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‘A Goofy Movie’ Deserves to Stand Out as One of Disney’s Best Films

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Ask anybody “What’s your favorite Disney movie?” and you’ll get a slew of answers. Some might pick the classics, including The Lion King and Cinderella. Some might choose a newer entry like Frozen or Encanto. Nearly everyone has…mixed feelings about the current crop of live-action remakes. But there are a few animated films from Disney that slip underneath everyone’s radars. Some of those films become cult classics (The Emperor’s New Groove) or were released at the wrong time (Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet come to mind.) The “diamond in the rough”, as it were, is A Goofy Movie.. Based on the Goof Troop animated series, A Goofy Movie reveals that the bumbling Goofy (Bill Farmer) is struggling to connect with his teenage son Max (Jason Marsden). Max has problems of his own: he’s scared that he’ll inherit his father’s…well, goofiness and screw things up with his crush Roxanne (Kellie Martin). Eventually, Goofy decides to take Max on a cross-country fishing trip in order to reconnect with him. Little does he know that Max, desperate to impress Roxanne, lied and told her that Goofy was friends with Powerline (Tevin Campbell), a pop icon who’s just happening to have a concert in Los Angeles. Hijinks inevitably ensue.. RELATED: Mickey Mouse’s Debut Wasn’t in ‘Steamboat Willie’ — It Was in This. ‘A Goofy Movie’ Focuses on Fathers and Sons. Image via Buena Vista Pictures. At its core, A Goofy Movie is about the relationships that fathers have with sons, for good or ill. Goofy’s trip isn’t just your standard family vacation, it’s a road trip across the United States, as he’s afraid that he’ll lose Max after an angry call from his principal (Wallace Shawn). Similarly, Max is desperate to not be seen as more than a Goof, which leads him to dress up like Powerline in an attempt to win Roxanne over. Throughout A Goofy Movie, Max and Goofy slowly start connecting. The best example of this comes when they encounter Bigfoot and have to find sanctuary in Goofy’s beat-up old car. Over the course of the night, Goofy tells Max why this trip is so important to him: it’s one that he shared with his own father back in the day. They laugh, they bond, and they even share a cup of alphabet soup that Goofy heats up using the car’s cigarette lighter.. This is a marked contrast to Max’s friend PJ (Rob Paulson) and his father Pete (Jim Cummings). While everything Goofy does is out of love for Max, Pete is overbearing and belittling. Nowhere is this made more clear than in an interaction between Pete and Goofy when they talk about their parenting styles. “My son loves me,” Goofy says. To which Pete retorts, “My son respects me.” What Pete doesn’t know is that it’s not respect that PJ has for him, but fear. Nearly every scene features PJ outright flinching at the sound of his father’s voice.. Eventually Goofy learns about Max’s deception, which leads to one of the most harrowing scenes ever put to the screen in a Disney film. The duo land in a raging river that will carry them over the cliffs, but their focus is on their issues – which finally boil over into a shouting match. Max shouts “I’ve grown up! I’ve got my own life now!” And Goofy’s response is all the more heartbreaking: “I know that! I just wanted to be part of it.” As someone who’s very close to his father, this scene never fails to make me cry.. ‘A Goofy Movie’ Has Some of Disney’s Best Music. There’s also plenty of heart running throughout the rest of the movie, especially in Max’s interactions with Roxanne. Normally in these types of films, the protagonist often has to either change himself or do something outlandish to get the girl. The latter happens twice with Max’s Powerline stunt and later when he and Goofy end on stage with the actual Powerline. But Roxanne is less interested in Max’s social status, and more in the sweet and goofy boy that he actually is.. The music also wears its heart on its sleeve. Perhaps the two biggest standouts are from Powerline: “Stand Out” (which features prominently in Max’s school takeover) and “I2I” (where he and Goofy dance with Powerline). “Stand Out” is lowkey my favorite song in a Disney animated film; not only is it extremely catchy, but it also doubles as a perfect metaphor for Max’s desire to win over Roxanne. How good is this song? It receives a reprise less than five minutes after the original version when Max is shown racing through the neighborhood. Eat your heart out, Elsa.. A Goofy Movie Is A Reminder of Disney’s Saturday Morning Television Legacy. Image via Disney. In an era where plenty of TV shows have received revivals and reunion movies, A Goofy Movie was ahead of the pack. It wasn’t the first film to be based on a Disney television series – the original DuckTales holds that distinction with DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp — but it also speaks to the popularity of those shows that they were able to receive full-fledged theatrical releases. Other Disney shows, including Doug and Recess, would attempt a big screen swing but didn’t quite have the impact of A Goofy Movie. To this day, people quote it and could probably sing along to the lyrics from “Stand Out.” Roxanne is also a popular Halloween costume!. A Goofy Movie’s legend continues to be felt in other Disney films. Director Domee Shi cited it as one of the major influences on Turning Red. In the DuckTales reboot, Goofy makes an appearance and has a heart-to-heart with Donald Duck (Don Cheadle) during the Season 3 episode “Quack Pack!” Goofy also has pictures of Max in his wallet, with one of those pictures showing Max and Roxanne at the prom. Even at the theme parks, A Goofy Movie has started to have a presence, as the queue for Disneyland’s Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is packed with A Goofy Movie references, and only recently, Max dressed as Powerline has made his way into the parks.. Even though A Goofy Movie didn’t have a massive reception upon its release in 1995, in the end, time has cemented A Goofy Movie as one of Disney’s best films 

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