Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pluto's Judgement Day

"Pain, torture, humiliation, and a happy ending. That's what children's entertainment is about."
(Matt Groening on "Pluto's Judgement Day")

This is another request from one of our readers. "Pluto's Judgement Day" (released on 08/31/1935) is by far one of the darkest and most disturbing Disney shorts. Also it's one of the best, but I'm sure it gave nightmares to many kids during the last seven decades. It certainly left a strong impression on me when I was a little kid (it quickly become one of my favorites).
The cartoon starts with the moody organ music that alternates with the regular jazzy score, so already during the title cards we are given a hint that this is not going to be an ordinary Mickey and Pluto adventure.

Director David Hand obviously had some affinity for the dramatic and macabre themes, as shown here, and in few of his earlier cartoons (in particular, the remarkable "Mad Doctor"). Also, we should not forget that he was the supervising director of Disney's first animated feature "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".

The main animators on "Pluto's Judgement Day" were Norman Ferguson, Hamilton Luske, Fred Moore, Bill Roberts and Dick Lundy. There's a very strong indication that at least one scene has been completely animated by Ward Kimball, although he wasn't credited on the animation draft. Mark Kausler in one of his recent posts at Animation History forum noticed that Kimball was at that time the assistant of Ham Luske, and he was often handling alone the broader and more "cartoony" scenes. The "dog-shocked cat" scene certainly looks like Kimball's work and it has the funniest and most cartoony animation in the whole picture.

I leave the last word to a certain clueless and ignorant soccer mom who left the following comment at the Internet Movie Database:

"Whoever came up with the idea for this sick, twisted animated feature should be shot. I have no respect for any of the animators that were behind this disgusting tale of Pluto getting tortured by tons of cats. It disturbed me and my family so much we had to change the channel before it was over. All copies of this cartoon should be burnt and banned..."

(this is just an excerpt. Read the whole silly rant HERE , just for a laugh)





































































Labels:

21 Comments:

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

I've always loves this cartoon. It's one of the first cartoons I've ever seen, it was put in an Halloween compilation that included sevearl shorts like "The Skeleton Dance" and the Ichabod segment from "Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad".

This cartoon got everything! Original story, black stereotypes and terrific backgrounds. I've always loved the gags with the two Plutos watching themselves inside the cat's eyes!
Plus it scares soccer moms!

10:00 am

 
Anonymous Nic Kramer said...

I also like this cartoon. Very dark and creepy.

Can anyone tell be who did the voices of the cats in this cartoon? I think Clarence Nash (aka Donald Duck) did some of the voice, but I'm not sure.

10:10 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My all-time favorite Disney short,period. This cartoon deserves more respect.

2:14 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for for fufilling my request! I'm quite curious about your thoughts on Mickey's Garden.

2:19 pm

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

The little kitten at the beginning was voiced by Nash.
The other cat's voices were supplied by The Rhytmettes (the unPC female kittens), Don Brodie; Lee Millar, Pinto Colvig and William E. Sheets.

2:38 pm

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Dragan, where did you find that Matt Groening quote? Neve find anything by them man about classic cartoons and expecially one short in particular.

2:39 pm

 
Blogger Severin said...

This is sorta OT, but I just ordered The Mickey Mouse in Living Color vol.1 DVD, and it still has yet to get here, after 2 weeks of ordering. Is this DVD really worth spending 50$ over?Just wondering on your thoughts on the DVD.

6:23 pm

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>> Dragan, where did you find that Matt Groening quote? Neve find anything by them man about classic cartoons and expecially one short in particular. <<

This quote came from the article at the BBC web site, about Groening's live appearance at Bristol International Animation Festival five years ago. He introduced and showed some of his favorite cartoons, including several great classics ("Pluto's Judgement Day" was among them).

8:11 pm

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>> Thanks for for fufilling my request! I'm quite curious about your thoughts on Mickey's Garden. <<

You'll find out next week. I love that cartoon.

8:13 pm

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>> This is sorta OT, but I just ordered The Mickey Mouse in Living Color vol.1 DVD, and it still has yet to get here, after 2 weeks of ordering. Is this DVD really worth spending 50$ over?Just wondering on your thoughts on the DVD. <<

In my opinion, yes, it is worth. It contains some of the best cartoons ever made. The video quality is very fine, though not perfect - there is some digital artefacting in several cartoons (but thankfully no DVNR), and few transfers are not progressive. Neverthenless, I can really recommend this DVD set. The European version can be found for much lower price, and I think it's identical to the US version, only without tin packaging. Also it is region 2 encoded, and in PAL system.

8:23 pm

 
Blogger Michael J. Ruocco said...

Great, great cartoon! It's definitely twisted, but that's what makes it so great!

That IMDB commenter is such a sorehead! It's just a cartoon! Conniptions over celluloid! Those are the kind of people who want Song of the South to never see daylight again & want to censor Tex Avery & smoking in Tom & Jerry cartoons. She & whoever agrees with her should be forced to watch Screwy Squirrel cartoons, Clockwork Orange style!

3:24 am

 
Blogger David Nethery said...

Interesting that IMDB lists the Producers of this cartoon as Walt Disney (obviously) and John Sutherland. I didn't know that John Sutherland had been a producer at Disney studio before starting his own studio, which mostly made industrial and commercial films (some very high quality because of frequent moonlighting artists from Disney's and Warner's) .

I've seen Sutherland's name on a lot of those industrial cartoons , but don't really know anything about his background. Do you know if anyone has published an article or book about the John Sutherland studio ?

4:44 pm

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>>Interesting that IMDB lists the Producers of this cartoon as Walt Disney (obviously) and John Sutherland.<<

I just checked this out, and couldn't believe my eyes: John Sutherland is listed at IMDB as the producer of EVERY Mickey Mouse cartoon, starting from Steamboat Willie! This is a mistake, or some weird case of web-vandalism that happens so often on Wikipedia, and sometimes on IMDB too. John Sutherland indeed worked at Disney studio during the early '40s, as one of the writers for Bambi, but that's as far as I know his only involvement with Walt Disney.

6:09 pm

 
Anonymous David Nethery said...

"Sutherland indeed worked at Disney studio during the early '40s, as one of the writers for Bambi, but that's as far as I know his only involvement with Walt Disney."


Hammerson,

If that's the case then something is seriously out of whack on Sutherland's IMDB credits.

I didn't look at those other IMDB "credits" for John Sutherland until you mentioned it, but yeah, it looks like someone bulk-posted Sutherland as the "producer" of all those Disney cartoons. I guess the IMDB guys have no particular way of double-checking since the Disney screen credits in the 30's and 40's were rather spare , but someone should call them down on this . This sort of inaccuracy hurts everyone: the serious cartoon fan/researcher as well as the memory of people like John Sutherland who should be credited for the many films he did produce or direct , but shouldn't be trumped-up as a producer on films he didn't have anything to do with.

10:22 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always hated this cartoon. I must say, I am really surprised that Disney would animate a cartoon like this. Pluto is tortured in what is obvious to be a sort of Cat Hell; he is put on trial by cats & chained up. When a huge, monstrous-evil-looking-Cat in red robes makes him swear on a telephone book, a mouse trap claps his paw and he yelps in pain. When I watched this with my father, we had to change the channel, it was so horrid to watch. (My dad even yelled out, "Poor Pluto!") Whoever actually enjoys this sickening cartoon is screwed up in the head. (Or hates dogs; which is the same thing.)

1:37 am

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>> ... Whoever actually enjoys this sickening cartoon is screwed up in the head. (Or hates dogs; which is the same thing.)
<<

Deirdre, it's you?? Welcome and thanks for the comment! Well, all of us here love this sickening cartoon. Of course, we are all screwed up in the head :-)
Also, no dog haters here, as far as I know. If I find any, I'll send him/her personally to Cat Hell.

Relax, it's just a cartoon. Watch it again, and be sure not to change the channel until the end.

12:34 pm

 
Blogger Severin said...

Am I the only one who rewinds and plays the music on the beginning title cards, simply becuase its so catchy? Anyways, the single best cartoon Disney ever did, if I do say that myself. Even if it is'nt, still one the better Pluto cartoons.

5:59 pm

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Don't tell me the one that wrote that comment at the IMDB came here?

Aw, I think it is just one that agreed with that crazy comment and copied and pasted it here. Nevertheles, this cartoon is marvellous. Sorry if someone dislike it.

7:40 pm

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

And I wonder what that lady would say reading my "Die you Bastard" post! Baaaaad boys these cartoons fans.

7:40 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been entranced by this cartoon since as far as I can remember. It never scared me but I was always just so fascinated by it.
My favorite part though is when the little flame people are pulling the last little threads of the rope apart. There's just something about it being so close to breaking and Pluto watching scared out of his mind that I like.

6:28 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my favorite authors once said that his childhood nightmares would have been quite featureless without the imaginings of walt disney, and i think that this cartoon demonstrates that point perfectly. IT's still one of my favorites, though

1:43 pm

 

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