Anthony's Film Review
A Goofy Movie (1995)
A funny and heartwarming father-and-son adventure, Disney style...
When it comes to cartoon characters, I love the silly ones. Goofy is my favorite among the cast of famous Disney characters. I remember some of the old Goofy cartoons, including one with Goofy doing different Olympic events ("The Olympic Champ") and one with Goofy playing every single position in a game of baseball ("How to Play Baseball"). They were hilarious. I also like Goof Troop, the animated TV series with Goofy and his son Max. That was a nice show because it featured an old Disney favorite but added a new character who is just as likable. It also showed Goofy as sort of a family man (well, more like family dog).
Things change when the kids grow up, even in the animated universe. Hence, the 1995 Disney animated feature A Goofy Movie, which features Goofy and his son Max as an adolescent in high school. In the beginning of the movie, you can see how adolescence is portrayed just like in reality when Goofy barges into Max's room while Max is getting dressed. Max goes to school, thinking about his crush Roxanne, the most beautiful girl in school, and how to impress her since this is the last day of school. Time is running out. At this point, the movie has run a couple of minutes and some of you may already remember your own years as a teenager.
For some of you, another part of a typical teenager's life is getting in trouble. Max does, too, when he dresses up as the singer Powerline and tries to impress Roxanne by putting on a concert at school. The strict principal calls Goofy and warns him that Max may end up in the electric chair someday. Goofy, who is working as a child photographer, reminisces about being a father and wonders if he did anything wrong. So for you adults and teens out there, you probably remember this. You and your parents come from totally different worlds, just as Goofy worries to death about his son and Max is just happy that summer vacation has started.
And for some of you, you remember the hammer falling down on you. Imagine being like Max and having Goofy as your dad take you on a surprise fishing trip. It's a catastrophe. Max has no chance to woo his girl, and Goofy just thinks about his own days as a child when his dad took him fishing. Max is absolutely stuck with his dad as they go to a lame show with music and cheap mechanical puppets and do other things across the country, a tradition over several Goof generations. Their adventures also include facing Bigfoot and a life-and-death situation in a river. Max could only think of one thing: tricking his dad into going to Los Angeles where a Powerline concert is taking place. Before being pulled into this trip, Max is so desperate to woo Roxanne that he inadvertently lied to her by saying that he'll be live on TV at this concert.
Like many Disney animated films, there are original songs sung by the characters. There are three from this movie that I like. When the kids celebrate their last day of high school, they run around all over school and sing "After Today" in anticipation of their summer vacation. There is the concert late in the film with the song "I 2 I," which reminds us what brings a father and son together. And my favorite one of all is "On the Open Road." This is in the scene where Goofy is driving on a highway along with many other vehicles. When the sound of Goofy's car keys and other noises around create a rhythm, Goofy breaks into song and other drivers and passengers join the chorus. Max does, too, even if he expresses wanting to go to Beverly Hills, 90210. It's memorable because it is a bittersweet song about loneliness and finding happiness once again.
While this may not be a Disney film that stands out like some other ones (e.g., Aladdin and The Lion King), I love this movie. I love it enough that I saw it once in a theater and twice on video. For years, Walt Disney animation has been great because it created lovable characters either in a world of fantasy or a world not too different from ours. This movie does the latter and is a great example of it. By intertwining humor and a life lesson, it makes one laugh and also cry. For a film that is only one and a half hours, I do recommend it. This goofy movie is also a heartwarming movie.
For more information about A Goofy Movie, visit the Internet Movie Database.