72. Pluto’s Judgement Day – David Hand

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SUMMARY: Chastised by Mickey for chasing cats, Pluto falls asleep and dreams of his judgement day… at the paws of an all-cat jury.

WHY IT’S HERE: Although billed as a Mickey cartoon, Pluto takes centre stage for this remarkably dark film. Taking place for the most part in yet another dream sequence, ‘Pluto’s Judgement Day’ returns to the satire on the legal system that Disney visited in the wonderfully subversive ‘Who Killed Cock Robin?’ Although the intention here seems to be more to provide a table-turning moral, as the cat-chasing Pluto comes up against a cat-judge, jury and a terrifying feline lawyer, the subtext, intended or not, seems to be about trials in which a significant bias is clearly at work. From the cats’ repeated allusions pre-verdict to Pluto’s guilt to the literal revolving-door jury room, this is strong satirical stuff when applied to any number of real-life trials. Unnerving and subversive, ‘Pluto’s Judgement Day’ is a memorable short topped off with a cosy moral that cannot hide its wider implications.

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