Pluto's Judgement Day
Studio: Disney Release Date : August 31, 1935 Series: Mickey Mouse

Cumulative rating:
(3 ratings submitted)


Pluto chases one cat too many and in his dreams is made to stand on trial before a jury ... composed completely of cats!


Mickey Mouse
(Voice: Walter Elias "Walt" Disney)


Note: "Unverified" credits may not be correct and should be taken with a grain of salt.


Dave Hand (unverified)


Fred Moore (unverified)
Hamilton S. "Ham" Luske (unverified)
Bill Roberts (unverified)
Ward Kimball (unverified)
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi (unverified)
Bob Wickersham
Hardie Gramatky
Dick Lundy


Bill Cottrell (unverified)


Walter Elias "Walt" Disney


United Artists

Included in:

Halloween Hall o' Fame

Cut Scenes

  • An "Uncle Tom" type cat has been cut from this short.


  • This short marks the debut of a redesigned Mickey Mouse, who now has a pear-shaped body to allow for greater flexibility in his form.


The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 1, Episode 42)
The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 1, Episode 23)
The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 3, Episode 24)


United States

Scary Tales
Halloween Haunts
Disney's Halloween Treat


Paperino e i Racconti Misteriosi
Video Parade 14

CED Disc

United States

Cartoon Classics - Scary Tales

Laserdisc (CAV)


Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Scary Tales
Donald Scary Tales / Halloween Haunts
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 1


Scary Tales


United States

Mickey Mouse in Living Color


Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)


Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)


Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)


Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

Netherlands / Belgium

Mickey Mouse In Living Color

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 8:13
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Color Type: Technicolor
Negative Type: 35mm
Original Country: United States
Original Language: English
Print Type: 35mm
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording

Reviews and Comments

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From Lee Suggs :

This is an early Pluto short where he gets into trouble, has to sleep outside, and then ends up on trial for chasing cats. Of course, the whole courtroom staff, jury, and audience is cats. This means Pluto's trial is rather unfair, if amusing. I thought this short really pushed the envelope. It truly looks like Pluto is going to die for his crimes. (My kid don't like this short, since they are fans of Pluto. My son always yells at the cats.) Fortunately Pluto suddenly wakes up and discovers the whole trial was a dream. This short did a lot towards developing Pluto's personality as a rather excitable guy, with a tendency to imagine the worst.

From Jerry Edwards :

I have seen this short listed as both "Judgment" and "Judgement" - the Disney Encyclopedia (Disney A-Z) by Dave Smith lists "Judgement" which I'll go with until proved otherwise. I much enjoy the short for the inventive gags and drama and tension of what Pluto's fate will be. Full of action and gags. Once again, I tire of the "dream" cartoons.

From Ryan :

In this short, Pluto chases a kitten around the house. Believe me, I know what it's like. My dog is always doing this too. The last time I saw this short was on the "Ink and Paint Club." Pluto sure learns his lesson at the end. From now on his cat-chasing days are over.

From Candy :

I love this cartoon. I think it's great because it makes you feel for Pluto, even though there's a sense that he kind of deserves to be judged for tormenting cats all those years. Pluto chases a cat into the mouth of a giant cat head of stone and falls down into an underground cavern that was probably meant to symbolize hell. The prosecuting attorney cat makes him swear on a telephone book instead of a Bible, and it turns into a mouse trap and snaps his paw in it. Then there's the scene at the end when the cats throw Pluto on pitchforks and suspend him over a bonfire. This was the closest thing to portraying him being sent to hell. I thought that it was kind of scary for a Disney cartoon, to portray a familiar character actually being tormented in hell. I've always liked this cartoon for that reason. It shows that Disney was willing to portray things that had an edge to them from time to time.

From Baruch Weiss :

This is one of my favorite shorts. When my little brother was younger he used to laugh at the part where the orange cat said "That great big bully picked on me because I was so fat. He chased me under a steamroller and then he left me flat." Anyway I do not recommend this short to little kids because it might scare them but my high school teacher might like it because she likes cats and she likes Pluto.

This short could have been released as "A Walt Disney Mickey Mouse - Pluto - Silly Symphony" because it had Mickey in it but the film focused mainly on Pluto and when the cats were going to "put him in the hot seat" I noticed that the flames came alive.

From Jeff Wiener :

Ordinarily, I don't really like Pluto very much. A lot of his solo shorts that were made in the 40s and 50s got to be a bit boring and repetitive. However, Pluto's Judgment Day is wonderful. Mickey Mouse was already being relegated to a subordinate role at this stage of his career. However, Mickey's brief appearances within this short are extremely effective. My first memory of this cartoon dates back to the early 60s, when I was still a small child. They used to show cartoons interspersed with newsreel footage at various cinemas. Since we only had black and white television at the time, seeing a cartoon in color was a very rare treat indeed. I seem to remember being frightened at the sight of the rather demonic looking cat in the red robes. There is a very vivid memory of seeing the twin reflections of Pluto in the prosecuting cat's eyes. In the 70's, I saw a censored version of this cartoon on 'The Mouse Factory '. The footage of the cats as negro caricatures dancing with tambourines was edited out. Now, it has been revived in all its uncensored glory on the DVD: 'Mickey Mouse In Living Colour Volume 1'. The dark and sombre images in this short are dramatic and extremely powerful, but this is offset by the comedic absurdity of the situation. I believe that the nightmarish aspects of this film helped to pave the way for the frightening sequeneces that occurred in 'Snow White' and 'Pinnochio'. Walt Disney was often criticised for producing cartoons that frightened children. Pluto's Judgment Day is a prime example.

From Happy :

I used to watch the cut version of this animated short as a little girl on "Disney's Halloween Treat" and I thought it was pretty good....until I saw the whole version on "Scary Tales." I decided to give it a try watching it....big mistake! It scared me to death and the same night I watched it, I had a nightmare of it. While I agree that Mickey was right about his chasing habits are going to get the better of him one day, I was really spooked about him being chained up and seeing his scared face. I give the people credit for doing a good job on making it a scary tale, but I haven't seen the short in years. I'm hoping to try and watch it again (if its on DVD) so I can figure out why it scared me. Oh, and I saw the Uncle Tom cut on the "Scary Tales" tape....really creepy!

From KaseyKockroach :

My all-time favorite Disney short, period. I happen to find this short extremely underrated. This cartoon scared me as a child, but in a good way that made watch over and over again. Also, the scene with the dogshot cat in the wheelchair is the kind of thing that separates good from great animation.

From Gijs Grob :

Although part of the Mickey Mouse series, Pluto is the star of this cartoon. After he has chased a little kitten, he dreams that his Judgment Day has come and that he's put on trial by a number of cheating cats. Like most of Disney's dream-cartoons this one contains wonderful decors, characters and ideas. The dream sequence is executed in Silly Symphony fashion with lots of rhyme and song and very beautiful animation. The prosecutor is particularly well done: he's an impressive figure whose stature anticipates Stromboli from Pinocchio (1940). Pluto now is a fully developed character who easily carries the complete cartoon. Mickey's part, on the other hand, is reduced to that of a cameo, something that would occur more and more in the years to come.

From Bryan Hensley :

Pluto had been having a lot of bad luck in the 30's, and he caused it to happen! After chasing a kitten right into Mickey's house, things nearly went haywire, until Mickey told Pluto to sit down. When Pluto fell asleep and Mickey gave the kitten a bath, things really do go haywire! Pluto ends up in Cat Court, (or "the bad place", only less fiery.) going on trial for the crimes he committed. (Chasing numerous cats, scaring them out of their wits, drowning them, etc.) There is one deleted scene I saw on video, but not on TV; about 3 kittens make to look like stereotypical Black girls singing about their Uncle Tom being pushed in the river after Pluto drank their milk and stole their liver. As they pulled Uncle Tom's grave, his 9 lives popped up one-by-one. He looked like a "Blackfaced" cat himself; all 9 of his lives did! Eventually, Pluto was sent to "the hot seat" to burn! Before we could see the rope being torn by the flames, it was only a nightmare Pluto was having! He was beside the fireplace the whole time. A hot coal jumped out and burned his heinie, and he was running to the washtub where Mickey and the kitten were. At least they kissed and made up for what happened before Pluto could run for his life! Let me tell you, this short is perfect for Halloween, because of it being creepy most of the time! Pluto might need therapy for what happened to him in his dreams, if they had any suitable for dogs! Happy haunting!

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

Pluto has been hanging around the background of Mickey’s shorts for some time, occasionally stepping forward to take the spotlight for a portion of the short. With Pluto’s Judgment Day, though, Pluto becomes a full fledged cartoon star all his own. This short is classified as a Mickey Mouse short, but in truth, it’s the first starring role for Pluto.

It’s strange, then, that one of Disney’s brightest characters, who generally is involved in fun and happiness, takes center stage in one of the company’s darkest shorts. Pluto’s Judgment Day is a grim short, but it has a great story and some fantastic animation.

The short opens with Pluto chasing a cat through the mud, into the house and ending up right on top of Mickey. This is really Mickey’s only role in the short, as he chastises Pluto for chasing cats and tells him to lie down. When Pluto snorts and lies down, that’s when the fun really begins.

A ghostly cat peeks through the door, and entices Pluto to chase him. But it’s not Pluto who follows, but a spirit of Pluto that rises up out of the sleeping dog. It’s a clever way to show that we’re entering a dream sequence, because it leaves a little doubt. Is it really a dream, or something a little deeper?

The cat is a trap, and leads Pluto into a courtroom, where he is branded as Public Enemy No. 1 and put on trial for his crimes against cathood. This is a scary, dark trial. The lead prosecutor is dressed all in red, bringing to mind thoughts of the devil, and the witnesses are creepy yet funny.

It’s a fine line to walk in this short. There is great humor in a large cat saying how fat he was and then was run over by a steamroller, turning to the side to show the audience how he has been flattened. It’s funny, but also a little scary to see this sort of thing. I can imagine that this short was one that inspired young Tim Burton to become part of Disney.

The parade of witnesses against Pluto continues with ghosts of all shapes and sizes, until finally, judgment is passed on Pluto. The verdict is guilty of course, and he is dragged towards a fire. As you can imagine, the ultimate vengeance is throwing Pluto into the fire, which wakes him up, as a coal from the fire in the living room hits him. Pluto ends up making up with the cat he chased at the beginning, and all is well.

This short had to be the impetus for later Pluto solo shorts. While Pluto himself does not have a lot to do, it shows some potential. Pluto is a great foil for other original characters, like the cats in this short, or Mickey in earlier ones. Using him would allow Disney the flexibility to have a consistent lead character but try out new characters in the same series. Pluto’s Judgment Day is a fantastic start to that series.

From Mac :

Another winner! With all the songs and one-shot characters, this one feels more like A Silly Symphony to me. Also after the last couple of Mickey cartoons, this one seems to be one of the 'special effort' entries. By that I mean no expense has been spared in terms of details – amount of characters, shadows, special effects, smoke, shiny eyes... And all this attention to details pays off as, to my eyes, this is aesthetically the most attractive color Disney cartoon so far.

It's really worth checking out the colors in this one. Unlike previous cartoons, which often used fairly pale, milky colors, this has a very rich and bold palette indicative of the lush world of the late Silly Symphonies and early features. Right from the outset the colors give the feeling of sunset, then an interior mainly being by lamps, then a wonderfully rich night time and finally a richly-colored underground cavern which is also a theatre and court room. This sophisticated use of color is evident in both the backgrounds and the careful use of darker shadow areas and highlighted shiny spots on the characters.

An example of what I mean can be found in the firelings. In Mickey's Fire Brigade they seem pretty flat. They're brightly colored, but rarely seem to glow against the background or give off light of their own. We know they are flames, because of the shape and the color, but they don't feel like real fire. In Pluto's Judgment Day. The firelings yellow outlines stand out against their orange bodies and the dark cave backgrounds they're in front of. This really makes them pop out and glow, giving the feeling of real flames lighting up the place. This clever and colourful use of light and dark can be found throughout the cartoon.