Disney produced the first feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938), which took three years to complete. Additional features included Pinocchio (1939), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942). In Song of the South (1946), he merged live actors and animated figures. During World War II, Disney's studio produced cartoons for the armed services as training tools and morale builders.
Beginning with Treasure Island in 1951, Disney added live-action movies to his output, while still producing such animated classics as Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953). Thereafter, his studio produced several animal stories (e.g., Greyfriars Bobby, 1960), musical fantasies (e.g., Mary Poppins, 1964), and television programs, beginning in the early 1950s with the weekly Disneyland and its famous Mouseketeers. Disney and his productions received numerous Academy and other awards during his lifetime. After his death, the Disney studios remained active, diversified, and ultimately became enormously successful. In the early 1980s, they began producing films for adults.
Disneyland, a huge theme park in Anaheim, Calif., which in part celebrates America's hometowns and small-town values, was opened by Disney in 1955. Disney's California Adventure, a second, smaller theme park in Anaheim, opened adjacent to Disneyland in 2001. An even bigger park, Walt Disney World, opened near Orlando, Fla., in 1971 as a theme park and resort, and Epcot Center, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom have since been added there. Disneyland parks have also opened near Tokyo (1983), in Marne-la-Vallée, near Paris (1992), and in Hong Kong (2005).
See biographies by D. D. Miller and P. Martin (1956), B. Thomas (1958), S. Watts (1998), and N. Gabler (2006); R. Schickel, The Disney Version (1968); C. Finch, The Art of Walt Disney (1973); M. Eliot, Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince (1993); R. Merritt and J. B. Kaufman, Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney (1994); H. A. Giroux, The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence (1999); D. Smith and S. Clark, Disney: The First 100 Years (1999).
Pluto (formerly known as Pluto the Pup) is an animated cartoon character made famous in a series of Disney short cartoons. He has most frequently appeared as Mickey Mouse's pet dog. He also had an independent starring role in a number of Disney shorts in the 1940s and 1950s. Pluto is unusual for a Disney character in that he is not anthropomorphized beyond showing an unusually broad range of facial expressions or use of his front paws at key points; he is actually represented as a normal dog (unlike Goofy who is an anthropomorphic dog).
Two unnamed bloodhounds which are seen in the 1930 Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang resemble what would in later cartoons appear as Pluto the Pup, Mickey's pet-dog. Picnic, another Mickey Mouse cartoon from the same year features a pet-dog of Minnie named Rover. The same canine appears as Mickey's pet-dog in the 1931 cartoon Moose Hunt and is named as Pluto for the first time. From then onwards, Pluto has joined the Mickey gang as a permanent character.
His first comics appearance was in the Mickey Mouse daily strips in 1931 two months after the release of the Moose Hunt cartoon. Pluto Saves the Ship, a comic book published in 1942, is one of the first Disney comics prepared for publication outside newspaper strips. However, not counting a few cereal give-away mini-comics in 1947 and 1951, he did not have his own comics title until 1952.
Pluto has also appeared in the television series Mickey Mouse Works, Disney's House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He also had a cameo appearance in Quack Pack. Curiously enough, however, Pluto was the only standard Disney character not included when the whole gang was reunited for the 1983 featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol, although he did return in The Prince and the Pauper in 1990 and Runaway Brain five years later, and was also spotted in Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988. In 1996, he makes a cameo appearance in the Quack Pack episode "The Really Mighty Ducks".
In the Kingdom Hearts video game series, Pluto is still Mickey's pet and acts as somewhat of a messenger, assisting in his master's plans. For most of Kingdom Hearts II, Pluto stays by Kairi's side (even when she has been kidnapped), as he has apparently taken a liking to her. Pluto also appears in Toontown Online, in the Brrrgh.
An interesting point raised most memorably in Stephen King's novella "The Body", and the feature film Stand By Me, is that Pluto, a dog, cannot talk or behave as a human, but Goofy, another dog, can. This point was parodied in a Drawn Together episode ("Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree") when Pluto holds Goofy hostage at gunpoint and demands to be allowed to be the one to wear the pantaloons.
In the various Disney theme park resorts around the world, Pluto is performed on two legs, and much more similar to that of the other main Disney characters, when in costume.
In Pluto's own cartoons, his friends included Fifi the Peke, Dinah the Dachshund, and Ronnie the St. Bernard Puppy. His enemies included Black Pete, Donald Duck, Butch the Bulldog, Figaro the Kitten, Chip 'n Dale, Buzz the Bee, Ol' Benttail the Coyote, and other characters. In Disney's 1942 animated short Pluto Junior, Pluto has a son who is simply referred to as "Pluto Junior." In the 1946 animated short Pluto's Kid Brother, Pluto has a younger brother named K.B.
Although Pluto does not normally speak, like his anthropomorphized companions, he communicates in a series of dog barks, facial expressions and body movement. The only words Pluto ever spoke, were "Kiss me."
Pluto, designed and supervised by Disney animator, Norm Ferguson, is considered one of the first Disney characters to break out of the "rubber hose and circle" formula style the studio had relied on; the dog's design gave him the appearance of actually being round instead of flat. In addition, Pluto is one of the first cartoon characters that is actually shown to have thought processes through the use of character animation. The dog's thought processes are showcased in a landmark scene from 1934's Playful Pluto, in which Pluto becomes stuck to a piece of fly paper, and attempts to figure out a way to get himself unstuck.
Obviously, several months had passed between the naming of what was believed to have been the ninth planet, Pluto, on 24 March 1930, and the attachment of that name to the dog character. Venetia Burney (later Venetia Phair), who as an eleven-year-old schoolgirl had suggested the name Pluto for the planet, remarked in 2006: “The name had nothing to do with the Disney cartoon. Mickey Mouse's dog was named after the planet, not the other way around.”
Although it has been claimed that the Disney studio named the dog after the planet (rather than after the mythical god of the underworld), this needs further verification. Disney animator Ben Sharpsteen has said that, "We thought the name [Rover] was too common, so we had to look for something else. [...] We changed it to Pluto the Pup, [...] but I don't honestly remember why.