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Disney / The Pointer

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The Pointer is a 1939 Disney animated short starring Mickey Mouse and Pluto.

While on a hunting trip, Mickey teaches Pluto how to be a pointer and gives him the stern order to not move. However, the party is soon split up; while Pluto is bothered by a flock of quail while trying to stay still, Mickey has an awkward confrontation with a large grizzly bear.

This short is notable for two reasons. One is that this marked the debut of Mickey's new design, in which his Black Bead Eyes were replaced by white sclerae with pupils, which gave allowed for a wider range of facial expressions. The second is for the scene where Mickey finds himself face-to-face with the bear, which is considered by many to be a highlight in animation acting; animated by Frank Thomas, this was the only time that Walt Disney performed as the live reference model, in addition to the voice, for his alter ego.


This short contains examples of:

  • Animation Bump: This is one of the most lavish of Mickey's shorts. Of special note are the gorgeous backgrounds and the shading on Pluto and Mickey.
  • Delayed Reaction: "Hey, look, Pluto. It's you." Then Mickey realizes that if Pluto is in front of him, then who's been behind him all this time?
  • Freudian Slippery Slope:
    Mickey: Oh well, we were only hunting bears. (catches himself; stammers) Birds! You know, snails—Er, ah, quails?
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When the bear notices the shotgun in Mickey's hands:
    Mickey: Oh, this? Hah, it ain't loaded.
    (he throws it behind him, and a gunshot is heard from offscreen)
    Mickey: Hey, who loaded that?! It's a dirty trick! Somebody might've got hurt!
  • Motion Blur: When Mickey and Pluto make a mad dash away from the bear.
  • Loud Gulp: Mickey when it dawns on him that the creature snarling behind him is not Pluto.
  • Advertisement:
  • Oh, Crap!: Mickey has an epic one when he turns around and sees an angry bear right behind him — while staring into its jaw!
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: When Mickey is scolding Pluto for scaring away a flock of quail, Pluto tries to elect sympathy with a cute smile while rolling on his back. Soon, all is forgiven.
  • Reflective Eyes: A quail sees its reflection in Pluto's eyes.
  • Shut Up, Scary Thing: When Pluto wanders off, and a grizzly bear begins following Mickey; our hero is none the wiser and keeps telling "Pluto" to quit growling, and even beats it without looking back. It's only when Mickey sees his dog in front of him does he begin to wonder who's been following him all this time.

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