A Goofy Movie Feb 5, 2020 19:46:35 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Feb 5, 2020 19:46:35 GMT -5
A Goofy Movie (1995)
Directed by: Kevin Lima
Directed by: Kevin Lima
Max, dressed as his favorite musical superstar Powerline, tries to wow Roxanne in A Goofy Movie.
At the beginning of the year, I began seeing an article from "Shadow and Act" resurface on my social media. It was a piece from summer 2018, detailing how and why A Goofy Movie is a "certified Disney classic" that deserved more praise than it initially got, and some (this article) would argue still gets to this day. For mid-nineties babies such as myself, A Goofy Movie is one of those VHS tapes ostensibly all of us had, boy or girl. It's a briskly paced romp that features an instantly recognizable character who spend much of his prime getting sidelined while Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck absorbed all the limelight. Shockingly enough, I had never seen A Goofy Movie until recently. There are a myriad of classics I've admittedly overlooked, but for some reason, I felt this blindspot needed to be addressed rather swiftly.
More on all that later. Based on Goof Troop, a TV series that ran for two seasons on both Disney Channel and ABC, the film opens with Max (voiced by Jason Marsden) preparing for his last day of school. With his pals P.J. (Rob Paulsen) and Bobby (Pauly Shore in a mysteriously uncredited role), Max has a plan to wow his crush, Roxanne (Kellie Martin). Max's goal is to hijack the school assembly dressed as everyone's favorite pop superstar Powerline, capping off the abrupt performance by stealing the heart of Roxanne. The plan works effectively enough for Roxanne to meet Max at the principal's office after the whole charade and invite him to her house later in the week to watch the upcoming Powerline concert.
But Max's father, Goofy (Bill Farmer), has other ideas. When the principal questions Goofy on his parenting skills, he decides to impulsively concoct a cross-country fishing trip with Max that will eat up most of his son's summer vacation. Fearful of losing the opportunity to spend an evening with Roxanne, he lies to her and says that his father knows Powerline and both him and Goofy will be in the televised show. Roxanne buys it, and Max subsequently spends the bulk of the trip fretting over the moment when his crush realizes he made the whole thing up. As expected, however, typical road-trip antics ensue, and both Goofy and Max stumble into precarious circumstances all in the name of a hastily planned odyssey.
A Goofy Movie was the rare theatrical release from Disney's typically direct-to-video movie studio, Disney MovieToons, which made such unforgettable favorites as The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, and a handful of Tinker Bell films in the mid-2010s before they folded. The film has that quintessential Disney straight-to-video look that only those who grew up on a steady diet of Mouse House flicks will know. The animation seems less polished, the kinetic energy appears to make up for a lack of plot, and the entire feature is defined by many asides, some humorous, others forgettable.
It's also a musical, which makes for some in-the-moment fun. I can dispute the aforementioned classic argument insofar that if A Goofy Movie were a more well-regarded classic, songs like "After Today" and "On the Open Road" would be bigger staples in a culture that's consistently looking for the next song to hum around the house. Alas, "in-the-moment" is the perfect descriptor for A Goofy Movie. While watching Goofy and Max's road-trip unfold, especially for the first time, it's a delightful showcase of zippy filmmaking; the kind you'd believe the animators had almost as much fun conceptualizing as viewers would watching. It helps, too, when you have characters like Bobby, in what could indeed be Pauly Shore's most beloved role of any kind, or moments of truthfulness, such as when Max finally calls out Goofy for being the selfish, inconsiderate pest he so often is.
I don't know. My general disregard for Goofy and his personality got in the way of some of my enjoyment of A Goofy Movie, and I'd be hardpressed to say it deserves equivalent legendary status of some of Disney's finest works. Having said that, the Vault is large and sturdy enough for films like this one to be cherished dutifully. The film was released in 1995 during a time when the studio wanted to dial-back on the Renaissance Period of glossy animation and fabled princesses and play a little looser in hopes to rope the younger siblings of those who grew up with The Land Before Time or worn VHS tapes of Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There's plenty to appreciate within to confirm the film deserves some kind of moniker. Cult classic would be my personal compromise.
Voiced by: Jason Marsden, Bill Farmer, Kellie Martin, Rob Paulsen, Pauly Shore, and Wallace Shawn. Directed by: Kevin Lima.