Director: David Hand
Release Date: January 21, 1933
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto
The plot is simple: it’s night, the weather is foul and Pluto is kidnapped by an evil scientist into his laboratory (reminiscent of that of Frankenstein in James Whales’ film of the same name, 1931). Mickey follows him into a creepy castle where he has to deal with several skeletons, including a ridiculous hybrid of a skeleton and a spider. Fortunately, it turns out to be all just a dream.
Besides the horror, this cartoon also features elaborate designs and loads of special effects. It also has a strong musical element, as the mad scientist sings all his lines. Some of the gags are quite surreal and reminiscent of the Fleischer style, like the scientist cutting off Pluto’s shadow, and a lock locking itself. The cartoon also features a gag with many doors in one doorpost. This gag would be reused and improved by Tex Avery in ‘The Northwest Hounded Police’ from 1946. ‘The Mad Doctor’ reuses some footage of ‘Egyptian Melodies‘ from 1931.
Watch ‘The Mad Doctor’ yourself and tell me what you think: