The Picnic (1930 film)

The Picnic is a 1930 American animated short film directed by Burt Gillett and produced by Walt Disney.[2] It was first released on October 9, 1930, as part of the Mickey Mouse film series.[3] It was the twenty-third Mickey Mouse short to be produced, the eighth of that year.[4]

The Picnic
Directed byBurt Gillett
Produced byWalt Disney
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 9, 1930 (1930-10-09)[1]
Running time
7 minutes 2 seconds
CountryUnited States

The cartoon is notable as the first appearance of a pet dog called "Rover", an early version of a character that was renamed Pluto six months later, in the April 1931 cartoon The Moose Hunt.


Mickey arrives at Minnie's house to take her out for a picnic. Minnie asks if she can bring her "little Rover", although Rover turns out to be a huge bloodhound the size of Mickey. The mice tie Rover to the back of the car and drive to the picnic spot, but along the way, Rover spies a pair of rabbits and gives chase, dragging the car behind him. Rover chases one rabbit through a series of rabbit holes, but the rabbit pulls the final hole away, and the dog bangs his head on the ground, dazing Rover.

Mickey and Minnie set up for the picnic, and Mickey cranks up the portable gramophone. The mice dance to "In the Good Old Summertime", but the birds and squirrels are active too, swiping the picnic food while Mickey and Minnie are dancing. Rover follows his nose until he finds Mickey, just as a stormcloud bursts and begins to pour. Mickey gathers up the food and the gramophone—both overrun with animals and bugs—and the three friends jump into the car. Rover's tail acts as a windshield wiper as Mickey and Minnie drive home through the rain.


The dog, called "Rover" in this cartoon, is an important step towards the creation of Pluto as a major character in the series.[5] Animator Norm Ferguson first drew a pair of bloodhounds in the August 1930 Mickey Mouse short The Chain Gang, and Rover is clearly a continuation of that idea, even featuring a recycled gag from that picture in which one of the dogs sniffs into the camera. (The same gag would be reused in 1931's The Moose Hunt and 1939's The Pointer.)[3]

Gijs Grob says in Mickey's Movies: The Theatrical Films of Mickey Mouse:

Ferguson had animated the bloodhounds in The Chain Gang which formed the blueprint for Pluto, and he would remain the expert on the character for the rest of Pluto's career, animating important scenes for him, like the flypaper scene in Playful Pluto (1934) and the skating scene in On Ice. Already in The Picnic, Ferguson shows that he understands the pup best, animating Pluto lovingly licking Mickey, Pluto biting himself to get rid of fleas, and Pluto sniffing into the camera.[3]

The dog returned as Pluto six months later in The Moose Hunt, and became so popular that he got his own series in 1937, starting with Pluto's Quintuplets.[3]

In January 1931, Floyd Gottfredson drew a week-long adaptation of The Picnic in the Mickey Mouse comic strip. In the strip, the dog's name was "Tiny", and didn't bear as much resemblance to the final Pluto design as "Rover" did.[6] Pluto appeared in the strip six months later, on July 8.[7]

Voice actorsEdit


Motion Picture News (November 29, 1930): "Diverting. Mickey Mouse gets himself nicely messed up in a picnic. What the birds ants and whatnot do to the food is just too bad for Mickey, but perfectly swell insofar as the audience and its inclination to laugh is concerned. Produced in his usual, inimitable style by Walt Disney."[8]

The Film Daily (December 7, 1930): "Pip Cartoon. There seems to be no end to the original antics and laugh-producing stunts emanating from the Walt Disney workshops and performed by the sprightly Mickey Mouse and his chief co-worker, Minnie Mouse. This latest number is in the pip class and not only stirs up loud merriment but even elicits a healthy round of applause, which is some tribute considering that the public has been regaled with a considerable quantity of cartoon comedies in the past year or so. In the present subject Mickey takes his Minnie for a picnic in the woods, where they disport themselves while the animals of the forest raid their lunch, until a rainstorm chases all of them to cover."[9]

Home mediaEdit

The short was released on December 7, 2004 on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Volume Two: 1929-1935.[10]


The short appeared on the following TV anthologies:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kaufman, J.B.; Gerstein, David (2018). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History. Cologne: Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8365-5284-4.
  2. ^ "The Picnic (1930) - SFdb". Sweden: Swedish Film Database, Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Grob, Gijs (2018). "The Picnic". Mickey's Movies: The Theatrical Films of Mickey Mouse. Theme Park Press. ISBN 978-1683901235.
  4. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  5. ^ Grant, John (1998). Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters (2nd ed.). Hyperion. p. 38. ISBN 978-0786863365.
  6. ^ Gottfredson, Floyd (2011). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, vol 1: Race to Death Valley. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books. pp. 103–104. ISBN 9781606994412.
  7. ^ Gottfredson, Floyd (2011). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, vol 1: Race to Death Valley. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books. p. 163. ISBN 9781606994412.
  8. ^ "Short Subjects". Motion Picture News: 41. November 29, 1930. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Reviews of Sound Shorts". The Film Daily: 12. December 7, 1930. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  10. ^ "Mickey Mouse in Black & White Volume 2 DVD Review". DVD Dizzy. Retrieved February 19, 2021.

External linksEdit