Director: Burt Gillett
Release Date: October 9, 1930
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto (as Rover)
Mickey’s driving to Minnie’s house singing his own theme song. They both are going on a picnic. While Mickey and Minnie are singing and dancing across the field to the tune of ‘In the Good Old Summertime’, hundreds of wild animals take their food away. The picnic ends in rain.
‘The Picnic’ is a rather plotless and unremarkable cartoon. It nevertheless contains a nice surreal gag in which a rabbit pulls away a hole. This kind of surrealism was rare at Disney’s at that time, but later, Tex Avery would reuse this gag many times at Warner Brothers and MGM.
‘The Picnic’ would have been forgettable, but it has entered animation history, because it marks the debut of Pluto. He is called Rover in this cartoon, and appears to be Minnie’s dog rather than Mickey’s, but he’s Pluto alright. Pluto would become a more and more important character in the Mickey Mouse cartoons, stealing a lot of screen time from Mickey, who would become more and more a ‘straight man’. Eventually, Pluto would launch his own series, in 1937.
Watch ‘The Picnic’ yourself and tell me what you think:
This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 23
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Gorilla Mystery
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Pioneer Days