The Mad Doctor is a classic Mickey Mouse cartoon released in 1933. It is known as the first appearance of the title character "The Mad Doctor", or "Dr. XXX".

The Mad Doctor
Mad Doctor Poster.jpg
Directed byDavid Hand
Produced byWalt Disney, Billy Bletcher
StarringWalt Disney
Animation byArt Babbitt
Distributed byUnited Artists Pictures
Release date
January 21, 1933 (1933-01-21)[1]
Running time
7 minutes
CountryUnited States


The plot centers on the title character, a mad scientist named Dr. XXX, who has kidnapped Mickey's dog, Pluto. Mickey tries to rescue him before the doctor can perform his experiment: putting Pluto's head to the body of a chicken in order to see if a puppy will hatch from an egg (that is if the end result will "bark or crow or cackle"). Mickey battles his way through booby traps and animated skeletons before eventually getting caught and strapped onto a table to get cut open by a buzzsaw, forcing Mickey to suck in his belly, trembling. The scene then fades to Mickey asleep in bed and suddenly woken up by a mosquito, whose buzzing resembles the whirring of the spinning blade. Not yet realizing the events were only a nightmare, Mickey shouts for Pluto, who eagerly jumps onto Mickey's bed with his doghouse and chain still attached to collar.


The short uses the same gag that appears in "Haunted House" (1929), which has the door lock itself after Mickey enters the house.


The short's horror overtones made it unusual for a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Some theaters refused to show it, believing it to be too scary for kids. At one time, for this reason, it was banned entirely in the United Kingdom,[2] as well as Nazi Germany.[3]

The short's title character had a cameo in the Roger Rabbit short, "Tummy Trouble", in which he was seen on a picture. The Mad Doctor was also the basis for, and title of, the second level in the video game, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse released for the Super NES, Genesis, Sega CD and PlayStation (as Mickey's Wild Adventure); a depiction of the Mad Doctor level is used as the cover art for the game. He also appears as a major antagonist in Epic Mickey and the main antagonist in its sequel.

This cartoon is one of a few Disney shorts that lapsed into the public domain, and can be found on many low budget VHS tapes and DVDs, usually paired with "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" and "The Spirit of '43". It was also released on DVD in 2002 as part of Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse In Black and White.


The Mad Doctor appeared as a boss in the video game Mickey Mania and as an antagonist in Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two with the former including his cartoon as an unlockable bonus.

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. ^ "3 Classic Walt Disney World Rides Darker Than Anything at Universal Orlando Resort". 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ Leslie, Esther (11 July 2018). "Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-garde". Verso – via Google Books.

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