Oh Pluto. The shorts they put you in during these days of the late 1940s have gotten worse and worse it seems. Not to say that Pueblo Pluto is not entertaining, it’s just not on the level with some of Pluto’s better roles through the years. If this is how we’re kicking off 1949, I am a little concerned about the direction things are going.
This one starts off with Mickey and Pluto out in the desert, where they drive through what I assume is small outpost in
full of pottery, desert souvenirs and more, including a stack of dinosaur bones. It’s the last one that catches Pluto’s eye, and Mickey tosses him one before going inside. It’s fair to note that this Mickey is a little different from his last appearance in Mickey and the Seal. This is a little rougher, different Mickey. It’s not a big deal, since he’s barely on screen, but it is odd that his appearance would noticeably change in the span of a couple month’s worth of cartoons. New Mexico
The main antagonist of this short is a small droopy eyed puppy that attempts to steal Pluto’s bone. This is a very common formula that’s been used with both Pluto and Donald. We just saw it with our favorite duck in Tea for Two Hundred, where he’s got food and someone attempts to steal it. Whether it’s another dog in Pluto’s case, or the nephews, Chip & Dale or ants in Donald’s case, this is a story road that Disney has trod very, very often.
Because of that, it takes something unique to make a short like this stand out. The attempt to do that here involves a circle of cactus, where the puppy runs after Pluto begins chasing him. The circle ends up being the barrier that Pluto has to overcome, first by getting into it, then by getting out of it. It’s kind of a crazy trap that the story team came up with, creating a thorny barrier for Pluto to reach his objective. While it’s interesting, it’s not all that funny.
The ending, though, is an interesting twist. While the puppy escapes, he feels bad for Pluto being stuck in the cactus circle, and ends up going back for him. Normally, we don’t see Pluto kiss and make up with his antagonist in these shorts. Sure, we’ve seen it a few times, but this is somewhat unique. It’s not enough, though, to keep Pueblo Pluto from being an average short at best.