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Pluto (Dog | Disney) (Comic Book Character)

  • Pluto aka Dog | Disney

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Pluto (formerly known as Pluto the Pup) is an animated cartoon character made famous in a series of Disney short cartoons. He has most frequently appeared as Mickey Mouse's pet dog. He also had an independent starring role in a number of Disney shorts in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Pluto is unusual for a Disney character in that he is not anthropomorphized beyond showing an unusually broad range of facial expressions or use of his front paws at key points; he is actually represented as a normal dog (unlike Goofy who is an anthropomorphic dog). Pluto is a V.I.P. member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Appearances
Two unnamed bloodhounds which are seen in the 1930 Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang resemble what would in later cartoons appear as Pluto the Pup, Mickey's pet dog. The Picnic, another Mickey Mouse cartoon from the same year features a pet dog of Minnie named Rover. The same canine appears as Mickey's pet dog in the 1931 cartoon The Moose Hunt and is named as Pluto for the first time. From then onwards, Pluto has joined the Mickey gang as a permanent character.

His first comics appearance was in the Mickey Mouse daily strips in 1931 two months after the release of The Moose Hunt. Pluto Saves the Ship, a comic book published in 1942, is one of the first Disney comics prepared for publication outside newspaper strips. However, not counting a few cereal give-away mini-comics in 1947 and 1951, he did not have his own comics title until 1952.

Pluto has also appeared in the television series Mickey Mouse Works, Disney's House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Curiously enough, however, Pluto was the only standard Disney character not included when the whole gang was reunited for the 1983 featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol, although he did return in The Prince and the Pauper in 1990 and Runaway Brain five years later, and was also spotted in Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988. In 1996, he made a cameo appearance in the Quack Pack episode "The Really Mighty Ducks".

Popularity
Once Pluto became an important member of the Mickey Mouse universe he has been one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time. Pluto is seen in almost every type of merchandise. He has also been listed as the fifth most popular Disney character of all time after Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and Goofy. By the early 1950s audiences have been more interested in Pluto than rival animated pet Sylvester the Cat from Warner Bros.. Pluto was awarded the #1 in The 100 Greatest Animated Pets of all Time.

In other media

[Kingdom Hearts Series
In the Kingdom Hearts video game series, Pluto is still Mickey's pet and acts as somewhat of a messenger, assisting in his master's plans. For most of Kingdom Hearts II, Pluto stays by Kairi's side (even when she has been kidnapped), as he has apparently taken a liking to her. Strangely, throughout the series, Pluto appears and disappears at random moments, and none of the other characters are surprised by his sudden absences. Pluto also appears in Toontown Online, in the Brrrgh.

Disney Parks
In the various Disney theme park resorts around the world, Pluto is on two legs, and much more similar to that of the other main Disney characters.

Characteristics
McDonald's 2002 Disney World "100 Years of Magic" glassware includes trivia pertaining to Pluto's spoken words.In Pluto's own cartoons, his friends included Fifi the Peke, Dinah the Dachshund, and Ronnie the St. Bernard Puppy. His enemies included Black Pete, Donald Duck, Salty the Seal, Butch the Bulldog, Figaro the Kitten, Chip 'n Dale, Spike the Bee, Ol' Benttail the Coyote, and other characters. In Disney's 1942 animated short Pluto Junior, Pluto has a son who is simply referred to as "Pluto Junior." In the 1946 animated short Pluto's Kid Brother, Pluto has a younger brother named K.B. Although Pluto does not normally speak, like his anthropomorphized companions, he communicates in a series of dog barks, facial expressions and body movement. The only words Pluto ever spoke, were "Kiss me."

Concept and creation
Pluto was named after the dwarf planet Pluto which was discovered in 1930, the same year that the character was introduced, and thus is indirectly named after the Roman god of the underworld.

Pluto, designed and supervised by Disney animator, Norm Ferguson, is considered one of the first Disney characters to break out of the "rubber hose and circle" formula style the studio had relied on; the dog's design gave him the appearance of actually being round instead of flat. In addition, Pluto is one of the first cartoon characters that is actually shown to have thought processes through the use of character animation. The dog's thought processes are showcased in a landmark scene from 1934's Playful Pluto, in which Pluto becomes stuck to a piece of fly paper, and attempts to figure out a way to get himself unstuck.

Naming
The pup first appeared in Walt Disney's short The Chain Gang.[2] Here the dog is named, but it is Rover, not Pluto. It was in "The Moose Hunt". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022160/. , released on May 8, 1931, that the dog is called Pluto the Pup, the studio's original name. A September 1931 model sheet for the character with that name is illustrated in Barrier's Hollywood Cartoons.

Obviously, several months had passed between the naming of what was believed to have been the ninth planet, Pluto, on March 24, 1930, and the attachment of that name to the dog character. Venetia Burney (later Venetia Phair), who as an eleven-year-old schoolgirl had suggested the name Pluto for the planet, remarked in 2006: �The name had nothing to do with the Disney cartoon. Mickey Mouse's dog was named after the planet, not the other way around.�

Although it has been claimed that the Disney studio named the dog after the planet (rather than after the mythical god of the underworld), this needs further verification. Disney animator Ben Sharpsteen has said that, "We thought the name [Rover] was too common, so we had to look for something else. [...] We changed it to Pluto the Pup, [...] but I don't honestly remember why. I think we were stoned."
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