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Pluto (formerly known as Pluto the Pup) is an animated cartoon character made famous in a series of Disney short cartoons. He has most frequently appeared as Mickey Mouse's pet dog. He also had an independent starring role in 48 Disney shorts in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Pluto is unusual for a Disney character in that he is not anthropomorphized beyond showing an unusually broad range of facial expressions or use of his front paws at key points; he is actually represented as a normal dog (unlike Goofy who is an anthropomorphic dog).
Pluto was initially a minor character until 1934, when Disney animator Norm Ferguson gave the dog a key role in the cartoon Playful Pluto. Pluto becomes entangled with a sticky piece of flypaper, and Ferguson expanded the sequence significantly. The segment became a classic, demonstrating how Disney artists can take a simple circumstance and build humor through a character.
Pluto is considered one of the first Disney characters to break out of the "rubber hose and circle" formula style the studio had relied on; the dog's design gave him the appearance of actually being round instead of flat. In addition, Pluto is one of the first cartoon characters that is actually shown to have thought processes through the use of character animation.
In Pluto's own cartoons, his friends included Fifi the Peke, Dinah the Dachshund, and Ronnie the St. Bernard Puppy. His enemies included Black Pete, Donald Duck, Salty the Seal, Butch the Bulldog, Figaro the Kitten, Chip 'n Dale, Spike the Bee, Ol' Benttail the Coyote, Milton the cat and other characters. In Disney's 1937 animated short Pluto's Quinpuplets, Pluto has a son who is simply referred to as "Pluto Junior." In the 1946 animated short Pluto's Kid Brother, Pluto has a younger brother named K.B.
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