disney friend to the original character, Kairi, in Kingdom Hearts II, as he keeps her company during her capture in The World That Never Was.
He is the only member of the Sensational Six who doesn't appear in Disney Universe.
Pluto's head design is actually quite similar to Goofy's, minus the buck teeth.
Pluto is also the name of the Roman god of the Underworld (his Greek counterpart is Hades). Coincidentally, Pluto (the dog) was actually created at the same time as the discovery of the dwarf planet named Pluto, which was at the time considered as the Solar System's ninth planet.
Coincidentally, the more recent photographs of Pluto (the dwarf planet) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal it to be the exact shade of orange as Pluto's (the dog) fur.
On the Walt Disney Studios lot, there is a curb dubbed "Pluto's Corner". On the curb is a hydrant, while Pluto's footprints can be seen on the pavement. Only three footprints are seen, meant to indicate that Pluto took a restroom break in that spot.