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Entertaining if not exceptional

7/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
7 November 2013

While not all of Pluto's shorts are classics, more the good-but-not-great quality, they are still watchable and that is the case with Pluto as well. Sheep Dog falls into the good but not great category. The story conceptually is rather predictable, another one of those that follows the Pluto vs something or somebody else formula and doesn't do much new with it. Pluto also has been much more compelling than here, here he is a little bland. He is still appealing in his likability and how protective he is but he is not very funny and the short never really plays to his strengths or what he is most good at. There is still much to enjoy though. The animation is very nicely done, the character designs have been more fluid before and since but the handsome and colourful backgrounds and the colour vibrancy are striking. That the music has always been one of the main merits in the Disney shorts has been said many times before and that is still the case with Sheep Dog. It is characterful and lively, and the orchestration has a real lushness to it. The gags are very amusing and are timed well, the best coming from the interactions between the father and son coyotes, the contrasts between the two make Sheep Dog most fun to watch. The pacing has the odd slow spot but is secure on the whole. And the coyotes are really enjoyable, another one of the Disney/Pluto shorts where the supporting characters steal the show from under the titular character. The sheep are cute as well. Overall, Sheep Dog is entertaining but it is not exceptional. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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No Mutton Tonight

7/10
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA
5 October 2002

A Walt Disney PLUTO Cartoon.

SHEEP DOG Pluto has enough difficulty guarding his flock without the unwanted interference of two hungry coyotes.

This little film is fun, but quite unremarkable. The mangy coyotes, Bent-Tail and his none-too-brilliant son, Bent-Tail, Junior, were featured in a short series of Disney cartoons, only to vanish as quickly as they came.

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, Peter Pan and Mr. Toad. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.

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