…AND, ANOTHER LITTLE RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS (Act 50)

Pluto!!  I’ve been waiting to see if Mickey Mouse’s pooch would follow the scent trail to the Sun City Peachtree bench.  He’s such a cute canine, isn’t he?  Mickey once said, “Aw, you’re just a mutt,” but I don’t care what Mickey says.  He’s an adorable bloodhound, and the mouse is lucky to have him!

The hound first appeared with Mickey on the screen in The Moose Hunt in 1931, so he has been Mr. Mouse’s loyal companion for a very long time.  1934 was the year Pluto made it big, though.  In the short Playful Pluto, there was a scene in which Pluto gets stuck to flypaper and must figure out a way to escape his plight, all with no dialogue.  His facial expressions and antics told the entire story without a word!

Pluto the Pup has a knack for conveying emotion through pantomime, which made him very popular.  As a matter of fact, his prominence in Disney shorts eventually surpassed even that of Mickey’s, with several cartoons dedicating more screen time to Pluto despite headlining as a Mickey picture.  In 1937, the pooch was given his own cartoon series beginning with Pluto’s Quin-puplets.  Way to go, Pluto!

In addition to Pluto’s Quin-puplets, Pluto has a son by the name of Pluto Junior.  Evidently, Fifi the Peke was Pluto’s mate in one film, but Dinah the Dachsund is his girlfriend in others.

Like most dogs, Pluto likes bones, meat, treats, sleeping, stretching, playing fetch, running, hunting, walks, and receiving belly rubs.  He also has a love for licking faces, so watch out!

More than anything or anyone, Pluto loves Mickey, and he is the mouse’s best friend and sidekick.

On the flip side, there are some things Pluto doesn’t like at all:  Cats (especially Minnie’s cat, Figaro!), fleas, dogcatchers, baths, pests, and rodents.  He also feels bad when he upsets Mickey and Minnie.  Don’t take him ice skating either, because he doesn’t like that ice!

These days, Pluto keeps just as busy as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy as one of the six leading characters of the Walt Disney Company.  Between films, television, printed media, video games, souvenirs, and the group of Disney Parks; Pluto is a very popular pooch! 

In fact, the pup is so busy with all those appearances that he sometimes doesn’t take the necessary time-out breaks in a private manner.  On the Walt Disney Studios lot, there is a curb dubbed “Pluto’s Corner.”  On the curb is a hydrant, while Pluto’s footprints can be seen on the pavement.  Only three footprints are visible, meant to indicate that Pluto (oops!) took a restroom break in that spot.  Well, Pluto, if you need to take a break during your visit to Sun City Peachtree, we have several hydrants located in more discreet locations around the ‘hood.

Meanwhile, Pluto, thanks for being my 50th little random acts of kindness blog posts!  Come by my house, and I’ll give you a great big belly rub!

…AND, ANOTHER LITTLE RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS (Act 48)

It’s Mickey Mouse!  He came by looking for Donald Duck, but Donald waddled out Sun City Peachtree about a month ago.  Oh well, it’s nice to have you here, Mickey! But, where’s Pluto?  Did you leave your pet pooch behind?  I hope he catches up with you here!  What about your girlfriend, Minnie?  (Actually, according to Walt Disney, the two are married in private life!)

You’re sure looking spry for your age, Mick!  You’re coming up on your 93rd birthday, and you don’t look a day over nine. 

How is it that after all these years, your red shorts, white gloves, and yellow shoes still look as good as knew?  You have kept trim, too!  At 23 pounds, you haven’t gained an ounce.  (At 2’3”, he hasn’t grown either.)  Your voice is sounding as falsetto as ever, and you’re still stuck on “swell” and “gee” as your go-to lingo.  Some things never change.

You still have that awesome spirit, too.  You may be known as an underdog, but despite your diminutive stature, you are larger than life.  Nobody can overcome adversity like you, Mickey.  Your quick wit and can-do spirit can get you through anything!

You’ve had quite the life and career since Steamboat Willie, haven’t you?

It’s Mickey Mouse’s magnetic personality that has made him the most popular and recognizable cartoon character in the world.  (Of course, being in 130 movies, being the star of your own club and television show, having your image plastered on all sorts of souvenirs; and, being the mascot of Disneyland and Disney World helps a lot, too!)

There’s a bit of history that made Mickey Mouse the star that he is.  Walt Disney treasured Mickey Mouse like no other character, and the two were widely regarded as “alter-egos” by peers and historians, a perception supported by Walt originating Mickey’s voice.  Disney once attributed his success to the advent of Mickey, famously proclaiming that, “it was all started by a mouse.”

Mickey’s fame earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he is the highest-grossing animated character of all time.  Mr. Mouse has also received ten nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

There is so much documentation on all things Mickey Mouse that I could write an entire college term paper on the round-eared, bright-eyed mouse!  I’ll keep this short, though, and just conclude by offering my congratulations and thanks to Mickey for all the joy he has brought to the world.  (He sure helped increase our stock in Walt Disney, too!)

…AND, ANOTHER LITTLE RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS (Act 34)

It’s The Duck, Donald Duck!  Just looking at him makes me smile!  He looks so darn cute in his sailor outfit and bow tie!  (Have you noticed he wears a hat but NO PANTS???)  Love those tail feathers!

What I really love about Donald Fauntleroy Duck’s appearance is his big smile and even bigger yellow feet.  He is just so adorable!

About that personality, though.  He could reign in his hot temper a bit, don’t you think?  He is also quite the bully and humiliates others with his pranks.  Walt Disney said this about Donald: “One of the greatest satisfactions in our work here at the studio is the warm relationship that exists within our cartoon family.  Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang have always been a lot of fun to work with.  But like many large families, we have a problem child.  You’re right, it’s Donald Duck.”

Yeah, Donald isn’t perfect, that’s for sure.  He’s a bit mischievous and ends up making his own “bad luck.”  I guess that’s why we all could relate to him; we all see ourselves at one time or another in Donald Duck!

Donald may have a lot of negative traits, but at his core, Donald is a warm, lovable, friendly, and jovial character.  He is very loving to his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie; and, he treats them like his own children. 

The Duck isn’t as loving to Mickey Mouse, though.  He’s a bit jealous of the mouse’s popularity and leadership skills.  Their relationship is a complicated one, because of it.  Although they are rivals, they are generally good friends.

All that is Donald Duck—the good, the bad, and the ugly—is what made him famous enough to star in over 190 films, more than any other Disney character.  Some of his cartoons were even honored by the Academy Awards!  The Duck also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, got his footprints cemented at the Chinese Theatre, and is the mascot for the University of Oregon’s sports teams, The Ducks. 

Actually, the list of his fame goes on and on.  There is Donald Duck Orange Juice, other Donald Duck products, and all sorts of commercials starring Donald Duck.  He even has his own hot air balloon.  These are some shots I took of it at the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, in the late 1980’s:

Did you know that Donald Duck recently celebrated his 87th birthday?  Yep!  His officially recognized birthday is June 9, 1934, the day his debut film, The Wise Little Hen, was released.

Donald may be getting up in years, but he’ll always be a youthful and lovable duck to me!