Pete is a large anthropomorphic cat from the Classic Disney Shorts who is constantly causing trouble for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto (all of whom, ironically, he predatesnote ).
Pete's brand of villainy has evolved subtly over the years, his intelligence is optional and his goals range from a simple con to taking over a country, but one thing remains the same in this selfish, menacing brute — Pete is up to no good. He gets what's coming to him with perfect Laser-Guided Karma, and yet he never learns.
As a villain and antagonist, Pete's most notable trait to date is that he has never learned the difference between fear and respect. As opposed to many Disney villains who lust for power over a state, Pete is a bully who desires and settles with control over a small number of people; a goal that can never be accomplished since he has never displayed any self-control himself.
He debuted in the Alice Comedies short "Alice Solves the Puzzle", and also appeared as a bear in some of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. This makes him the oldest Disney character that is still in use today.
Throughout his career, Pete has been voiced by Billy Bletcher, John Mc Leish, Pinto Colvig (better known as Goofy, or Bozo the Clown), Will Ryan, and Arthur Burghardt. His current official voice actor is Jim Cummings (the one who also voices Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Darkwing Duck).
- Alice Solves The Puzzle: First appearance of Pete in any Disney media, in the Alice Comedies.
- Alice Wins The Derby: First time Pete is depicted without a peg leg.
- Alice Picks The Champ
- Alice's Tin Pony
- Alice on the Farm
- The Ocean Hop: First appearance of Pete in Oswald's cartoons, completely redesigned to be taller than the other characters.
- Ozzie of the Mounted: First time Pete appeared with a larger stomach.
- Hungry Hobos: Although he would continue to appear in Oswald shorts following Walt Disney's departure from Universal, this was Pete's last appearance in the Disney-produced shorts.
- The Gallopin' Gaucho: First time Pete appeared in a Mickey Mouse short, solidifying his metamorphosis from a bear to a cat in the process, as well as his role as Mickey's antagonist.
- Steamboat Willie
- The Barn Dance
- The Barnyard Battle
- The Cactus Kid
- The Chain Gang
- The Klondike Kid: First appearance of Pete's modern redesign.
- The Mad Dog: First speaking appearance, provided by Walt Disney.
- Shanghaied: First cartoon to have Billy Bletcher voice Pete.
- The Dognapper: First cartoon to have Pete go up against Donald Duck alongside Mickey Mouse.
- Mickey's Service Station: First cartoon to have Pete up against Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their first trio short. Pete's last appearance in black and white.
- Moving Day: Pete's first appearance in color.
- The Worm Turns
- Officer Duck: First time to have Pete against Donald Duck in his solo shorts.
- Mr. Mouse Takes A Trip: Last appearance as an antagonist in a Mickey Mouse short.
- The Riveter
- Symphony Hour: Pete's last appearance in a Mickey Mouse short.
- Trombone Trouble
- Two Gun Goofy: First time to have Pete against Goofy in his solo shorts.
- How to Be a Detective: Last appearance of Pete in Goofy's solo shorts.
- The New Neighbor
- Canvas Back Duck: Last appearance of Pete in Donald's solo shorts.
- The Lone Chipmunks: Final appearance of Pete in any classic short, oddly clashing against Chip 'n Dale.
Tropes That Apply to Pete:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Pete was this to Minnie Mouse in the early cartoons and in Get a Horse.
- Abusive Parents: Zig-Zagged. On Goof Troop he can range from being a relatively distant but still concerned Bumbling Dad to a harshly verbally abusive slave-driver with his son. With his daughter he can range from spoiling her with love to being somewhat neglectful. In "Bellboy Donald", he was not abusive at all, but was useless.
- Adaptational Heroism: While Pete has traditionally been a truly evil villain, sometimes he's portrayed more heroically, or at least as a lesser evil to a different villain.
- In Goof Troop at least, he was a Jerkass, a Manipulative Bastard, and (as a result of the premise) an Abusive Parent, but he was also shown to have standards, fight against greater evils from time to time, and have a few Pet the Dog moments, making him more of an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist or Anti-Hero.
- In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he is played much more sympathetically due to the target audience being younger to the point where he's not even very mean and actually gets along with the other characters. Mickey and the Roadster Racers, a successor to the former show also has Pete in this as he still means well and usually ends up changing for the better if he's an antagonist in an episode.
- One episode of DuckTales had a gruff but outright heroic Pete who was only positioned as a potential villain as a Red Herring.
- A few incarnations of Pete in Epic Mickey depict them as Punch Clock Villains and are aware of it; they will help Mickey if it means it'll help Wasteland as a whole.
- The Mickey Mouse Comic Universe zigzags this because of Depending on the Writer. While usually a criminal, Pete is often an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, shows a softer side with his canon girlfriend Trudy, and sometimes ends up in an Enemy Mine with Mickey against the Phantom Blot.
- Animal Jingoism: He's a cat, and the characters he most often antagonizes are mice (Mickey and Minnie) or dogs (Goofy and Pluto).
- Arch-Enemy: To Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and/or Goofy, depending on the cartoon. The last one, however rarely ever suspects that they're enemies. Occasionally the two are even neighbors.
- The Artifact: His Italian name, Gambadilegno, means "Wooden Leg" (literally, "Leg-of-Wood"), as a translation of his original Peg-Leg Pete moniker, even though he hasn't had his wooden leg in decades.
- Artificial Limbs: Due to having his peg leg removed from his design, one European artist justified this change with "he got a much more realistic prosthetic".
- Art Evolution: Pete started off as a bear, but was made into a cat in The Gallopin' Gaucho. He lost his long tail and shaved his muzzle in 1932, where he was given his current appearance.
- Bears Are Bad News: Before Steamboat Willie he was a bear.
- Big Bad: Depending on the Writer, he can assume this role in some works (such as The Prince and the Pauper or Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers). One of his monikers is also "Big Bad Pete".
- Breakout Villain: He debuted as an antagonist in the now-forgotten Alice Comedies, where he menaced the titular Alice, and proved popular enough to become Disney's oldest recurring character.
- Bumbling Dad: Pete plays this trope to perfection in Goof Troop.
- Cartoon Creature: He was originally a bear, but he's a cat now. In Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie, he's portrayed as a Dogface. In all cases, he tends to be exaggerated and stylized enough that his species is Informed at best.
- Cats Are Mean: Believe it or not, Pete is a cat, even though he hasn't really looked like one since 1932, when he lost his tail. He's also one of the biggest jerks around.
- Chaste Toons: Averted. He has three children: Junior from "Bellboy Donald" and PJ and Pistol from Goof Troop.
- The Chew Toy: Often, usually due to Goofy's inadvertant bumbling.
- Cigar Chomper: Sometimes he's shown smoking a large cigar like in the picture above.
- Composite Character: He was originally named Tom, but was renamed Pete when Disney decided to make him a continuation of the bear character from earlier shorts.
- Cranky Neighbor: Toward Donald in "The New Neighbor", which takes this trope up to eleven as they engage in all-out war with each other. He also takes this role toward Goofy in Goof Troop.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Pete's brand of villainy tends to vary widely depending on the work in question — he's been seen as a calculating and scheming villain, a simple criminal thug, a relatively mundane Jerkass, a simple annoying foil, a Cranky Neighbor, or whichever other antagonistic role is needed, although he rarely tends to be the top villain when other bad guys are present.
- He had a peg-leg in his first appearance which has since come and gone.
- Diabolical Dog Catcher: Pete was depicted as one in "The Mad Dog" (1932) and "The Worm Turns" (1937). Both times he tries to seize Pluto, and when Pluto resists, Pete resorts to actually trying to flat-out murder the dog with a shotgun!
- The Dragon: When played as a serious villain in a work where multiple such antagonists are present, Pete tends to play second fiddle to the true Big Bad but to stand above rank-and-file lackeys. He plays this role to Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts II, for instance, and serves as the Phantom Blot's main enforcer in Wizards of Mickey.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: To Donald Duck in a series of Wartime Cartoons.
- Dub Name Change: In France, Pete is named "Pat Hibulaire", a pun on the French word "patibulaire", which means "sinister".
- Early-Installment Weirdness: He was first depicted as a bear in the Alice Comedies, where he debuted, before he became a cat in the Classic Disney Shorts.
- Enemy Mine:
- In one of the European comics, Pete teams up with Commisoner O'Hara to make a scheme that will dissuade the police chief and Pete's wife from making the police and his gang more like those in action movies.
- He sometimes teams up with his nemesis Mickey Mouse to deal with an even bigger enemy.
- Evil Is Bigger: He's both taller and fatter than any of the regular characters of the Classic Disney Shorts — he tends to be well over twice Mickey's height — and usually plays an antagonistic role.
- Evil Laughter: In Mickey's Christmas Carol, playing the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Pete does this after shoving Scrooge McDuck into what will be his grave, mocking him with the line, "The richest man in the cemetery!" and then ignoring Scrooge's pleas for mercy as he is about to fall into a flaming casket. (This was all a dream, to warn Scrooge of what might be if he continues his misery, jerk-ass ways.)
- Evil Sounds Deep: Especially the Jim Cummings version. His original actor, Billy Bletcher, was famed for such roles. The Other Wiki once said it was done to contrast Mickey's light falsetto voice.
- Fat Bastard: To varying degrees throughout the years (see Depending on the Writer) but he always is fat and almost always is an incredible bastard.
- Freudian Excuse: During his Villain Song in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, we learn the reason why Pete has been so evil: because his mother didn't like him and he wanted to become king to impress her.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: When Pete is subject to Adaptational Heroism, he, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have been rivals rather than enemies, and even been amicable towards one another.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Frequently seen chewing on the stump of a fat cigar.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to make him angry. In fact seems like he's always angry.
- Heel–Face Turn: He sometimes helps Mickey in his adventures. See also: Enemy Mine.
- Heroic Canines, Villainous Felines: Pete is often pitted against Goofy or Pluto the Pup.
- Honest John's Dealership: In Goof Troop, Pete is reimagined as owning a used car lot. Though he's successful at the job, his business practices are shown to be crooked at best and outright illegal at worst.
- Honor Among Thieves: In the Italian comics, Pete is traditionally a career criminal with a staunch belief in thieves' honor; in general, he looks down on thieves who steal from "colleagues" and treats making a living from law-abiding methods as a great shame.
- Iconic Outfit: Pete is one of the few, if not the only, classic Disney characters who completely averts this. Throughout the years, he has worn quite a variety of outfits depending on what's appropriate, and has no real "default" look like other characters.
- I Have Many Names: Peg-Leg Pete, Big Bad Pete, Pistol Pete, Black Pete, and Pete Pete, to name a few. In the Alice Comedies, he was known as Bootleg Pete, while as Oswald's nemesis, he was called Putrid Pete. He also has had names that did not contain Pete: e.g., Terrible Tom, Tiny Tom (in Officer Duck), Sylvester Macaroni (in Symphony Hour), and Al Muldoon (in How to Be a Detective).
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: He's made multiple unwanted advances to Minnie in his old cartoons.
- Informed Species: He's supposed to be a cat, but his species is even less clear than Goofy's, and he's often mistaken for a Dogface.
- Jerkass: Whether the setting makes sense for him to be a traditional villain or not, he's almost always a big selfish bully.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On occasion. Kingdom Hearts II and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show a more sympathetic side for example. The latter show and a commentary feature on The Three Musketeers DVD implies that he's usually a case of Mean Character, Nice Actor. Also, every once in a while he'd slip into this role on Goof Troop but there more often than not he was just a Jerkass.
- Laughably Evil: Even at his most diabolical, he's usually a bumbling goofball.
- Lighter and Softer:
- Mega Neko: He's a massive, obese cat.
- My Future Self and Me: In Kingdom Hearts II, the party follows Pete into Timeless River, an area of the past modeled after the black-and-white Disney Cartoons. Here they also meet Pete as portrayed in Steamboat Willie, who even helps them fight Present!Pete and his army of Heartless.
- Named After the Injury: During the eponymous character's early years, he wore a pegleg and he was known as Peg Leg Pete. The peg leg was later phased out and he started to be called just Pete.
- Noble Demon: Some works portray Pete as less morally bankrupt than other big-time villains, generally either through a staunch belief in Honor Among Thieves, a related sense of fair play, a willingness to team up with the heroes against major threats or some combination thereof.
- Perma-Stubble: Pete's once white-furred muzzle is now clean-shaven, except for bristly stubble to emphasize his often malignant and brusque character.
- Punch-Clock Villain: In European comics continuity Pete is a robber but treats his profession like a normal job, up to the point of not committing crimes when he is on vacation.
- The Rival: He's traditionally been portrayed as Mickey Mouse's chief foe and rival. He's also one to Goofy, but through the latter's association with Mickey and his own stories.
- Seadog Peg Leg: For most of the early thirties, when he was also known as Peg Leg Pete. It disappeared around 1936 in the theatrical cartoons, although it remained in the comics for some time after that. He retains the peg leg in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers and in Mickey Mouse (2013).
- Spiteful Spit: In the early cartoons, Pete chewed tobacco and would often spit a glob of it when irritated or spiteful.
- Team Rocket Wins: He actually wins Minnie's affections over Mickey in The Barn Dance (granted this was one of the few times he was acting more scrupulous than his nemesis).
- Those Wacky Nazis: During World War II, Pete was drafted into the US army, but in the comics released at the time he was revealed to be working for the Nazis.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, where he's the kindest he's ever been. While a few early episodes had Pete be his usual mean self, he quickly became nicer and even outright friendly with Mickey and the gang, playing along with them on their adventures. When he does act up, he's usually just mischievous and is quick to apologize if he goes too far. It's justified given that Clubhouse is a show for preschoolers.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: His marriage to Peg in Goof Troop certainly counts for this.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Unlike most Disney characters, Pete lacks a default Iconic Outfit and has worn numerous different outfits across his many appearances.
- The Usurper: In The Prince and the Pauper and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Pete is The Captain of the royal guard and attempts to usurp control of the kingdom.
- Villain Decay: He used to be truly evil in his early shorts, even kidnapping Minnie on occasion. But around the 1940s, his character was toned down to just a selfish Jerkass who, while still mean to Mickey and the gang, wasn't truly evil. He still has his moments of outright villainy, however. It seems to vary depending on what the setting requires. A domestic or Slice of Life setting will have him simply be a Jerkass, while a fantasy or adventure setting will feature more traditional villainy.
- Would Hurt a Child: He started out as an antagonist in Alice Comedies so of course.
- Your Size May Vary: Pete's size seems to vary between appearances, from being twice the size as Mickey, to being incredibly imposing to Mickey.