Here we go again with Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly blog about one of the many movies I own. Continuing with "Disney animated films based on Disney Afternoon shows" with A Goofy Movie. This was originally in my notes at May 31, 2015.
So, when I picked up DuckTales the Movie, I saw it had one of HMV's "2 for $25" stickers on it, so I decided to get another film. And what better film to go along with it than the second Disney Afternoon cartoon to become a film, A Goofy Movie?
A Goofy Movie is loosely based on the Goofy-centric Disney Afternoon show Goof Troop. Goofy's son Max is aged up, from a kid on Goof Troop to a teenager in the film. Goofy's neighbour Pete and son PJ are in the film, but Pete's wife Peg and their daughter Pistol are never mentioned. And they tweaked Goofy's character design, too, making him more look like his classic self.
You can tell that the DVD is an older release as well, as the DVD still proudly advertises itself as being part of the Gold Collection. See, back in the late-1990s/early-2000s, when DVD was new and exciting, Disney divided up their animated films into two different releases. "The Gold Collection" were single-disc editions, and included bonus features like similarly-themed animated shorts from the Disney library. "The Platinum Collection" was reserved for Disney's more prestigious animated films, and these 2-disc editions had bonus features like storyboards, concept art, and director's commentaries. The convention continues to this very day as Disney has declared Blu-Rays of their more prestigious animated films as part of "The Diamond Collection."
And that's what really makes this release frustrating: it's full frame. 4x3 aspect ratio. What the what? Why didn't they listen to us 15 years ago when we demanded that all DVD releases be in anamorphic widescreen in anticipation of the adoption of widescreen TVs? Those black bars on the sides of the screen drive me nuts! DISNEY! Give us a new anamorphic widescreen release, please!
So, Goofy's son Max is now a teenager. On the last day of school, he disrupts the final assembly to give an impromptu rock concert, and finally catches the eye of his dream girl, Roxanne. But, such a disruption sees Goofy get an angry phone call from the principal. Fearing that he and his son are growing apart, Goofy decides to take his son on a road trip. But, in order to explain his absence to his budding new girlfriend, Max tells Roxanne that they're off to be on stage at the Powerline concert (Powerline being the big pop star that all the kids love in this universe). So, along the road trip, father and son try to reconnect, while the son tries to steer the trip towards the concert.
It's really unusual to see Goofy in this kind of story. I mean, in 7-minute shorts, where he's just silly and does a bunch of pratfalls, that's his schtick. But this gives him this pathos as he fears his son is going down the wrong path, and attempts to make a connection. It...strangely works.
Max is also an interesting character, as he's trying to step out from his father's shadow and be his own man. Yeah, it's the kind of thing that we've seen a dozen times before, but because it's with Goofy and his son, it's kinda weird.
Don't worry, though, there's some classic Goofy antics in it. I think the scene where they encounter Bigfoot in the woods is just hilarious, especially the bit with Bigfoot and sock puppets.
The songs are actually kind of catchy, too, despite them being typical 90s pop. And don't get me wrong, some aspects of the film are horribly trapped in the 1990s. I'm looking at YOU, Pauly Shore cameo!
But it's still a pretty fun film, and showcases a side of a classic Disney character that we never really see.