[[caption-width-right:300: The short is darker than this poster makes it out to be.]]

-->''I'm a raring tearing wizard when it comes to cutting up (evil laughter),''
-->''I can graft a chicken's gizzard on the wishbone of a pup.''
-->''And here's the great experiment I'm just about to tackle,''
-->''To find out if the end result will bark or crow or cackle!''
-->''[[EvilLaugh Muahahahahahaha!]]''
-->--The Mad Doctor's VillainSong.

A [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation 1933]] WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse short, while not known for being particularly innovative, is quite popular among Classic Disney fans for its sheer dark, macabre tone.

The plot of the short is centered on Mickey, as [[WesternAnimation/PlutoThePup Pluto]] is kidnapped by the mad doctor of the title (named Dr. XXX) to be used in a chimera-esque experiment involving cutting off Pluto's head and splicing it onto the body of a chicken. Naturally, Mickey treks off to save him, all while trying to make his way through the doctor's elaborate castle.

As with the earlier Disney shorts ''WesternAnimation/TheSkeletonDance'' and ''The Haunted House'', this short's macabre tone [[GoneHorriblyRight was its own undoing]]; many theaters refused to show it (and was even completely [[BannedInChina banned in England]]), even though Mickey was at the height of his popularity at that point. However, the short [[VindicatedByHistory has managed to become much more popular in recent years]] for the same reasons it was initially shunned.

This short was the inspiration for the later Mickey Mouse short ''WesternAnimation/RunawayBrain'', and was remade as an entire level in the video game ''VideoGame/MickeyMania''. ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'' also features the Mad Doctor prominently as a key villain (called "The Mad Doctor"), a side-scrolling NostalgiaLevel themed to the short, and even the original short itself as an unlockable bonus. It also loosely inspired the storyline [[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse "Blaggard Castle"]] in the 1930s Mickey Mouse [[NewspaperComics newspaper comic strip]] by Creator/FloydGottfredson.

!!Tropes Used by This Short:
* AffectionateParody: Of the {{Universal}} horror films of the 1930s, which were rising in popularity.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler:[[NightmareDreams Of the "nightmare" variety, no less.]]]]
* AnimationBump: The part where Mickey is walking through a three-dimensional hallway, as well as falling down two flights of stairs. Scenes like that were ''notoriously'' difficult to animate on account of perspective.
** That scene was OlderThanTheyThink, it came from one of the SillySymphonies, called ''Egyptian Melodies'', with Mickey being animated over a spider.
* BaldOfEvil / BeardOfEvil: Dr. XXX
* DarkerAndEdgier: WesternAnimation/TheSkeletonDance aside, which was more silly than scary, this cartoon was the first notable Creator/{{Disney}} cartoon to delve into a dark storyline which played more for BlackComedy if anything
* DemBones: Dr. XXX's castle is loaded with living skeletons.
* EvilLaugh: The Doc does one of these.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Again, The Doc.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The cartoon predates the first use of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_rating X classification rating]] for pornographic films by about 35 years. As a result, Dr. XXX's name tends to get changed to [[IAmNotShazam The Mad Doctor]] in modern appearances like ''VideoGame/EpicMickey''.
* KnightOfCerebus: Dr. XXX for the cartoon and the Creator/{{Disney}} franchise in general, as a darker villain wouldn't show up till [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs]]
* LivingShadow: While Pluto is being hung by a hook, the Mad Doctor takes a pair of scissors and cuts Pluto's shadow in half. Disturbingly, the shadow then just hangs there lifelessly as Pluto continues to squirm and howl for help...
* MadScientist: Dr. XXX
* PublicDomainAnimation: This is one of the ''very'' few Disney works that have slipped into the PublicDomain.
* SayMyName: "PLUTO!!!"
* StealthPun: One drawing on the board, has a chicken, then a plus sign, then a dog, then a division sign, then a saw. Get it? [[CrossesTheLineTwice A dog divided by a saw?]]
* StockScream: Mickey's yells in this short are easily mistakable for the famous [[{{Goofy}} Goofy Holler]]. (They are slightly different, but seem to be early versions of it).
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: Mickey himself at the climax, as a giant buzzsaw lowers to slice him in half.
* VillainSong: Sort of. Doctor XXX's monologue.
* WritersCannotDoMath: One of the drawings on the mad doctor's chalkboard, refers to the 32nd root of minus divided by zero. [[JustifiedTrope Of course, the character who wrote it was completely insane.]]
* XylophonesForWalkingBones: Xylophone music is used in some of the skeleton scenes. It's mainly used to play quick notes [[MickeyMousing indicating the skeletons' movements]].