Season 2, Episode 10: “Space Walkies” 11/7/14
Starring: Mickey Mouse and Pluto
Featuring: Chip ‘n’ Dale
Setting: In Spaaaaace
Plot: Commander Mouse is preparing for his return to Earth but is interrupted by Pluto and his bladder.
Is this the first time the title card and the cartoon share a background?
Mickey’s spaceship is modeled after Disneyland’s now defunct Tomorrowland attraction Rocket to the Moon (1955 - 1975) and even includes its Trans World Airlines sponsorship. Today, a similar rocket greets guests dining at Tomorrowland’s Pizza Port (1998 - present).
As Commander, Mickey shares his lofty astronaut rank with first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong.
When Pluto finally relieves himself we get to see actual, crystalized dog urine.
It’s crazy to think this is only Pluto’s second appearance during the series’ twenty-eight episodes but it’s true!
As was the case in Pluto’s first appearance in Dog Show, he is donning his classic red collar in lieu of the more modern and common green model.
With a “Pluto in Space” episode, it’s only fitting that we get an appearance from the other Pluto as the on-again-off-again “planet.”
This was Chip ‘n’ Dale’s first appearance in the new Mickey Mouse series while they were in twenty-three of the classic Disney shorts.
Why the mischievous chipmunks are in space isn’t entirely clear but the randomness still totally works.
While Mickey and Pluto are chasing Chip ‘n’ Dale, the music has a similar sound to the soundtrack from Disneyland’s Space Mountain (1972 – present).
Mickey’s landing spot in Florida could either be a reference to Cape Canaveral (where NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is located) or Orlando’s Disney World (or both?) with the inclusion of Space Mountain in the background.
Final Grade: A-
For an episode taking place in space and using urination as a major plot point, it’s shockingly good. Space, with its vastness and bleak sterility, has always bored me visually but this short really delivers in terms of its artistry and surprisingly vivid colour palette. But the real stars are the seldom used Pluto and the completely forgotten duo of Chip ‘n’ Dale. Pluto was overshadowed by Goofy in Dog Show but really gets a chance to shine here. And, even though the chipmunks’ role is small, they still serve a purpose in advancing the plot. But even better is the outside-the-box vision to include Chip ‘n’ Dale in a setting like space when, in probably 90% of their classic cartoons, they’ve always been tethered to trees and more rural settings