Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Mad Doctor (1933) - 7 stars out of 10

The Mad Doctor (1933) - 7 stars out of 10

An army of skeletons, a buzz saw blade about to cut a hero in half, and a mad doctor who tries to cut off a dog’s head and attach it to the body of a chicken to see if a puppy will hatch from its egg.  Sounds like a pretty demented horror film, right?  What if the hero was Mickey Mouse and the dog was Pluto?  “The Mad Doctor” may be the darkest thing ever created by Disney.  It seems extreme by today’s cartoon standards, and this short debuted in 1933!  Many theaters refused to show it and it was even banned in the United Kingdom.  Disney has never hesitated to create scary material that features the occult (just look at “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” The Haunted Mansion, and “The Watcher in the Woods”), but it is pretty shocking to see Mickey Mouse in this atmosphere.  If you love Pluto as much as I do, this cartoon is a little bit hard to watch.  The short is filled with classic cartoon gags, but used in a very dark light.  This is definitely not the happy-go-lucky Disney that we see on “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”  Especially the giant spider skeleton.  Disney has always had a dark side and “The Mad Doctor” is a reminder that every animated film is not intended for small children.

[Pictured: Not something that you typically expect to see from Disney]

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