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Director: Ben Sharpsteen
Release Date: September 12, 1936
Stars: Donald Duck, Pluto
Rating: ★★½

Donald and Pluto © Walt DisneyWhile Donald is plumbing, Pluto accidentally swallows a magnet, attracting all kinds of metallic objects, like his dish, a pendulum, a watch and eventually Donald’s monkey-wrench.

This short features elaborate gags based on character animation, surely building to a grand finale. One can admire the inevitable ‘logic’ of the film, yet the result is only mildly funny, and neither one of Donald’s or Pluto’s best films.

Although advertised as a Mickey Mouse cartoon, in ‘Donald and Pluto’ Mickey Mouse is not present at all. On the contrary, for both Donald and Pluto this is their first cartoon without Mickey (if we disregard the Silly Symphonies ‘Just Dogs‘ from 1932 and ‘The Wise Little Hen‘  from 1934). After getting more and longer sequences of their own within the Mickey Mouse series, this step was inevitable.

Pluto had come a long way, sharing five years and 33 films with Mickey before standing on his own, but Donald received his independence already within two years, after only twelve films with Mickey.

Both Pluto and Donald would get their own series in 1937. They would appear together in five more films, all within Donald’s series: ‘Beach Picnic‘ (1939), ‘Donald’s Dog Laundry‘, ‘Put-Put Troubles‘, ‘Window Cleaners‘ (all 1940) and finally ‘The Eyes Have It’ (1945).

Watch ‘Donald and Pluto’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 88
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Circus
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Elephant

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: October 21, 1950
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★★★

The Framed Cat © MGMTom frames Jerry for eating a chicken leg only to eat the chicken leg himself.

Jerry revenges himself on Tom by repeatedly framing him for stealing Spike’s bone. The cartoon ends with a wonderfully elaborate magnet gag, repeatedly tying Tom unwillingly to Spike’s bone.

Even though it’s not among Tom & Jerry’s most memorable entries, ‘The Framed Cat’ is a fun cartoon. It’s one of those rare cartoons in which Tom speaks a little. It’s also noteworthy for its backgrounds, which are more stylized than usual.

Watch ‘The Framed Cat’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 53
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Cueball Cat

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: September 18, 1948
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Mammy Two-Shoes
Rating: ★★★★★

Old Rockin' Chair Tom © MGMWhen Tom fails to catch Jerry, Mammy calls for ‘Lightning’, a red and literally lightning-fast cat, who disposes of Jerry in no time.

This wonder-cat, however, doublecrosses Mammy by plundering the icebox and blaming it on Tom. So Tom is kicked out, too. But he and Jerry team up against the intruder in an equally unlikely as hilarious plot, which involves an iron and a magnet. A classic.

Watch ‘Old Rockin’ Chair Tom’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 36
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Truce Hurts
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Professor Tom

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