A Goofy Movie: Disney’s underdog film of the 90s

Max and Goofy.

‘A Goofy Movie’ (1995) is one of my favorite movies of all time. Yes, you read that correctly. Not only is it an underrated Disney film, it’s also pretty damn quirky too. It’s also one of the few Disney movies that is not based on a fable or a fairytale, which is something Disney does not do that often. ‘A Goofy Movie’ is what you could call a ‘slice of life’ film due to it being more realistic than magical. For those who grew up in the 90s like I did it was a time which many consider Disney’s Renaissance period. We were raised on classics such as Mulan, Pocahontas, Aladdin and Hercules. Magical films are essentially Disney’s bread and butter but what makes ‘A Goofy Movie’ so beautiful is that is’a genuinely great film that steps outside the box of the monopolized fantasy genre.

Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

Disney’s animation thrived in the 90s before the wave of experimental animation and their need for trying to out do their competitors. Whilst Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck are the flagship characters of Disney. Goofy does not get as many roles as his counterparts so seeing Goofy as the star of this film as well as his teenage son was a nice change. Not to mention that even though many Disney films have strange family dynamics there are few roles with single fathers.

‘A Goofy Movie’ was the successor to ‘Goof Troop’ which was an animated series that was released in the early 1990s that first introduced this concept of Goofy being a single father. ‘A Goofy Movie’ is set a few years later with Max now being in high school and it’s evident that the relationship is strained due to adolescence. The premise of the film is simple, Goofy is a doting father who wants to rekindle his relationship with his teenage son through a road trip.

The film centers around Max and Goofy, a duo that is just as opposite as one can imagine. Max and his friends(Bobby and PJ) plan a surprise performance at their first day of school assembly where Max is impersonating Powerline to impress Roxanne his crush. Powerline is only the most powerful rockstar on the planet akin to a Michael Jackson figure. Of course, plans go haywire when the school Principles suspends Max and his friends.Max’s Powerline performance.

This prompts Goofy to seek advice from his neighbor Pete who has a different parenting style than him. Goofy thinks that the distance between him in Max is due to peer pressure and his biggest fear is that Max is engaging in criminal activity. Pete suggests they bond over a road trip to bond which leads to Goofy takes him on his offer whilst dragging Max along who is disgruntled. The two go on a haywire adventure that proves that love does win, and we need to have more patience with our parents.

Goofy and Max.

Viewers and animation fans alike will be impressed by the cast. Goofy is portrayed Bill Farmer who has voiced him since 1987. He delivers an awesome performance of a sensitive dad trying to bond with his son and we even are treated to a few musical numbers, showing the range of Farmer’s talent. Maximillian “Max” Goof is portrayed by two actors, one for primarily singing and acting. Aaron Lohr portrays Max’s singing voice which can be heard in “After Today” and other songs throughout the film. Max is also portrayed by critically acclaimed voice actress Jason Marsden. Marsden is known for playing The Flash in the animated DC shows and Chester McBaddBadd from The Fairly Oddparents. Marsden delivers a believable teenage boy. The dynamic portrayed by Farmer and Marsden is held in high regard making it one of the more realistic Disney films.

Max and Roxanne.

There are so many moments in this film that I cherished growing up. Like Max, I was raised by a single parent and we didn’t always see eye to eye.
I like how the film focuses on what it’s like to be a teenager what it’s like to want to be noticed, what it’s like to develop a crush and worrying about your future, it’s all overwhelming. ‘A Goofy Movie’ captures these very real moments by pairing them with their whimsical moments. Goofy and Max befriend a Bigfoot like creature on an impromptu camping trip. There’s also a dream sequence which Max becomes his biggest fear: his father losing the interest of his crush Roxanne. But my favorite scene is when Max and Goofy finally meet Max’s hero Powerline, where the trio engages in a dance. The songs in any Disney Animated fashion provide insight to the storyline. Unlike the ballads that were popularized during this decade; a goofy movie was known for its pop tunes. Featuring songs with Max, Goofy, and minor characters, however, the most powerful performance is delivered by Powerline.Powerline is portrayed by 90s R&B star Tevin Campbell.

Viewers can learn that we may not always understand our parents but for most they are the only ones we have in the end. Parents should learn to let their children make choices for them even if it seems like the choices are not always wise. If possible try to bond with your parents, they are annoying but they love us in our darkest moments. ‘A Goofy Movie’ is a lesson in believing yourself whether it’s minuscule when asking out a crush or driving halfway across the country to meet your favorite popstar. People who would like this movie are people who enjoy buddy comedies, musicals, and light hearted films. I recommend it for folks who want a Disney movie that isn’t driven by romance like other films in this decade. If you loved Mulan and The Lion King you’ll probably enjoy the goofiness of the film. However, I don’t recommend it to those who are fans of Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid.The movie is an hour and 18 minutes long. It’s rated G and there’s no triggering content to be found. I enjoy this film so much and always find myself returning to it years after I first watched it.

Author: Brittney Maddox

Editor: Han Angus

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Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a med student tuned Executive Director of Off Colour!

You’ve probably seen her on Twitter and TikTok, both @MxKantEven, or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels.

From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.

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