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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. Its plotline is a parody of the book, that is 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 it and end up eating most of it. While he is preoccupied with fighting them off, a pelican eats the remainder of it. Realizing what had happened, he opens the pelican's beak to get it out, but a fish from inside spits water at him. Meanwhile, Mickey tries to pitch a bucket of water off the ship, but it keeps coming back to him, much to his annoyance. Donald and Goofy spot a sleeping whale, but Goofy's efforts to harpoon it keep failing because he doesn't have all the tools needed (he also accidentally sets his own buttocks 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 he isn't fast enough and Goofy falls off the line out of his boot, which Donald gets his head stuck in, through the whale's blowhole, and ends up in its mouth. Lighting a match so he can see better, he inadvertently wakes it up and it starts coughing. A wave comes in through its open mouth and washes him around. He gets blown out of its blowhole and falls back down, his head getting stuck in it. Meanwhile, Donald gets out of the boot, falls into the water, and is chased back to the ship by the angry whale, where, after he is nearly eaten, it 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 the English dub. But he does speak in the Poland dub right after he notices Donald being chased by the whale.
  • 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.
  • The whale in this short served as an inspiration for Monstro in Pinocchio, which was in production at the 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 sandwich 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 him loading it with an anchor.
  • The smoke from Goofy's lit match causing the whale to wake up and choke on the smoke, throwing Goofy off balance inside its mouth.
  • The whale chase is shortened.


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