The Pointer was an animated short released in 1939. It was the first short to feature the new look that Mickey Mouse was given in the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment in Fantasia (although storyboard sketches, as well as the theatrical poster seen on the right, still used his original design).
Pluto becomes a hunting dog, learning how to point for Mickey.
Mickey Mouse and Pluto are camping in the woods about to set out hunting. Mickey, dressed in a hunting outfit very similar to Elmer Fudd's, reads to Pluto from an instructional book how to point at game and not move. Mickey promises that if they are successful they will have "quail on toast, and maybe a nice big juicy bear steak" that night. After Mickey tosses aside a can of beans in favor of their target meal, they set out into the forest, Mickey carrying a shotgun.
But the first time they see quail, Pluto gets too excited, knocks Mickey over, and scares the birds away. Mickey scolds Pluto, but later softens, realizing that Pluto is a mutt and won't be able to learn. They set off again, but become separated. Pluto again hears some quail, and points at them. He is careful this time not to move at all, even to the point of letting the quail jump up on him and pull his fur. However, Mickey is unaware that Pluto is not right behind him. He jumps down from a rock and unwittingly wakes a sleeping bear who starts to follow him. Only when Mickey doubles around and comes across Pluto, still in his pointer position, does he realize that there is a bear behind him.
The bear appears to be belligerent, but instead of running away, Mickey first tries to talk to the bear, explaining that he and Pluto were only hunting quail. Mickey even introduces himself to the bear, saying "i hope you've heard of me".
The bear instead chases after Mickey and Pluto, who tear a path across the landscape back to their camp. That night they happily eat a supper of the canned beans from earlier.
- Disneyland, episode #1.1: "The Disneyland Story"
- Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, episode #8.5: "The Hunting Instinct"
- The New Mickey Mouse Club, March 14, 1977
- Good Morning, Mickey, episode #9
- The Ink and Paint Club, episode #1.2: "Mickey Landmarks"
- Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: Pluto (VHS/laserdisc)
- Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume 2 (DVD)
- Walt Disney's Funny Factory: With Mickey (DVD)