Day 16: Plutopia (1951)
Starring: Pluto and Milton
Costarring: Mickey Mouse
Setting: Camp Utopia: The Sportsman’s Paradise
Plot: Pluto’s disappointment in Camp Utopia manifests itself into a bizarre dream.
Among the various anti-dog rules listed under the “Camp Rules for Guests” bulletin is one forbidding “kicking about mice in cabins.” What does that even mean and why couldn’t one kick mice???
It’s pretty cruel and irresponsible of Mickey to declare Camp Utopia as “Plutopia” only to turn around and kick Pluto out of the cabin and muzzle him. Mickey should’ve read the rules before getting Pluto all excited.
That Siamese cat is named Milton and this is his first of three appearances in the classic shorts.
In Pluto’s dream, Milton speaks and plays the part of Pluto’s acquiescent and self-loathing servant.
Dream Milton also exhibits a dangerous streak of masochism where he begs Pluto to bite him and even thanks him for roughing him up. He’s also prone to fits of hitting himself and even attempts to commit suicide with a shotgun blast to the head.
In return for Pluto finally biting Milton, the cat rewards him with an endless supply of food and even springs a bone well which results in Pluto living in a bone palace.
Mickey’s closing line of “What happened?” is aped in Wish Upon a Coin (2015) from the current series of Mickey Mouse shorts.
Sitting by the Campfire
This short quickly transforms from a nice summer story to one revolving around a bizarre and trippy dream sequence. It’s not often we get a truly subversive offering from these classic shorts (as they tend to be more vanilla) but this one nails Pluto’s dark and twisted psyche – there are even moments where Pluto is disturbed by Milton’s behavior. With that said, I LOVE it and it has to be considered among the best of the Pluto shorts.