• JFS the Reviewer

A Goofy Movie 25th Anniversary Review



Background:


The movie came out on April 7th, 1995 and was a follow-up of the 1992 short-lived TV series, Goof Troop. The show came out on September 5th and ended on December 5th, 1992. The show focused on Goofy and his son, Max. Along with their neighbors Pete, his son PJ, his wife Peg, and their daughter Pistol. Even though it was short-lived, the show did make two seasons and 78 episodes, along with a TV special.


The movie was directed by Kevin Lima, who had been involved in past Disney projects. His first was as an animator for “Sport Goofy in Soccermania”, which was a television animated special in 1987. That same year he was an animator/character designer/developmental animator for “the Brave Little Toaster”. He would later be involved in other films such as “Oliver & Company (1988)”, “the Little Mermaid (1989)”, “the Rescuers Down Under (1990)”, “Beauty and the Beast (1991)” “Aladdin (1992)”, and “the Lion King (1994)”.


However, a lot of these projects he was involved only as a designer, animator, development, and story. The Goofy movie was Kevin’s first film that he got to direct and would later direct other films until 2007.


The story was written by Jymm Magon, who had spend 17 years with Disney producing children's records, and then later moving to Disney TV Animation. He would create, edit, and wrote shows such as Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, Quack Pack and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. He would be one of the three producers of the film, while the other two were Chris Matheson, who was involved with the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure films. While the third was Brian Pimental, who was involved as a trainee on Oliver & Company, a story artist on Beauty and the Beast, where he created the "Be Our Guest" and the "Human Again" sequence.


The film made about 35.5 million dollars in the box office, while gaining mixed reviews from critics, and holding an approval rating of 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this though, the film gained a cult following over the years. To the point it not only became a fun nostalgic film, but because of the popularity it gained merchandise has been made and sold to people who love the movie. Heck, people even film themselves singing to the song or even recreating some of their scenes.


But the question is, will the film hold up years later? Will it hold up among the newer generation? Will they love the film as much as the people before them? Or will it be forgotten?


Plot:


The movie focuses on Max, the son of Goofy. In the film, he is a teenager who is shy, is considered a dork, and is trying to do everything he can to get the attention of the girl he loves, Roxanne. However, he is worried about embarrassing himself because of his father’s goofy laugh and is worried it will cause him to blow it with Roxanne. So, with the help from his best friend P.J. and Bobby, they set up a stunt that Max hopes will win Roxanne over.


Max dresses up as a famous pop star singer named Powerline and begins playing in front of the kids in the school. He manages to gain the attention of Roxanne before he is caught by the school principal. Roxanne ends up going to Max and talk to him before inviting him to her party. Max accepts and sees his chance to finally spend time with her.


However, his principal informs Goofy what happened and fearing his son might end up getting in future trouble decides to take his son out to a fishing trip. This ends up ruining Max’s plan to go out with Roxanne, but Max managed to lie to Roxanne claiming he is going to the Powerline concert in Los Angeles. Claiming to know Powerline and he will perform on stage with him.


The lie works and Roxanne ends up believing him, despite Max knowing this will never work. Despite this though the rest of the film focuses on Goofy and Max’s trip together. Going through their little adventure, spending time with one another, and slowly forming a strong bond with one another.


To me, this is where I found the story of the film to be a successful one. Yes, it is predictable, and we know how it’s all going to go. Yet, it is still entertaining and full of heart. We see in the film Max hating to go on this trip and doesn’t want to spend time with his dad.


All while at the same time his dad wants to spend time with his son and help put him on the right path. To the point that he even entrusts his son with the map to help get them to their destination. This helps with the conflict when we find out Max edits the map and we see the struggle he has on telling his dad the truth, while not wanting to confess to Roxanne he lied. This leads to the lie eventually being revealed and the two getting into a fight.


It is in this part of the story where I fell in love with the film because Goofy knows that even though his son is getting older, he will always be there for him and be part of his life. All while Max realizes the errors of what he did and is glad to be able to spend time with his father. Who goes out of his way to help get his son to the concert, and making sure he gets on the stage. This shows the love a father has for his son and his son showing his love for his father accepting him, flaws and all.


The story again is predictable and has some small flaws. However, it is still a good story that holds up well, has a good message, and is the kind of film you can enjoy with those you love. Heck, maybe even see it with your parents and have a good time.


Characters:


Max in the film is voiced by Jason Marsden and for his singing he is sung by Aaron Lohr. Max differs from his younger counterpart in the TV series in many ways. The younger Max was focused on wanting to become famous, get rich, and even pull some schemes to do it.

The Max for this film is acting like the typical 90s teenager we have seen in other films. He is trying to become popular in school, has a goofy dad that he is embarrassed by, is socially awkward, a bit of a dork, and shy around the girl he likes.


His temper again his dad is understandable, but there are times I feel like he should ease up on his dad. However, I think many of us his age would have acted out the same way he did.

You don’t want to go on a trip with your parents, you want to spend the summer at home, and have some fun with your friends or in Max’s case go out with someone he likes. But as time passes on he shows his love for his father and even begins enjoying spending time with him.


We even see him in conflict with himself when he changed the map to their destination and when they are approaching to the two paths, he has to make a choice on where to go.

By the end of the movie though he learns his lesson and is even given a second chance by Roxanne. Even accepting his goofy side and sees that Roxanne has no problem with his goofy laugh.


Goofy in the film, voiced by Bill Farmer, acts like the Goofy we know and love. Goofy may not be the brightest or the smartest like the other characters, but he has the biggest heart and loves his son very much. He might accidentally embarrass his on from time to time, but it is not intentional. He does it because he is having a hard time letting go of the fact his son is not a little kid anymore but does his best to try staying in his life, and be there for him.


I think here is where I think a lot of parents can relate to Goofy. There are times parents will embarrass their kids on accident and have a tough time letting go of the fact that they are not little anymore. They are growing up and will want their own independence one day. This is understandable, but never forget you are still there for your kids no matter what.


Goofy is very trusting of his son to the point he entrusts him with their map that will lead them to their destination. He even is okay with them going to different locations on their trip to spend more time with his son and through a montage we see the bond between the two-growing strong. However, Pete ends up telling Goofy his son changed the map and they are not going to where he thought they were going. Goofy refused to accept this until he finds the map and the changed course.


Goofy tries giving his son a chance to prove Pete wrong and not lose his trust in his son. This doesn’t go the way Goofy hopes and this leads to the two fighting. However, as I stated before the two see through their flaws and they end up making up. Goofy even ends up taking his son to the Powerline concert and the two make it in time.


Goofy to me is still such a great and lovable character. Oh sure, he has his flaws, but he is an amazing father and an awesome parent.


The other characters in the movie all play their role well. From Pete, who is trying to show Goofy how to be a strict parent. To Roxanne who shows she does love Max and has such great chemistry with him. I especially love P.J. in the movie where he still follows Max’s lead and shows he is still scared of his dad. Anything with Rob Paulsen involved I will love.


However, the main focus is mainly on Goofy and Max, who have such great chemistry between the two. Even in the sequel they do I still love the chemistry the father and son characters have. Sure, there are some flaws with the characters, but they are minor. And nothing that ruins the film.


Animation, Music, and Comedy:


The animation for the film is a lot better than what we had with the TV series. More money put into this film’s budget definitely helped make it look good. Although at times there are some designs for some of the characters that didn’t look so…well let’s just say if you pause or slow the film down you’ll see what I mean. Other than that, nothing wrong with the animation, especially during the music sequence of the film.


Speaking of the music, they have a lot of good songs for the film and a lot of them are very catchy. “After Today”, “Stand Out”, “On the Open Road”, “Nobody Else But You”, and “Eye to Eye” are without question the best songs of the film. I think if you listen to the songs, you’ll get one or all stuck in your heads. I know it did with me when I listened to them years later.


Some of the jokes for the film are sort of outdated or don’t really work. However, there are still plenty that are funny. Although, what will hit you the most are the emotional moments in the film, the love between father and son, and the nice message it has. So, yeah the jokes have their flaws, but the rest are still enjoyable.


Conclusion:


If you show this movie to a kid they may or may not like it. I think it depends on the right kid and what their interest are. However, if you show this to an adult, they might end up thinking it’s a good film, especially if they came from that generation that the film came out to. It has its flaws and it is predictable. Despite this though, the film is still enjoyable, it is still fun, and it is a good film to look back, even if it is for nostalgia reasons.


So, I do recommend watching this with your friends and your loved ones.

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