I've heard how Disney loves to try and silence things that they don't want anyone to know about and after reading this about the synopsis, I can't say I blame them entirely for their decision. I only hope this page stays up.
Mickey's Best Friend is a controversial 10-minute cartoon that was shown in theatres on November 15, 1929. It was later banned and isn't allowed to be shown again due to its history of kids requiring constant attention after viewing its content. The cartoon was animated by Ub Iwerks, with music composed by Carl Stalling.
It isn't even available to anyone who wants to complete their collection of classic Mickey cartoons. It was originally intended to be a Halloween-related short which revolved around Mickey and Eustace, an anthropomorphic dog character. Walt at the time thought kids were getting dumbed down by other shorts and that they were mature enough to handle what he wanted to show them.
Mickey is driving to his workplace in his car. Along the way, it breaks down due to an engine problem and he gets out to check it. When Mickey finds out it's beyond repair, he goes into a depression until Eustace arrives and helps out by fixing the problem. Mickey is relieved and introduces himself. After getting Eustace's name, Mickey invites him to go with him somewhere. Eustace asks Mickey if he was supposed to be somewhere, but Mickey lies to him and decides to skip work.
The two arrive in a cafe where the owner spots Mickey and gives him a stern look. He walks up and rudely asks Mickey what he wants. After ordering, the sheriff (Pete) enters and confronts Mickey, demanding that he finally pays off his late rent. Mickey on the verge of a breakdown is pitied by Eustace who decides to pay off Mickey's entire debt. The sheriff laughs and warns Eustace telling him that Mickey will only cause him trouble before leaving the scene. Mickey, relieved that he's off the hook, hugs Eustace in joy.
Mickey leaves the cafe with Eustace and begins to introduce his new friend to the local residents through a bunch of different scenes. They don't care and walk off. The last resident they speak to begins to chuckle for a bit and warns Eustace that he should be careful around that mouse. Eustace tries to get an explanation on why this person holds a grudge, but the resident is nowhere to be seen after his warning.
Eustace asks Mickey why he's smiling after the reception he got, and Mickey admits to Eustace that he hasn't had friends before and that Eustace is his first pal. Eustace feels bad and seems to be hiding something with a guilty expression. Mickey and Eustace in a bunch of quick scenes stop by a theater, play a game, and go atop a mountain viewing the scenery. Afterwards, Mickey shows Eustace his home in hopes that he'll live with him. It's here where Eustace feels bad for the mouse, but finally admits that he has to leave.
Mickey is in shock and assumes that it's a betrayal like all of the other relationships he's had. Eustace tells Mickey that he isn't pleased by the town and especially the residents and is going to search elsewhere. He apologizes to Mickey and gives a few encouraging words before finally heading out the door. Mickey rushes and grabs Eustace by the leg and pleads to stay, but Eustace shakes his head. Mickey decides that he can't lose his only friend and knocks him out with a rock that was found on the ground.
The next scene shows Mickey walking down the stairs to his basement. He turns on the lights where Eustace is tied onto a operating table. Eustace is still unconscious. Mickey begins to sob and act apologetic. He talks to Eustace through his state, telling him that it has to be this way. He constantly shouts out that he can't be alone anymore and finally gets a knife from under the operating table and begins to work on him from off screen.
After Eustace finally awakens, it is revealed that he is no longer anthropomorphic, but a real dog. He begins to freak out and can only make barks. During the freakout, it switches to first person mode and we see Mickey entering the room. Eustace no longer seems scared the moment he sets his sight on Mickey. Through the mouse, he feels like he needs Mickey and finally pounces and licks him.
Mickey tells Eustace that nobody will ever know about this and how it will be their eternal secret. He tells Eustace that he will be known as Pluto until they part. The scene switches to Mickey's home and zooms out. The sheriff's laughter is heard along with the resident who had warned Eustace about Mickey in the first place.
Walt Disney was inspired to make a Halloween-themed short of the beloved mouse. Characters were created and made up on the spot which would later become official characters. The owner of the cafe would later become Daisy Duck and the resident attempting to warn Eustace would later become Goofy who supposedly looked a lot like Eustace's design. Pluto would also become a recurring character, but any connection to Eustace isn't mentioned. Iwerks felt disgusted during the final portion of the cartoon and demanded that the operation scene would get censored, Walt had no choice but to give in to their demands.
Production of the cartoon was delayed due to many of the workers and Iwerks feeling unease for Eustace after reading the script. Production was very slow due to the employees not wanting to really finish this cartoon. There was also a undisclosed budget which could be due to the animators demanding a higher pay for making something out of their comfort zone, especially for a kid's cartoon. It took a few months to finish production.
A lot of outrage and controversy stirred after the cartoon finally got released to theatres. It was the opposite of what Walt wanted. People claimed that their children couldn't sleep at night and would get nightmares involving getting operated on by Mickey. It would even cause children who were very young to require constant attention because they didn't want to be alone, especially at night. Due to this, parents wanted to press charges over the content. Walt finally decided to destroy any copy of the cartoon he could come across in an attempt to hide his failures.
Few have pointed out how Eustace looks similar to Goofy. Some have said that Eustace's features would later on be given to the more clumsy Goofy.
After multiple viewings, some have talked about the anthropomorphic characters being considered normal perfect beings while the ferals are considered mentally disabled and are kept as pets that are mostly restrained due to how dangerous they can be.
While there are no connections to Eustace in future cartoons, Mickey gets extremely worried when Pluto runs off or gets lost and will even try and risk his life in order to save his "best friend." This is the only connection from "Mickey's Best Friend" that is shown in other cartoons.
There used to be a particular site that showed screenshots of the short "Mickey's Best Friend", but it is no longer accessible, the site can no longer be found and seems to have vanished.
Most of the writers for this short are now deceased mostly due to old age. Back when they were around, they didn't want any mention of this cartoon. Some have said that this is due to guilt.