The Pointer
Studio: Disney Release Date : July 21, 1939 Series: Mickey Mouse

Cumulative rating:
(2 ratings submitted)


Pluto becomes a hunting dog, learning how to point for Mickey.


Mickey Mouse
(Voice: Walter Elias "Walt" Disney)


Note: "Unverified" credits may not be correct and should be taken with a grain of salt.


Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi


Preston Blair
Oliver M. "Ollie" Johnston, Jr.
Lynn Karp
Lester Novros
John Lounsbery
Norman "Norm" Ferguson
Frank Thomas
Claude Smith
Art Palmer
John Meador
James H. ("Jimmie" / "Shamus") Culhane
Arthur "Art" Moore (unverified)


Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Assistant Animator

George Goepper (unverified)


Nominated for the Academy Award (Oscar): Best Short Subject


RKO Radio Pictures

Clips Used In:

The Disneyland Story

Reused Animation Used in:

Squatter's Rights
Tricks of Our Trade

Included in:

Four Tales on a Mouse
The Hunting Instinct


  • Most critics consider this short to be a milestone in the evolution of Mickey Mouse. Although Fred Moore (long considered the "Mickey expert") tried to do something new with Mickey in every short, "The Pointer" is where it all came together into a more modern Mickey. The "acting" as well, especially in the scene showing the showdown with the bear, is considered to be Mickey's finest to date.


United States

Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 2 : Pluto


Mickys Größte Show
Happy Birthday Mickey
Happy Birthday, Pluto!


Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey
La Collection en Or des Studios Disney Volume 1


Cani e Simpatia
Le Avventure di Caccia del Prof. de Paperis
Video Parade 6

CED Disc

United States

Cartoon Classics - Pluto

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Pluto


Mickey's Golden Jubilee
It's a Goofy World
The Hunting Instinct


United States

Mickey Mouse in Living Color - Volume 2
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Mickey


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Mickey

Netherlands / Belgium

Mickey Mouse In Living Color: Volume Twee

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 8:34
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Color Type: Technicolor
Negative Type: 35mm
Original Country: United States
Original Language: English
Print Type: 35mm
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording

Reviews and Comments

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From Tom Wilkins :

I am only 27 and still can't believe that I first saw this cartoon in a movie theatre, paired with 1938's Ferdinand The Bull. Unfortunately I did not recall the full-length feature I saw after that. But still, this is one of the finer hunting movies ever made, circulating around Pluto's frozen stature. The birds certainly loved playing basketball with Pluto's eyelids. Mickey is his classic self trying to divert the bear from ending his short 11 year career, but as usual they escape. No "beans" about it, this cartoon sure gets its "points" across.

From Brad Bethel :

The Pointer was a rather interesting cartoon for Mickey Mouse. Not because of the humor, but because of the realistic artwork. I'm totally unsure how Walt Disney, even as far back as the late 1930's and without modern computer technology was able to make his cartoons look so beautiful. A method like this was used in his first three animated features, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. The Pointer also marked one of the earliest versions of the Mickey Mouse of today. Other than the artwork, the story was well presented, and both Mickey and Pluto learned a lot on their hunting adventure. With the United States' cultural aspects of today going down in flames, society could use more cartoons like these, especially from Disney.

From Ryan :

This short, aside from being a turning point of Mickey's appearance, has some high quality animation. As an artist myself, I just love how the forest has been painted. If I had been around when this short was produced, Disney could have hired me to paint the background scenes. I also noticed that the animals in this short looked like the ones that were in the movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

From Trae Robinson :

The animation is very brilliant in this short. This is the first time Mickey has human eyes. Society Dog Show was the last short to feature Mickey's dot eyes.

From Baruch Weiss :

Yes this is definitely a turning point in Mickey's appearance. As Ryan mentioned the forest creatures look like the ones in "Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs". The Bear also looked like the one from Good Scouts, Little Hiawatha and Donald's Vacation!

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

It’s been a while since we have seen Mickey Mouse in the Disney shorts, but he returns in a big way with The Pointer, a short that sees a number of changes in our main mouse. This is a new Mickey, and it’s much closer to the Mickey we would see in cartoons today than what we might have seen in the past.

This is the first time Mickey’s design has been so close to what it is today. The main difference is the addition of pupils to Mickey’s eyes, but there is more too it. The pupils help make his face more expressive, which has been a focus of the tweaks to Mickey for a while now. There is also a great use of shading on Mickey in this short, adding much more dimension to the animation.

It’s also interesting that Mickey in this short is very much the celeb. When he is threatened by a bear, he even lets the bear know that he’s Mickey Mouse, and won’t hurt the bear. It’s a neat window into Walt, who is still providing the voice to Mickey. Rumor has it that Walt’s recording session was filmed, and his gestures were used in the scene of Mickey talking to the bear. Once can imagine Walt saying, “It’s me…Walt Disney!” to someone on the street here as well.

The artistry of this short cannot be overstated. Scenes of Mickey and Pluto walking through the woods are breathtaking. The detail of the backgrounds and the use of color to establish tone and mood are fantastic. It’s a great difference from something like Sea Scouts or The Beach Picnic, where the focus was more on Donald and his exploits. This is much closer to Snow White than a short.

The plot has Mickey trying to teach Pluto to be a quail hunting dog, to no avail. Pluto isn’t cut out for the pointing business. In fact, when he does finally get to work, he gets separated from Mickey, and when he points at the quail, he doesn’t get anywhere. Mickey is off in another part of the forest, being trailed by a bear that he mistakes for Pluto.

The cross cutting of this short between Mickey’s hunt with the bear and Pluto standing perfectly still with animals all around him is very funny. Each of these are funny gags, but both require a little extra to make them truly remarkable. The slow build of the two coming together into a final chase sequence with the bear is very well done.

It does seem now that Mickey has not been the main star that his shorts are much more of an event. Originally, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was supposed to be Mickey’s next short, but it was shelved and The Pointer came next. Regardless, this short shows a leap forward for Mickey, where his shorts are now events.