Scrooge McDuck Wikia

The Chain Gang is a 1930 theatrical cartoon short featuring Mickey Mouse, Peg-Leg Pete, and characters that resemble and might be the same as Clarabelle Cow and Percy Pigg. Two bloodhounds appearing in the film are prototypes of Pluto, though their role fits more with the characters Simon Legree and Eliza from Mr Slicker and the Egg Robbers.


Mickey Mouse has landed himself in prison and is part of a chain gang. Though many of his fellow prisoners, including a cow and a pig, hang their heads gloomily, Mickey stays in good spirits, maintaining a happy attitude. While the guard, Peg-Leg Pete, sleeps, Mickey plays his harmonica, inspiring others in the prison to sing, dance, and play to the tune. When one particularly tough prisoner spits tobacco on Peg-Leg Pete, the prison erupts in chaos as Pete calls for other guards, who begin shooting at the panicking prisoner.

Mickey takes the opportunity to escape from his imprisonment, but a feline officer and two bloodhounds are soon hot on his trail. Will Mickey be able to run his way to freedom, or will he find himself in chains once again?


  • Mickey Mouse is a prisoner at the start and end of the short, though how he ended up there is unclear. A cow closely resembling Clarabelle Cow and a pig reminiscent of Percy Pigg are also prisoners. Meanwhile, a big black cat with a peg-leg, clearly intended to be Peg-Leg Pete, is one of the prison's guards.


  • The design of the bloodhounds in The Chain Gang inspired Minnie Mouse's dog Rover in The Picnic. Rover would, of course, soon become known as Mickey's dog Pluto.

    One of the bloodhounds that inspired Pluto's design.

  • Just a couple of months later, in the comic strip Mr Slicker and the Egg Robbers (1930), Mickey Mouse is briefly jailed. At another point in the strip, two bloodhounds named Simon Legree and Eliza, who bear a resemblance to the bloodhounds that chase Mickey in The Chain Gang, are seen with Bill Goat. It is unclear if Mickey's imprisonment and the appearance of the bloodhounds were meant to reference The Chain Gang or not.
  • In Hickory Dickory Mickey (2001), a black-and-white flashback appears to "years ago" when Goofy helped Mickey escape from prison, knocking out a guard. The black-and-white coloring, the idea of Mickey being a prisoner, and the fact that the guard looks nearly identical to some of the guards seen in The Chain Gang all point towards this having been a reference to The Chain Gang.

Behind the scenes

The Chain Gang is a theatrical cartoon short. It was first released either on August the 18th[3] or September the 5th[2], 1930. It was directed by Burt Gillett and featured animation by Norm Ferguson[1], Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Ben Sharpsteen, Jack Cutting, Jack King, Dick Lundy, Tom Palmer, Wilfred Jackson, Dave Hand, and Charlie Byrne.[2][3] The short is perhaps best remembered for featuring two bloodhounds whose design inspired Pluto. As such, it is sometimes cited as Pluto's debut appearance.

Notes & References

List of episodes of Mickey Mouse
• Steamboat WillieThe Gallopin' GauchoThe Barn DancePlane CrazyThe Opry House • When the Cat's AwayThe Barnyard BattleThe Plow BoyThe Karnival KidMickey's FolliesMickey's Choo-ChooThe Jazz FoolJungle RhythmThe Haunted HouseWild Waves
Fiddling AroundThe Barnyard ConcertThe Cactus KidThe Fire FightersThe ShindigThe Chain GangThe Gorilla MysteryThe Picnic • Pioneer DaysMinnie's Yoo-HooThe Birthday PartyTraffic TroublesThe CastawayThe Moose HuntThe Delivery BoyMickey Steps OutBlue RhythmFishin' AroundThe Barnyard BroadcastThe Beach PartyMickey Cuts UpMickey's OrphansThe Duck HuntThe Grocery BoyThe Mad DogBarnyard OlympicsMickey's RevueMusical FarmerMickey in ArabiaMickey's NightmareTrader MickeyThe Whoopee PartyTouchdown MickeyThe Wayward CanaryThe Klondike KidParade of the Award NomineesMickey's Good DeedBuilding a BuildingThe Mad DoctorMickey's Pal PlutoMickey's MellerdrammerYe Olden DaysThe Mail PilotMickey's Mechanical ManMickey's Gala PremierPuppy LoveThe Pet StoreThe Steeple ChaseGiantland • ShanghaiedCamping OutPlayful PlutoGulliver Mickey • Mickey's Steam RollerOrphan's BenefitMickey Plays PapaThe DognapperTwo-Gun MickeyMickey's Man FridayThe Band ConcertMickey's Service StationMickey's KangarooMickey's GardenMickey's Fire BrigadePluto's Judgement DayOn IceMickey's Polo TeamOrphans' PicnicMickey's Grand OperaThru the MirrorMickey's RivalMoving DayAlpine ClimbersMickey's CircusMickey's ElephantThe Worm TurnsMagician MickeyMoose HuntersMickey's AmateursHawaiian HolidayClock CleanersLonesome GhostsBoat BuildersMickey's TrailerThe WhalersMickey's ParrotBrave Little TailorSociety Dog ShowMickey's Surprise PartyThe PointerThe Standard Parade
Tugboat MickeyPluto's Dream HouseMr Mouse Takes a TripThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Little WhirlwindA Gentleman's GentlemanCanine CaddyThe Nifty NinetiesOrphans' BenefitLend a PawMickey's Birthday PartySymphony HourAll Together • Pluto and the ArmadilloSquatter's RightsMickey and the BeanstalkMickey's Delayed DateMickey Down UnderMickey and the SealPueblo Pluto
R'coon DawgPluto's PartyPluto's Christmas TreeThe Simple Things
Mickey's Christmas Carol
The Prince and the PauperRunaway Brain
Get A HorseSteamboat Willie Redux
Mickey Mouse Works & House of Mouse
Mickey's New CarAround the World in Eighty DaysMickey's Airplane KitMickey's MistakeThe Candy HouseMickey's Mechanical ManMickey's Piano LessonMickey's RemedyMickey Tries To CookTopsy Turvy TownThe NutcrackerMickey's Rival ReturnsMickey and the SeagullMickey's Mixed NutsMickey's MountainMickey's Mix-UpMickey's Christmas ChaosMickey's CabinMickey's Big BreakBig House Mickey
Mickey's April FoolsMickey and the Goat ManPinball Mickey