RELEASE DATE: Saturday 21st January 1933
SYNOPSIS: In this fairly disturbing cartoon, Mickey has to go on a rescue mission to save his dog Pluto from being part of a horrible experiment by the titular mad doctor, who wants to see what will happen if he attaches Pluto's head on to the body of a chicken. Nasty! The Mad Doctor's castle is filled with all kinds of creepy traps for Mickey to fall into.
It's worth noting that on its release, this film was apparently deemed too scary for kids, and some cinemas refused to show it. Legend has it that it was completely banned in England at one stage.
Comparing the animation style in this, compared to something like Steamboat Willie or Plane Crazy, they were clearly going for a much more grounded sense of reality. When Mickey's in trouble he can't just adjust the fabric of his surroundings to succeed like he used to.
The other side of that, is the lighting and texturing had considerably improved in those five years. I assume that by this point they had quite a few people working on the animation instead of just one guy. The shadows in particular are really good. They must have spent a lot of time putting them in, and they give a great effect.
It's well-made, and the narrative works well, but I can see why some people - kids particularly - would have been a bit turned off by it. It's a bit scary! The bit with the saw where Mickey's strapped down is pretty intense!