A Goofy Article
Good evening, kids. It’s me, The Duke.
Tonight, I’m here to talk to you about one of my very favourite movies. A movie that was a highlight of my childhood, and still remains awesome to this day. I’m talking about A Goofy Movie.
This topic was brought up the other month in the car as Josh and I trekked out for our first day of Fan Expo. I was shocked, appalled, mortified, and other similar words, to learn that Josh DID NOT LIKE the movie.
What? That’s an option? You can not like it? I must admit, I’m still having trouble grasping the concept. To me, it’s akin to not liking oxygen, or caffeine. Madness. So of course, I immediately launched an inquiry into the subject. By which I mean, since Josh and I were on the highway and he had no way to get away from me, I launched a barrage of questions at him to determine where exactly his brain had failed during the viewing of this movie. And I wanted to talk to you folks about it as well. Because maybe one of you didn’t like this movie. And I can’t stand idly by and let people dislike this movie.
So, for those of you unfamiliar with this movie, you should go watch it. Seriously. What, that’s not enough for you? You want to know what it’s about before you commit an hour and a half or so of your life to its viewing, based on the words of a complete stranger on the internet? Ugh, fine. This is a lot easier if you’re familiar with the television series “Goof Troop”. But chances are, if you’re already familiar with that series, you’re familiar with the movie. So let’s just open that whole can of worms and jump into this awesome world.
Goof Troop is a television series about Goofy. If you don’t know who Goofy is, then honestly, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m talking about the dog dude from old Disney stuff. Friends with Mickey and Donald? No, not Pluto, he’s…different somehow. You might also know Goofy as the shield-wielding doofus from the Kingdom Hearts games. The point is, this series is centered around Goofy. As a single dad, raising his son, Max. It was an interesting way to take the character, which I never fully grasped when I was a kid. Taking a Disney character, giving him a child, and seeing what happens? It also implies that at some point in his existence, Goofy had sex. Think about that for a moment.
Yeah, that never occurred to me as a child. I never thought “Man, Goofy got bizaaaaaay”. I just thought, oh, he’s got a kid. All right. Donald’s got his nephews, Goofy can have a kid. Okay. This was one of the things that Josh didn’t like. Why give Goofy a kid, he asked? Personally, I don’t see this as an issue. I enjoyed it as a child, because it gave me someone that I could relate to. The same dang reason I loved Duck Tales. Except Goof Troop dealt with more actual issues that a kid might face, trying to be popular, dealing with weird parents, that sort of thing. Less…mummies and insanely rich Scrooge McDuck. Looking back, that show was WEIRD.
Anyways, Goofy and his son Max lived together and tried to deal with whatever issues would arise over the course of the episode. This was made worse (or more entertaining) by the fact that Goofy lived next to Pete. You may recognize Pete as a villain from some of the older Disney things, as well as being a bad guy in Kingdom Hearts 2. So put the incompetent Goofy next to the devious Pete, and weird things happen. Except Pete also has a family, and Pete’s son is friends with Max. Okay, I will admit, this is kind of confusing. But frankly, this bit is not needed to enjoy the movie.
All you need to know is that Goofy has a kid, Pete’s a dick, but Pete’s son is okay and is friends with Goofy’s kid. There. Now you know the basics of Goof Troop, and you are fully prepared to enjoy A Goofy Movie without wondering who or what the hell these dog creatures are.
So, let’s jump back to talking about the movie. In this movie, Max is struggling to be cool and win the heart of Roxanne. But if you know ANYTHING about the character Goofy, you know that Max is coming from an…interesting place. A lot of kids, especially teenagers, hate their parents, because their parents don’t understand them, they’re weird, all that sort of stuff. But imagine if your dad was Goofy. You’d be a bit messed up. As evidenced by the first song in the movie, in which Max laments his problems and sings about how things will be different in the future. Also other students are excited that the school year is coming to an end. Just watch the dang video. And if you’re like me, and know the lyrics by heart, enjoy and sing along! Oh, yes, everybody sings in this movie. Because that’s what Disney used to do, back when it was still awesome.
Also, I apologize in advance, I will be delving into the plot of this movie. If you haven’t seen it, please feel free to wander off and check it out. But…You know, then come back. Because I will miss you. But the movie is from 1995, so I don’t really feel bad about spoiling it at this point. At any rate, Max decides that since the school year is ending, this is his last opportunity to make a lasting impression that will make Roxanne fall for him. So the obvious logical option is to hijack a school assembly and turn it into a weird concert thing complete with fog machine. You know what? Just…Just watch the Youtube video.
Also, this is a tangent, but I find the whole Goof Troop/Goofy Movie world weirdly racist. In this movie, there’s only dog people. Except for one minor cameo by Mickey and Donald. Does that mean that the entire Disney world is set up in this manner, segregated based on species? Again, this is stuff I didn’t think about as a kid, but now when I watch this movie I can’t help but wonder. I like to think that the dog people went to war with the cat people, and came out victorious, and their entire society is built on cat corpses and sniffing each others butts. But these are the things I think about when I’m bored.
At any rate, back to the movie talk, here’s that song I mentioned earlier. Check it out.
If you make it all the way to the end of the video, which is up to you because the song stops partway through and then the video covers some plot stuff, you will see that his plan has worked, against all odds. He has a date with Roxanne, to watch a Powerline concert! Powerline being the dude whose song Max used to woo Roxanne. Except…Oh no. Goofy has decided that this is an optimal time to do some father-son bonding, and he’s hijacking Max for a fishing trip. Max has no say in the matter, because his father is worried about him turning into a delinquent and getting arrested. So Max will have to break off his date and disappoint the lovely Roxanne. Or…Will he?
Now, this is Josh’s main issue with the film. Rather than coming clean and telling Roxanne the truth, Max instead tells the first of a long string of lies. And yeah, all right. That’s not great. That’s not the ideal solution. But let’s not judge him TOO harshly…yet. We’ve all lied. If you haven’t lied, then you’re probably a robot. But we’ll get back to the issue of truth later on.
Anyways, Goofy and Max embark on their adventure, heading out onto the open road. There’s a lot of singing and craziness that happens as they wander around. Max wants to go to Los Angeles for the Powerline concert, but his dad is heading to some random lake for a fishing trip. Just like he used to do with his own father. So after driving for a while, they stop at…Lester’s Possum Park. Yes, that’s a thing. After leaving there, they bump into Pete and his son camping in their RV. And then they bump into Bigfoot. I can’t make this stuff up. Oh, and they caught Bigfoot with a fishing rod, when Goofy was teaching Max their family’s secret “perfect cast”. That’s important for later. But anyways, here’s a song from when they first leave, before all this Bigfoot nonsense.
So Goofy and Max are trapped in their car, with an irritable Bigfoot sleeping on their roof. And Max finds the map, leading them to the lake. Uh oh. And again, rather than coming clean and denouncing his misdeeds, he alters their route on the map to take them to LA instead of their fishing destination. And yes, okay. That’s also pretty bad. But then Goofy makes his son the “official navigator” of the trip, so that Max is in charge of the map anyway. Oh, and that happens after they get away from Bigfoot. Yeah.
For now, the route is still the same, so they just drive in the direction they were going to anyway, stopping at the tourist attractions and whatnot. And they seem to actually be having a pretty good time. Getting along, laughing, joking. A completely different road trip from when they first started. Things seem to finally be going well, for once.
Until they’re staying the night at a hotel, and Goofy looks at the map. Uh oh. He’s finally caught Max in his lie, but does not yet confront his son about it. Instead, he hopes that Max will come forward on his own, and admit to his hijacking of the trip. But now Goofy is aware, and he has checked the map. He knows where he had intended to go, and where Max had changed the map to. He knows that the route is identical, up to a turn coming up the following day. Left will take them to LA, and to the Powerline concert. Right will take them to the lake, their original destination. And it’s up to Max to make the call.
LEFT OR RIGHT, MAX? LEFT OR RIGHT?
Spoiler alert. Max chooses left. Although I would like to take this opportunity to note that he was actually pretty hesitant with his decision. He was less comfortable with his lie than he was in the past. He was actually pretty torn with his decision, only calling out left at the absolute last minute. But Goofy knows, man. He fucking knows. And he’s pissed. Shit’s about to GO DOWN. Literally. Ha! Well, not literal shit. But the direction was literal. Shut up.
Goofy parks the car, storms out, and fumes silently for a little bit. After trying to apologize, Max leans on the car. But Goofy being Goofy, the parking break was not left on, so whoops, the car takes off flying, eventually crashing into the river below, with the boys in tow. Now, this seems bad. I’ll admit. But it leads to the most touching song in the movie. Goofy and Max bond while drifting down the river, and realize that whatever happens, they still love each other. They love each other, god dammit. You know what? Just…Here. Watch the video. Listen to the song. Open your heart.
That song gets me every time, man. Every damn time. Seriously, every time I hear this song I just want to find my dad and give him a hug. So Max finally comes clean to Goofy, spilling all of the details and explaining why he’d lied and led things astray. And then the touching moment is quickly broken up when the car falls off of a waterfall. Max has a makeshift parachute made of a tarp, and a fishing pole, as he watches his father plummet to certain death. Oh no! But wait. Max summons up his strength and performs his family’s secret….the perfect cast. I told you earlier that it would end up being important. You didn’t think I was just making things up, did you?! And Max manages to snag Goofy’s pants with the fishing rod, thus saving his father’s life.
So after all of this, it’s time to turn around and head home, each having grown both individually and together over the course of the trip. Except that’s not what happens at all. They head straight to LA to the Powerline concert, so that they can get Max on stage and impress Roxanne.
Standard Goofy goofiness ensues as they sneak into the concert, try to get past security and get onto the stage. Long story short (well, short story, it pretty much all takes place over the course of the three minute song, but it’s easier to just show you the video), mission accomplished.
Then Max and Goofy head home, Max able to now bask in the glory of his lie made truth, and live in eternal glory. Except the moment they return, they head straight to Roxanne’s house, and Max tells her everything. He has every opportunity to lie, and she’d believe it. I mean, everybody who say the concert would believe the lie. He was on stage, with Powerline, dancing his little heart out. But he’s learned from his mistakes, and tells the truth.
And that’s the moral of the goddamn story. But when Josh saw the movie as a child, he took it as the message of the film as being that you could lie all you want and suffer no consequences. Poppycock, I say. Throughout the movie, things tend to go terribly, terribly wrong. It’s only in the last chunk of the movie, when Max finally tells the truth, that things turn up and go the right way. He learned his lesson, and has discovered that the truth will set him free. THE TRUTH SET HIM FREE, DAMMIT.
I love this movie. You should love this movie. And I’m going to make Josh rewatch the movie, and force him to love this movie as well. Or else.