Mail Dog
Studio: Disney Release Date : November 14, 1947 Series: Pluto Cartoon
  1. General Info

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted

Synopsis

Pluto is pressed into duty to deliver a sack of mail to a remote arctic outpost, helped along by a playful arctic rabbit.

Characters

Pluto

Credits

Director

Jack Hannah

Animator

Robert W. "Bob" Carlson Jr.
William "Bill" Justice
George Kreisl
Volus Jones

Story

Nick George
Bill Berg

Music

Paul Smith (I)

Backgrounds

Brice Mack

Layout

Yale Gracey

Effects Animation

Jack Boyd

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Included in:

The Coyote's Lament

Trivia

  • The title card shown at right is incorrect although it is the one attached to the short currently (2009.) According to Dave Smith of the Disney Archives, the credits shown below are the correct ones.

Television

Mickey Mouse Tracks (Season 1, Episode 28)
Donald's Quack Attack (Season 1, Episode 57)
The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 3, Episode 13)

Video Information

VHS

United States

Here's Pluto!

Germany

Hier ist Pluto

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Here's Mickey / Here's Pluto

DVD

United States

The Complete Pluto - Volume 2

Technical Specifications

Running time: 6:53
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Original Language: English
Original Country: United States

Reviews and Comments

From Ryan :

In this short, Pluto plays a "mail dog" in the Arctic. I enjoy the scene where Pluto runs into a totem pole and growls into it, thinking it's a monster. The totem pole appears to growl back (which of course is actually Pluto's echo). Perhaps a greater obstacle is a hare that Pluto encounters while delivering a package. Pluto tries to get rid of the hare, but after they both end up delivering the package, they become good friends. One of my favorite Pluto shorts that I enjoy watching every now and then.

From Erik Palm :

It seems that this cartoon got the wrong credits when its opening titles were remade. My version incorrectly has Jack Hannah as director, and also credits for effects animation (Jack Boyd, written in large letters). Otherwise, the credits are as above, though these credits seem to belong in a Donald Duck cartoon of the 1950's (since Bob Carlson, Bill Justice and Volus Jones were all Donald animators). Has anyone seen Mail Dog with the original opening titles (RKO Radio as distributor?)

From Baruch Weiss :

This is a good short but this time instead of the music, a scene won me over. It was the scene where Pluto turns blue.

From Stephen :

I like this short. Used to watch it as a kid, and my two favorite parts were when Pluto growled into the totem pole and it growled back and when he turned into an ice cube. I now own this on VHS, so I can watch it whenever I want. I give it a 7.

From Michelle I. :

This is a superb Pluto cartoon. His sled, the totem pole, and the cute bunny work together to make it highly enjoyable.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

We’re back to Pluto with Mail Dog as the latest short in 1947. And as if keeping with the theme so far in this year, it’s a bit disappointing. As we’ve said here before, Pluto is a difficult character to do well, since he does not talk and does not move or act in a human way. To make him interesting, the animation and story team has to deliver top notch work.

In Mail Dog, the concept is pretty good. Pluto serves as a dog in the winters of the North, whose sole purpose is to carry mail across the frozen tundra in storms where planes could not traverse. The short takes the first minute to set up this premise, without a sight of Pluto. That’s an interesting decision to take that much time, but it does set things up well.

From there, it’s a quick sprint through two confrontations where Pluto is trying to make his appointed rounds. The first of these is with an inanimate object, which is not bad. Pluto gets his mail bags stuck with a totem pole, and seeing him struggle against the inanimate faces is pretty amusing. This is the kind of thing that works with Pluto, seeing him struggle with things that should be routine. It plays to the fact that he is a dog, and not a person.

His second encounter, with a rabbit that must have lost its way a long way away, is less amusing While the rabbit is merely interested in getting warm, and goes to great lengths to do so, while Pluto is trying to simultaneously stay warm and deliver the mail. The problem is that the conflict between the two seems forced, and not natural other than the fact that both are freezing.

I’ll give the animation team credit for an ending that is heart warming and fun, but it doesn’t make up for a short that tends to drag through the middle. Without some real fun gags, the short doesn’t measure up to the type of work that we have seen in other Disney work of the previous years. Especially when you look at Fun and Fancy Free or other feature work, the shorts like Mail Dog are not in the same league.


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Screenshots

Submitted by eutychus

Screenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail DogScreenshots from the 1947 Disney cartoon Mail Dog

History

5/10/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

8/21/2012

  • Credits added by eutychus

8/1/2013

  • Television info added by eutychus

8/2/2013

  • Television info added by eutychus

10/22/2013

  • Tech specs added by eutychus

4/10/2015

  • Home video info added by ToonStar95

6/14/2017

  • Credits added by kintutoons32

6/23/2017

  • Television info added by eutychus

4/28/2018

    Sources

    Jack Hannah: Director
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Robert W. "Bob" Carlson Jr.: Animator
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    William "Bill" Justice: Animator
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    George Kreisl: Animator
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Volus Jones: Animator
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Jack Boyd: Effects Animation
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Nick George: Story
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Bill Berg: Story
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Yale Gracey: Layout
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Brice Mack: Backgrounds
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Paul Smith (I): Music
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney: Producer
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)