Just Dogs
Studio: Disney Release Date : July 30, 1932 Series: Silly Symphony

Cumulative rating:
(2 ratings submitted)


Two inmates at the city dog pound stage an escape and free most of their companions as well. A lively spree ensues, most of which takes place in a nearby junk yard.




United Artists


The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 1, Episode 77)


United States

Silly Symphonies


Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Netherlands / Belgium

Silly Symphonies

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 7:13
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Color Type: Black and White
Negative Type: 35mm
Original Country: United States
Original Language: English
Print Type: 35mm
Sound Type: Mono: Cinephone

Reviews and Comments

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From Rod Bennett :

A rare Silly Symphony appearance by one of "the gang," this time Pluto. (Note from the webmaster : the only other times were when Donald Duck was featured in The Wise Little Hen and Pluto again in Mother Pluto.) The basic situation depicted in this short would be recycled almost intact in the later feature "Lady and the Tramp." In particular, the opening scene here (in which various "ethnic" dogs -- Russian wolfhound, etc. -- croon sentimental songs from their "cells") is directly "covered" in "Lady and the Tramp."

From Calvin Daprice :

Here we have a variety of dog breeds in the pound. A Scottish Terrier, a Russian Wolfhound (who looks very malnourished), and several mixed breeds. Many of these dogs are cramped together in small cages that are hardly big enough for just one dog. For example, when the little black and white dog opens a cage, we se about 15 or 20 different dogs running out of it. I don't think the humane society would approve of this.

From Jerry Edwards :

A small puppy digs out of his cage and releases all the other dogs in the dog pound. The puppy tags along with Pluto, but Pluto doesn't want anything to do with the puppy. Pluto even steals a large bone that the puppy dug up. A pack of dogs chase Pluto and the puppy to get the bone, but the puppy ends up with the bone. Pluto then befriends the puppy and shares the bone. A fun, well-done, enjoyable cartoon. One of the last Disney cartoons I was able to find. For years I did not find it on video, on the Disney Channel, or in trade. After finally finding a trade copy, the Disney Channel showed the cartoon. For years, none of the Disney reference books I have would acknowledge that the dog in this short was Pluto - just referring to the dog as a "large mongrel".

From Ryan :

Although I am not a big fan of the "Silly Symphonies," I didn't mind this short. I guess I thought of it more as a Pluto short and in fact it is a Pluto short. This short could very well be considered Pluto's first solo appearance. In earlier comments posted on this short, yes many of the dogs do look like the ones from "Lady and the Tramp." This has also happened in the feature film "One Hundred and One Dalmatians."

From Gijs Grob :

This not a particularly funny or beautiful short and Pluto is most of the time quite unsympathetic, but it does show the advancements in animation Disney was making at the time: we're not watching 'just dogs', we're watching several recognizable types of dogs, among them a very lifelike St. Bernhard. By now, the Disney animators didn't need to stick to stereotyped ducks, pigs, cows, horses, or in this case, dogs, but were able to draw and animate REAL dogs, who looked like dogs, moved like dogs and behaved like dogs. This kind of naturalism is quite unprecedented in earlier films. Furthermore, the two main protagonists, Pluto and his clever comrade, are two distinct characters, which behave and move differently, a great advancement in character animation.

Disney would develop both naturalism and character animation into perfection in the coming seven years.

From Brian Swan :

I was quite surprised to find a "proto-Pluto" as one of the "stars" of this short. Much of it I thought was just "OK", but the opening section is an interesting foreshadowing of the pound scene from Lady and the Tramp.

From Kyle Peters :

It is one of my favorites. Man! A lot of funny Pluto stuff involved!

From Matthew Cooper :

This short is very well done! Although the ending is kind of bland whereas the puppy who befriends Pluto stops the other dogs from taking his bone by giving them fleas. I would have ended it with the dog catcher coming and collecting all the dogs except for Pluto and his friend, because those other dogs were causing lots of havoc and trying to steal the bone so they don't deserve to be out of their cages! Anyway, this short was not only the blueprint for the pound scene in Lady and the Tramp but it was also probably where Fifi (Pluto's sweetheart before Dinah the dachshund came along) came from, for the dog who tells the other ones that Pluto has a bone looks just like her!

From Robert Hanbury-Sparrow :

The name of the small dog that found the giant dog for Pluto is named Terry. You can see him in a comic story named "Pluto's Rival." You can see this story in "Mickey Mouse comics #228". It also features the third and last chapter of "The Captive Castaways."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

Back to work here after a great weekend, and with a real treat – a Silly Symphony featuring one of the Fab Five! As far as I know, only one other Silly Symphony (The Wise Little Hen) features any of the gang, and even that one is a very early version of Donald. Here, we get a fully formed Pluto in a great short, called Just Dogs.

Just Dogs is in the vein of the more recent Silly Symphonies, in that it is focused not on an interpretation of a certain piece or pieces of music, but instead tells a full story from beginning to end, with consistent main characters. In this case, the main characters are Pluto and another little boxer looking dog that shares a cage with him.

The basics are that the little dog finds a way out, then frees Pluto and the other dogs to leave the pound. Again, we have an instance of Disney maligning dog catchers and their work. Although there is not a dog catcher in the short, we are clearly meant to cheer for the dogs as they leave. The opening scenes are very reminiscent of The Bird Store, with various shots of dogs looking pathetic in their cages. I’ve looked through all my books on Walt, and can’t find any incident in his youth with a dog catcher or the pound, but there has to be a reason why this theme keeps coming up.

Pluto comes off here as quite rude and mean to the little dog who freed him. He is dismissive of the dog in the cage, ignores him once he’s free, and literally runs into him after they leave the pound.

This is the Pluto we’ll see later in his own starring shorts. The Pluto who chases cats, is inconsiderate of Mickey, etc. is the one who would become a star. Here, his harshness comes off a little sharp. When the smaller dog pulls up a bone and takes it to Pluto, trying to curry favor, our favorite mutt kicks his companion away and eats on the bone by himself.

The madcap fun of this short comes when the other dogs get wind of what is going on, and start chasing Pluto and his little friend to get the bone. This is where we get the majority of the gags, including a dachshund stuck in a pipe and Pluto sticking his head out of a discarded toilet seat. This was the animators’ opportunity to create more fun, and they took advantage of it.

The solution hit upon by the smaller dog is ingenious. He climbs a flea bitten dog and scratches the fleas off, then leads them to an attack on the pursuers. Once the other dogs start scratching, they drop the bone and the little hero picks it up. This time, though, when he brings it back to Pluto, the bigger dog decides to share.

Again, Just Dogs is fun. It does not feature much that will really catch the eye, but that’s alright. It’s a case of very solid storytelling with a happy ending, that screams “Disney.”

From Mac :

Here we see even more exploration of animal personalities in the Disney cartoons. The animators do a really good job of making Pluto and his co-star very distinct personalities from each other, whilst retaining all their canine quirks. It's clever stuff!

Not only has the animation been getting better recently, but the characters' appearances remain much more consistent throughout the cartoons. Sure every animator has their own style, which a keen eye can spot, but we don't see any really drastic changes in ones character's design from shot to shot.

From Margos :

I would just like to add that there is another Silly Symphony featuring Pluto, Mother Pluto. I really don't know why it was released as a Silly Symphony instead of a Pluto short, but I think I read somewhere that it had something to do with having a certain amount of Silly Symphonies that had to be made in a year, and needing one to be a filler. It involves Pluto becoming the mother to a nestful of adorable baby chicks!