Director: Burt Gillett
Release Date: September 1, 1931
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto

Still from 'Fishin' Around' featuring the gamekeeperMickey and Pluto go fishing in a no fishing area, but the fish are making fun of them.

Pluto even gets under water, sniffing the bottom of the lake and meeting an enormous fish. This scene reuses quite some animation of Pluto sniffing from Pluto’s debut ‘The Picnic‘ (1930). Then a gamekeeper appears, but Mickey and Pluto escape him. The goat-like gamekeeper would return in Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse comic ‘Dr. Oofgay’s Secret Serum’ (July 1934).

Like ‘Traffic Troubles‘, ‘The Moose Hunt‘ and ‘The Beach Party‘ from the same year, ‘Fishin’ Around’ is a genuine gag cartoon. It is the weakest of the lot, however, and can hardly be called a classic. The tricks the fish pull at Pluto and Mickey are amusing, but nothing more than that. Both the fish and Pluto steal a lot of screen time from Mickey, who is blander than ever before in this short.

Nevertheless, the film is a modest example of how the Disney studio tried to improve the quality of its animation. Notice, for example, the reflections and other water effects in this short. By now, they had become standard in Disney cartoons. Moreover, the cartoon starts with some quite convincing animation of Mickey rowing. There’s some clear sense of pulling weight here, even though these cycles are interspersed with less convincing animation.

Watch ‘Fishin’ Around’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 32
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Blue Rhythm
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Barnyard Broadcast