A Second Look: A Goofy Movie
In 1995, Kevin Lima released the animated musical comedy A Goofy Movie, based off the television series Goof Troop. Starring Bill Farmer, Jason Marsden, Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Kellie Martin, Pauly Shore, Wallace Shawn, Frank Welker, Jenna von Oy and Tevin Campbell the film grossed $35.3 million at the box office. Nominated for The Annie Awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Production Design, Best Storyboarding, Best Music and Best Animation, was given a sequel in 2000, called An Extremely Goofy Movie.
After Max gets in trouble on the last day of school, Goofy begins to worry that he isn’t spending enough time with him. The solution, he decides, is to take Max on a father-son road trip. However Max doesn’t want to go on the trip and would rather impress Roxanne, the girl of his dreams.
A fairly decent film, A Goofy Movie is one of those films with a fairly simple plot that could have easily been resolved through a simple conversation, but evolves into multiple complications that result in more than a few interesting scenarios, such as running across Bigfoot. Had Goofy listened to Max in the first place and gotten his side of the events, it wouldn't have completely absolved him of his troublemaking, but it would have helped Goofy see that what Max did wasn’t as bad Principal Mazur was making it out to be, nor did it mean that Max was on his way to prison or an electric chair.
Further, it's fascinating to note that it's entirely possible that Max would have enjoyed the trip and wanted to go on it if Goofy listened to any of his concerns and possibly pushed it back after a party he really wanted to attend. Yet it's just conjecture because he got home on his first day of summer vacation and Goofy immediately shoved off only taking the quick detour so Max could quickly explain to Roxanne why he wouldn’t be at the party.
Couple Goofy's split decision to take the trip with Pete's logic early in the film where he tells Goofy how to be a good parent, which is what leads to Goofy believing Mazur. To further that, had Goofy not taken Pete’s advice, nor completely believed Mazur, then he would actually listen to Max, which wouldn’t have led to Max changing the directions. It's interesting to see that one of the aforementioned scenarios, the car rolling away and the two eventually careening over a waterfall, happens because of a self-fulfilling prophecy caused by Goofy.
Then there’s Goofy’s other problem: how he wants Max to like him more than he wants Max to respect him. This is when Pete actually makes a valid point in telling Goofy that while PJ might not exactly like his father, he at least respects him. However, that’s all that Pete has right because PJ respects him out of fear more than love.
The film also has an interesting alternative interpretation for Roxanne’s friend Stacy, namely that she’s infatuated with Max. But she knows he wants Roxanne and decides to do what she thinks is best for him and push the two together. Though there’s not a whole lot of evidence, it can be seen in how Roxanne actually liked Max before the Powerline stunt, but also when Stacy is pushing her to talk to him following it and how she glares at Bobby when he says that Max isn’t there when watching the concert. It’s an engaging though to entertain.
However, the film isn’t perfect and it’s namely in the animation. Though it’s pretty good for the most part, there are scenes where characters in the foreground keep moving and talking, moving the story along, but everyone and everything in the background has stopped moving at all. The reason for this is possibly because the animators were trying to keep in budget because they were making all the animation better for the grand finale where Max and Goofy are dancing on stage with Powerline. Though those scenes are very fun to watch, the quality of the background animation in the other scenes kind of brings the viewer out of the experience.
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