Poor Mickey. He has been attempting to woo Minnie for around six years as we reach today’s short, Puppy Love, and he still hasn’t figured out how to do it. I guess the problem continues to this day, since they are technically not married. Puppy Love demonstrates the problems that Mickey keeps running into when trying to win Minnie’s affections.
Mickey and Pluto turn up at Minnie’s door ready for love. The gags all around them support the flavor of amour in the air. We see a pair of birds cooing to each other, squirrels snuggling up and even a fountain of Cupid and his paramour. The scene is set quickly and efficiently for a romantic rendezvous.
Mickey arrives with chocolates and presents them to Minnie before we get the two of them involved in the short’s main theme, “Puppy Love.” I’m not sure if this was a popular song or an original composition, but it’s a catchy, jazzy tune, and Minnie takes the lead singing and dancing around.
You know that this cannot last, and that’s obvious from the set up. In past shorts, you might have seen the two simply get along and dance through the rest of the cartoon without any worries. But something is different about the Mickey shorts now, and conflict and story telling is paramount now.
The twist here is that Pluto is the one who gets things started. He steals the chocolates and presents them to Minnie’s dog Fifi. While Fifi loves them, Minnie is understandably upset when Mickey presents her with the package, and she sees a bone there instead of chocolates. Of course, Pluto had put the bone there, but that doesn’t stop everyone from getting upset and storming off.
Mickey, in a nice subtle gag, even gets so upset that he grabs Minnie’s hat by mistake. It makes for a nice juxtaposition as he slams the door on the way out, knocks over Minnie’s fence, and goes to pout on a trash can, Pluto by his side.
Of course, all gets resolved, and Minnie finds out that it was Pluto and Fifi who had the mix up, not Mickey. But in the meantime, after she was the one who got mad, she starts crying that Mickey is upset with her. It’s funny, because of the sudden mood shift, but also because it’s relatable.
Puppy Love isn’t perfect. The musical number goes on a bit too long, and the character of Fifi isn’t there for much other than a plot device. But those are very minor quibbles on what is a great short overall.
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