Friends, I am not sure why this might be the case, but it certainly feels like October has just blown by us – Halloween is only a mere ten days away. That leaves plenty of time though for you to still get into the Holiday spirit, and perhaps our Toon In offering today will help in that matter. For your viewing pleasure we have the 1933 animated theatrical short entitled The Mad Doctor – produced by Walt Disney and released by United Artists on January 20th of 1933. It involves the kidnapping of Pluto by an unhinged scientist – who appears determined to prove his genius to the World – by transplanting the poor dog’s head onto the body of a chicken. It is up to Mickey Mouse to brave the castle of the Mad Doctor, avoid deadly traps and its supernatural inhabitants to get Pluto back!
Perhaps it is the fact that we see Pluto in such distress throughout The Mad Doctor that makes it seem so terrifying. Of course the amount of rather angry skeletons might have a little to do with that fact too – having said that though it’s not like this Disney short was the first to feature a group of lively skeletons. Just four years earlier Disney produced the memorable Silly Symphony animated short film entitled The Skeleton Dance.
You might be interested to know that The Mad Doctor found itself being banned overseas in the United Kingdom as well as Nazi Germany – which as Esther Leslie’s Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-garde points out was the second of Disney’s films to be banned by the Nazi censors. The Mad Doctor also is one of the few Disney shorts that somehow fell through the cracks and is now public domain – the others I believer are The Spirit of ’43, Hooked Bear, Minnie’s Yoo Hoo and Susie the Little Blue Coupe.
In closing out this article, this was not the last time that the Mad Doctor was seen – while he did make a cameo in 1989’s Tummy Trouble in a photograph – he has managed to appear in a handful of video games. Starting with 1993’s Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse, as well as 2010’s Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – which was released appropriately enough just two years later.