1 The Mickey Mindset: Retro Reviews: A Goofy Movie!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Retro Reviews: A Goofy Movie!

Michael Wermuth- A Goofy Movie is a movie starring Goofy, and is more or less based on Goof Troop. I didn’t watch Goof Troop often, but knew enough of the show to know who Max and PJ are, enough to wonder why PJ and Pete weren’t in the commercials (and wondering if they’d even be in the movie), and enough to be confused by Max and PJ being older. I was also confused by Max being embarrassed by his father, but I still don’t know whether that was a normal character trait on the show.

Anyway, in A Goofy Movie, Max is a high school student. The tagline for the movie was, “It’s hard to be cool when your dad is Goofy”, and here Max is a laughing stock of most of the school due to his father’s reputation. On the last day of school, Max, with help from PJ and audio visual nerd Bobby, has a plan to show the school that he’s cool, and to impress his love interest, Roxanne. Max dresses up as Powerline, a big rock star, and turns a school assembly into a concert. Max gets caught, but it also makes him popular, and he gets a date with Roxanne to a summer party where they’ll be watching an upcoming Powerline concert on Pay-Per-View. However, the principal calls Goofy about the incident, and over exaggerates on what happened, leading Goofy to believe that unless action is taken soon, Max will be sent to the electric chair.

Remembering past trips with his dad as a child, Goofy decides to take Max on an cross-country fishing trip with no notice and against his sons will. Max does get to explain to Roxanne that he can’t take her to the party, but when she considers going with somebody else, Max not only lies that Goofy is taking him to LA to the Powerline concert, but that Goofy and Powerline are old friends and that Max will appear on-stage at the concert. The road trip doesn’t go too well at first, with an embarrassing experience at a possum theme park and an encounter with Big Foot, but Max soon finds the map and manages to change the direction to LA. Luckily for Max, after this Goofy decides to stop looking at the map and make Max the official navigator (which Goofy had refused to do earlier), and after this they start to bond better, but eventually they encounter Pete and PJ (who are also traveling), and Pete overhears Max and PJ talking about how he’d changed the map. Goofy at first doesn’t believe Pete, but ends up looking at the map and seeing that he’s right. This leads to a climax on the river, and then a happy ending, of course.

This is a great movie. Goofy and Max are both relatable characters – Max is relatable to teenagers embarrassed by their parents, and I’m sure Goofy is relatable to parents whose kids want to distance themselves from them. All of the songs are good (I used to have the soundtrack album), and I can’t decide which I like best between “After Today”, “On the Open Road”, and “Nobody Else But You”. I highly recommend A Goofy Movie.

1 comment:

  1. Goofy displays a range of emotion in this film, unlike his usual persona in the shorts. There are some genuinely poignant moments. It's refreshing that the Disney staff didn't feel compelled to force a laugh a second into this storyline, but to let the characters grow and develop so that they are, as you say, "relatable." I think Max's plight is something to which adults as well as teens can relate. Goofy's fears about Max are concerns that responsible parents may experience from time to time.

    The road trip motif for this film is a winner. It's fun to see favorite Disney characters taking a long cross-country drive. And the song "On the Open Road" is one of my all-time favorite animated sequences--not only is it a catchy tune, but the visual gags come thick and fast, making it a masterpiece of animated musical comedy.

    The absence of Peg and Pistol is a bit of a puzzler...maybe they went to a mother/daughter girl scout camp for the summer? Or did Peg finally wise up and dump the bum? At any rate, Pete's role in this film shows him as less of a villain, yet he remains antagonistic.

    The quality of the animation is another perk that lifts this film up from the quality of the Goof Troop series. Seeing the characters in classic Disney animated form makes the film very visually appealing.

    I for one applaud this direction for the character of Goofy, and the Extremely Goofy Movie that followed this one is another gem. Goofy clearly demonstrates that his character is strong enough and has enough depth to be able to carry a feature film.

    I have long hoped to see a Super Goof feature film. Since Max is already an established character in the Goofyverse, he would be a natural sidekick, in place of Goofy's ultra-smart nephew Gilbert from the comics. A Super Goof movie would be a good follow-up to An Extremely Goofy Movie. I can see Pete and PJ also getting into the act, maybe Pete taking bets on finding out SG's real identity.

    The end result of A Goofy Movie is a delightful film that expands on the characters of Goofy and Max as previously established in the shorts and in the Goof Troop series. It would be great to see more follow-ups beyond An Extremely Goofy Movie.

    Thanks for this review, a nice reminder of an often under-appreciated Disney animated feature.