Mickey Mouse's Best Friend

February 28, 2008
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Did you know that Mickey Mouse’s pet dog was named after the former planet, Pluto? Although scientists no longer consider the heavenly body Pluto to be a planet, Disney fans the world over still consider the dog Pluto to be a Mouse’s best friend.

In 1930, Mickey Mouse starred in a cartoon short entitled “The Chain Gang,” in which he played a prisoner who escapes. It was in this cartoon that the character who would evolve into Pluto first appeared, as a bloodhound hot on Mickey’s tail. Later that year, the same character appeared as Minnie’s puppy, Rover, in “The Picnic.” Also in 1930, scientists discovered and named Pluto a planet. Finally, in 1931, in the Mickey short “The Moose Hunt,” Pluto was given his name and “officially” became Mickey’s pet dog.

There was another popular Disney dog named Goofy, but Pluto never spoke and had no human characteristics except for his enhanced facial expressions and occasional humanistic use of his front paws. Goofy was always seen as an anthropomorphic character, and you probably remember his silly voice saying, “Gosh!”

Over the years, Pluto starred in 48 of his own cartoons, and countless other ones with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. One of his first roles in the spotlight was the Silly Symphony short “Just Dogs,” and his first full-fledged starring role was in “Pluto’s Quintuplets.”

Pluto even went on to win an Academy Award! In 1941, “Mickey’s Pal Pluto” was remade in color under the title “Lend a Paw,” and it won the Oscar for Best Cartoon. Today, Pluto still appears in Disney productions featuring Mickey and the rest of the gang.

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