"A Goofy Movie" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Goofy has been around since 1932, where he appeared in his first cartoon short alongside Mickey Mouse. Over the years, he has became one of the most famous and lovable Disney characters, tagging alongside Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Donald Duck. Therefore, it is only fitting that he gets his own film, which he received in 1995, more than 60 years after his first appearance. "A Goofy Movie" is incredibly fun, goofy, and heartfelt as Goofy tries to bond with his son Max before it is too late.
Max Goof (Jason Marsden) is just like any other teenage boy - he cares very deeply about fitting in and having his crush talk to him. In this case, he has a massive crush on Roxanne (Kellie Martin), and is planning on getting her to talk to him before school lets out for the summer. So, he develops an elaborate school prank where he dresses as global superstar Powerline (Tevin Campbell) and lip-sync one of his most famous songs. While he does earn brownie points with Roxanne, he lands in hot water with the school principal, Mr. Mazur (Wallace Shawn).
After calling Goofy (Bill Farmer) and scaring him into believing that Max will end up in prison one day, Goof makes it his personal mission to save his son. Therefore, Goof forces his son to go on a bonding fishing trip with him, hoping to reconnect before his son turns into a full-blown hooligan. But, when tensions rise and things go awry, this father-son bond will be tested.
Like Goofy, this movie is tons of fun and wacky. The trip Goofy and Max goes on is reminiscent of the one that the Griswolds go on in the "National Lampoon's Vacation" series. The story finds the duo getting involved in so many wacky situations and trying to get out of them. For instance, the best part of the entire movie is when Goofy and Max are being pursued by Bigfoot in the woods. They are forced to sleep in their car for the night while Bigfoot is outside taunting them. Bigfoot is easily the best character in this movie due to his hilarious moments, and I wish we had gotten more of him throughout the movie. The film does slow down at times and feels lost in terms of where to go next, but it all is still very fun.
However, deep down, this is simply a movie about family relationships and how they change over time. Consider the scene where Max is eating alphabet soup, and Goofy starts listing off things his son used to spell out for him when he was a little kid. Goofy is not ready to see his little boy grow up, and Max wants to grow up so quickly and become his own person. Along the way, we see this shift between them, showing how they have both grown as people and in their relationship as father and son. They start off at odds with one another, but become as close as ever.
Farmer is of course the iconic Goofy. You can just automatically see Goofy when you hear his voice, and I adore his voice work in this movie, in addition to all he has contributed to Goofy. I also think it was a great choice to cast Marsden as Max, as he is able to sound like a modern, teenage version of Goofy; you can hear a resemblance of Goofy in his voice. We also get the voice talents of Jim Cummings as Pete, Rob Paulsen as P.J., Campbell as Powerline, and Martin as Roxanne, all who give good performances as the characters that have become iconic since this film's release. I especially love Powerline and the role he has in this film.
In terms of the humor here, I feel like it works really well. There are moments that are very tongue-in-cheek, reminding me of what "The Emperor's New Groove" did years later. They also like to be meta in a way, bringing in Mickey throughout various moments and talking about their creator, Walt Disney. It's just tons of fun to watch and hard not to like this film. Sure, this movie may not have the best animation in the Disney canon, but I think it makes up for it in terms of its humor. Maybe the lower-quality animation is part of its charm.
As a whole, this is easily just a fun movie that exists solely to entertain and bring a good time to audiences. Goofy deserved his own movie way before this, but this was able to deliver a hilariously good time that the whole family will love. Throughout the years, this movie has become iconic and garnered the attention it deserved, and for good reason. Maybe we will get another Goofy movie soon on Disney+ that will be just as good as this one.