Pluto and the Armadillo is a 1943 animated short film from Disney starring Pluto the Pup. It was initially going to be a part of the film Saludos Amigos, but was not finished in time for the film's theatrical release.
The short has Mickey Mouse and Pluto visiting South America. While there, Mickey and Pluto play fetch with a rubber ball. Mickey throws the ball into the jungle, and Pluto chases after it. In the jungle, the ball hits a female armadillo who quickly rolls herself up into a ball - and coincidentally, while in her ball form, the armadillo just so happens to look exactly like Pluto's ball. As a result, Pluto initially thinks that the armadillo is his ball, and then when he finally finds his actual ball, he becomes confused. Eventually the armadillo unfurls and reveals that she is in fact an armadillo to Pluto. The armadillo immediately takes a liking to Pluto, but Pluto is initially suspicious of it.
- All Animals Are Dogs: The armadillo wags her tail after Pluto licks her face right before she jumps up and turns into a ball.
- Animal Stereotypes: The armadillo is described as being a timid creature, and indeed the short milks the "rolls itself up into a ball" stereotype for all it's worth. It doesn't appear to be Made of Iron so much as it is Made of Rubber.
- Artistic License Biology: Armadillos don't sleep up in trees, especially not hanging by their tails in a "basket" shape. Rule of Funny.
- Be the Ball: The armadillo, being an armadillo, can roll herself up into a ball, and this is what drives the plot of the short. Eventually, Pluto rolls himself up into a ball as well.
- Big, Friendly Dog: Pluto, of course. When he realizes that the armadillo is alive after mistakenly believing that he tore it up (he actually popped his ball), he gives her a lick.
- Blooper: The torn-up remains of Pluto's ball are initially under Pluto's paws, then when we cut back to Pluto and the armadillo after the latter winks at the former, they're suddenly farther away from Pluto.
- Demoted to Extra: Mickey doesn't appear in much of the short.
- Dramatic Irony: We know that Pluto didn't rip apart the armadillo, just his ball. However, he becomes horrified when he thinks that he's torn apart the armadillo.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Despite the armadillo's instantly taking a liking to Pluto, Pluto initially doesn't trust it. Then the armadillo wins him over by batting her eyes at him, and he eagerly chases after it underground. Then, when the armadillo laughs at him, he becomes angry and chases after it in a much less playful matter. By the end of the short, they're buddies.
- Genki Girl: The armadillo, who's having a lot of fun goofing around with Pluto.
- Informed Species: The armadillo looks more like a little dog with a shell.
- Interactive Narrator: The armadillo can hear the narrator at the beginning of the short, and it's not exactly thrilled when the narrator initially assumes that it's a weirdly-shaped basket.
- Interspecies Romance: Oddly enough, there's a lot of Ship Tease between Pluto and the armadillo.
- Leitmotif: The armadillo has a samba tune for one. It plays multiple times in the short.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Pluto, when he thinks that he tore apart the armadillo.
- National Animal Stereotypes: The short takes place in South America, hence why Pluto meets an armadillo.
- No Fourth Wall: At the beginning of the short, the armadillo winks at the audience.
- No Name Given: The armadillo doesn't get a name.
- Ship Tease: A strange amount of it between Pluto and the armadillo. She winks and bats her eyes at him multiple times, one scene has her licking him across the nose, when he sniffs her she sniffs him back, and then there's the scene near the end where Pluto and the armadillo BOTH roll up into balls and start rolling around... they bump into each other several times (whether or not it's intentional isn't clear, but still), and then, once they unfurl, they continue dancing and bump their rear ends together.
- Running Gag: The armadillo winking at Pluto.
- Strictly Formula: Another one of those "Pluto encounters another animal and fights with it, only to eventually become friends with it" shorts.
- Stock Animal Behavior: The armadillo turns into a ball. Multiple times. It's what drives the plot.
- Tunnel King: Pluto, and the armadillo qualifies as a Tunnel Queen. At one point, the armadillo dives underground, and Pluto dives underground after it, and we see that they're both rather good at digging tunnels.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite the fact that the short ends with the armadillo traveling on the airplane with Mickey and Pluto, she never shows up in any other short.
- Worm Sign: Pluto and the armadillo do this as they chase each other underground. At one point the armadillo emerges from HER wormsign and rides Pluto's wormsign, then dives back underground and becomes a wormsign again.