Mickey must save Pluto from a mad doctor's lair.



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Uncredited cast:
Pinto Colvig ...
Pluto (voice) (uncredited)
Mickey Mouse (voice) (uncredited)


A dark and stormy night. Pluto is spirited away to the spooky mansion of an evil genius for a mad transplant scheme to put his head on the body of a chicken. Mickey gives chase, but find himself threatened severely by the house and its denizens. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

20 January 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der verrückte Arzt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Can be unlocked and watched in Epic Mickey for the Nintendo Wii. See more »


Dr. XXX: I'm a raring, tearing wizard when it comes to cutting up...
[laughs evilly]
Dr. XXX: I can graft a chicken's gizzard on the wishbone of a pup. And here's the great experiment I'm just about to tackle: to find out if the net result will bark or crow or cackle. Muahahahahahaha!
See more »


Spoofs Doctor X (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

Guaranteed to scare your kids . . . and your little dog, too!
6 March 2006 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

While I wouldn't call it my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Mad Doctor is a genuinely impressive piece of work, a dazzling display of what Disney animators could accomplish within the six-minute, black-and-white format. It's hard to believe that this was made only five years after Mickey's debut, for where those early adventures have the crude look of a flip-book, this cartoon demonstrates sophisticated technique in every department, from the draftsmanship to the editing, voice work, and that perennial Disney specialty: the use of music. All of these techniques are deftly combined to put our heroes, Mickey and his dog Pluto, into a terrifying situation that evokes childhood fears with the intensity of a nightmare. I confess this isn't my favorite cartoon because I find the macabre atmosphere all too well realized to watch with undiluted pleasure, but I certainly admire the technique on display.

The very first shot sets the tone with ruthless efficiency: a storm is howling and we see dark clouds, branches blowing wildly, lightning flashing, a small house in the distance and a dog house in the foreground where Pluto is sleeping peacefully. Cut to Mickey in his bed as the lightning flashes and thunder crashes, and then we hear Pluto howling and evil laughter in the yard. Mickey looks outside, and we see Pluto's house upended as a sinister hooded figure drags him away on a chain. Mickey plunges into the storm and takes off in pursuit. The hooded figure drags Pluto across a narrow bridge, high above a moat, to a castle on a skull-like island. (Hollywood inside joke: the castle's knocker identifies the owner as "Dr. XXX," a reference to a then-current horror film starring Lionel Atwill with a similar title.) Once inside, Mickey encounters bats, shadowy figures, and skeletons who hurl their own heads at him.

Mickey's misadventures with the skeletons are creepy in a traditional, Halloween-y sort of way, but what makes this cartoon really disturbing are the scenes in the castle involving Pluto. There's a startling shot of the dog writhing as the hooded figure carries him into his laboratory, and then Pluto is strapped into an electric chair-like device alongside a long-suffering, sobbing chicken. Pluto's captor then throws off his hood and reveals himself as a bearded 'Mad Doctor' with a taste for eccentric gene-splicing experiments. Using a graphic diagram to illustrate what's about to happen, the villain announces his evil intentions in rhyme as the dog squirms. There's a particularly nasty shot of the doctor slicing Pluto's shadow in half while the dog watches in horror.

I guess it goes without saying that things work out alright for Mickey and Pluto in the end, but squeamish viewers would no doubt prefer to see the happy ending come a bit sooner. As it stands, we have only a few moments at the fade-out to bask in our sense of relief. The Mad Doctor is a must for animation buffs, but I'm not kidding when I say that I'm glad I didn't see it until I was an adult, because if I'd seen this movie as a kid I would've had nightmares for a long time afterward.

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