Bootleg Pete

Publication Year: 
1925

Images retrieved from:
animatedviews.com on August 4th, 2013.
comictreadmill.com on August 4th, 2013.

Pete (also known by variations of his name, including Peg-Leg Pete, Black Pete, Big Pete, Bad Pete, Big Bad Pete, Mighty Pete, Bootleg Pete, Mr. Peter Pete, and Pete the Cat) is a cartoon character from the Walt Disney Company studios. He is an anthropomorphic cat (since 1928; earlier drawn as a bear) and is sometimes depicted with a peg leg, and generally depicted as the archenemy or rival of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Though usually associated with the Mickey Mouse universe, Pete appeared in Disney's animated cartoon series Alice Comedies before the first appearance of Mickey Mouse, and is Disney's oldest continuing character. Though Pete is officially a cat, his feline appearance was later subdued. In the TV series Goof Troop, he somewhat resembled a dog like many other characters in the series. Despite being an antagonist in most productions, he is sometimes depicted in a lighter tone making him a minor protagonist or neutral character. He is also shown to be Goofy's best friend or confidante as seen in Goof Troop as well as the film adaptation A Goofy Movie, and its sequel.[Source: Wikipedia.org, accessed Nov 14th, 2010.]

Pete first appeared in the Walt Disney-produced 1920s "Alice Comedies" short subject series. He first appeared in (1925) Alice Solves a Puzzle (February 15, 1925) as Bootleg Pete. His nickname is a reference to his career of bootlegging alcoholic beverages during the United States Prohibition (January 16, 1920 - December 5, 1933). His activities brought him at a beach in time to see Alice playing with a crossword puzzle. Pete happened to be a collector of crossword puzzles and identified Alice's puzzle being a rare one missing from his collection. The rest of the short focused on his antagonizing Alice and her drunk-on-moonshine cat Julius in order to steal it. The menacing, bear-like villain commanded quite a presence on the screen and was destined to return.[Source: Wikipedia.org, accessed Nov 14th, 2010.]

The earliest known instance of censorship in animation occurred when the censorship board of Pennsylvania requested that references to bootlegging be removed from Walt Disney's 1925 short Alice Solves a Puzzle.[1][Source: Wikipedia.org, accessed Nov 14th, 2010.]

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