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Western Animation / The Mad Doctor

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The short is darker than this poster makes it out to be.

I'm a raring tearing wizard when it comes to cutting up,
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!
— The Mad Doctor's Villain Song

A 1933 Mickey Mouse short that, 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 Pluto is kidnapped by the titular mad doctor (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 The Skeleton Dance and The Haunted House, this short's macabre tone was its own undoing; many theaters refused to show it (and was even completely banned in England), even though Mickey was at the height of his popularity at that point. However, the short 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 Runaway Brain, and was remade as an entire level in the video game Mickey Mania. Epic Mickey also features the Mad Doctor prominently as a key villain (called "The Mad Doctor"), a side-scrolling Nostalgia Level themed to the short, and even the original short itself as an unlockable bonus. It also loosely inspired the storyline "Blaggard Castle" in the 1930s Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip by Floyd Gottfredson.

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