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Disney: Pluto's Judgement Day

Pluto's Judgement Day is a 1935 Disney cartoon starring Pluto The Pup.

The short begins with Pluto chasing a kitten and bursting into Mickey's house. Mickey scolds him for always chasing cats and being a bully, telling Pluto that he'll regret his misdemeanors come judgement day. As Mickey gives the poor cat a bath, Pluto falls asleep by the fire and has a dream where he's lured into a court of cats in Hell who seek his conviction (his crimes included chasing one cat under a steamroller, flattening him, and killing another named Uncle Tom, who shows up there as nine angels representing his lost lives), while at the same time torturing the dog throughout the trial until Pluto is declared guilty. Pluto is, unsurprisingly, convicted, and sentenced to be burned. As the flames start to burn the rope that suspends him over the fire, a cinder pops out of the fireplace where Pluto was sleeping, waking him and causing him to run for the bathtub Mickey is cleaning the cat Pluto was chasing earlier in. After he jumps in, the dog immediately whimpers to Mickey to prove that he will never chase another cat again or else he will go to Hell, and the short ends with the cat licking Pluto.

The short is notable not only for its macabre tone, but also for its introduction of a redesign of Mickey Mouse by Fred Moore, doing away with the rigid, symmetrical design of his body in favor of an asymmetrical, organic pear, which allowed for organic usage of squash and stretch, and the ability to give Mickey a wider range of attitudes than what was possible with the original design. This also kept workers from having to trace spare change to draw Mickey.

This cartoon provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: However, this is not part of a Reveal, as it's established that Pluto is sleeping at the beginning of the short. See The Grim Reaper below.
  • The Antichrist: The prosecutor.
  • Art Evolution: For Mickey, as noted in the opening paragraph.
  • Big "Shut Up!": The cat judge says this to Pluto, when the dog gets his hand caught in a mousetrap inside a phone book and howls in pain, and the judge hits him on the head with his gavel to silence him.
  • Cats Are Mean: Or in this case, just very vengeful.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: "One little, two little, three little angels / Four little, five little, six little angels / Seven little, eight little, nine little angels / All that's left of Uncle Tom."
  • Cave Mouth: The entrance to Hell is shaped like a giant cat's face (with its long tongue sticking out).
  • Courtroom Episode
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The cats lair.
  • The Grim Reaper: Pluto being "arrested" at the start of the nightmare.
  • Hanging Judge: A feline version of the Devil serves as this to a courtroom of demonic cats.
  • Joker Jury: The trial against Pluto resembles this, if you see the cats as his enemies.
  • Kangaroo Court: From the beginning of the trial, it's clear that the cats have already decided to convict Pluto, and that the trial is just a formality.
    "You're on trial today for the crimes that you've committed. We're gonna prove ya guilty! Just try and get acquitted!"
  • Lower Deck Episode: Despite being billed as a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Mickey doesn't appear outside of the opening and ending.
  • Nightmare Sequence
  • Opinion Changing Dream: Before his nightmare Pluto chases cats. After he wakes up he is nice to them.
  • Paper People: One of the witnesses is a cat Pluto chased under a steamroller, the result of his being Squashed Flat.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: During Pluto's process the cats speak in rhyme.
  • Satan: The judge cat is presumably a stand-in for him, although he isn't explicitly referred to as the devil.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: In-Universe example; the dream serves as this for Pluto.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Happens to Pluto in the middle of the trial.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The lynch mob of cats have them, as well as signs that say, "Get Pluto!" and "Down with Pluto!" as they carry the poor dog away.

The Mad DoctorHorror Western AnimationRunaway Brain
The Golden TouchWesternAnimation/Classic Disney ShortsMoving Day
The Band ConcertThe Great DepressionMoving Day
The Old MillFilms of the 1930sThree Little Pigs

alternative title(s): Plutos Judgement Day
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