The Whalers is a Mickey Mouse animated short film released on August 19, 1938. It was directed by Dick Heumer and produced by Walt Disney. The plotline of the short is a parody of the book, that loosely based on the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.


Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are on a whaling boat in search of whales. Donald tries to eat a sandwich for lunch, but seagulls bother and harass him to get the sandwich and end up eating most of it. While Donald is preoccupied with fighting off the gulls, a pelican eats the remainder of the sandwich. Meanwhile, Mickey tries to pitch a bucket of water off the ship, but it keeps coming back to him, to his annoyance. Donald and Goofy spot a sleeping whale, but Goofy's efforts to shoot a harpoon keep failing because he doesn't have all the tools needed (at one point, he sets his own bottom on fire). He eventually succeeds in launching the anchor in place of the harpoon, but his foot gets caught in the attached line and when the anchor hits an iceberg he ends up hanging from the line above the whale's head.

Donald rushes to Goofy's rescue, but isn't fast enough and Goofy falls off the line, through the whale's blowhole, and ends up in the whale's mouth. Lighting a match so he can see better, Goofy inadvertently wakes the whale up and it starts coughing. A wave comes in through the whale's open mouth and washes Goofy around. He gets blown out of the whale's blowhole and falls back down, his head getting stuck in the blowhole. Meanwhile, Donald falls into the water and is chased by the angry whale back to the ship, where, after Donald is nearly eaten, the whale rams and destroys the ship. Mickey, Donald and Goofy fly through the air and land on a small raft made of the ship's debris. Goofy ends up with a fish in his hands, and, believing it is the whale, says, "Gosh, he must have shrunk!"



  • This was one of the shorts featured as a level in Epic Mickey.
  • Mickey does not speak in this short.
  • This is the last time Pinto Colvig would voice Goofy before his departure from Disney in the late 1930s. He would return in the mid-1940s in How to Be a Sailor.
  • This whale from this cartoon served as an inspiration for Monstro in Pinocchio, which was in production at that time.



Home video



Have a Laugh! changes

The following scenes were deleted from the short release due to time constraints:

  • Donald's first scene, where his lunch is threatened by seagulls and a pelican.
  • Mickey's attempted at emptying the pail of water is reduced significantly; only the first attempt is shown.
  • The numerous gags with Goofy and the cannon; it only shows Goofy loading the cannon with an anchor.
  • The smoke from Goofy's lit fuse causing the whale to wake up and cough on the smoke, throwing Goofy off balance inside.
  • The whale chase is shortened.


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