A Goofy Movie (1995)

Directed by: Kevin Lima

Written by: Jymn Magon/Chris Matheson/Brian Pimental

Based on Goof Troop TV series created by: Mike Peraza

I saw this one when it came out on video and I remember thinking it was really good. Or, at least really funny. How did it hold up?

Not bad. But of all the 90s movies, this is the 90siest.

In 1995, the movie kind of came out of nowhere for me. I have still never seen a single episode of Goof Troop (or, honestly, ANY of the Disney cartoon series from the late 80s through the 90s). So I had no context for Max or any of Goofy’s adventures outside of the occasional shorts from ye olden days. But I did have a friend whose nickname was Pistol because of the show. So, there’s that, I guess.

Anyway, A Goofy Movie takes place a few years after Goof Troop. Max (Jason Marsden) is a teenager and, like all teenagers, wants nothing to do with his dad. He’s willing to do anything to impress Roxanne (Kellie Martin), going so far as the hijack the stage while the principal (Wallace Shawn) is speaking to impersonate the biggest pop star in the world, Powerline (Tevin Campbell). His buddies, PJ and Bobby (Rob Paulson and Pauly Shore…the 90siest), help him and, of course, all three get in pretty serious trouble.

The principal calls Goofy (Bill Farmer) to let him know that his son is a juvenile delinquent who will end up in the electric chair…because he’s a horrible principal. Absolutely the worst. This scares Goofy into planning a summer-long vacation to bond with Max.

Meanwhile, Roxanne is super impressed with Max and they make a date to go to a party where everyone will be watching Powerline’s concert on tv. Of course, this is at the same time as Goofy’s trip. For some reason, Max lies to Roxanne and tells her that his dad knows Powerline and that they’ll be on stage with him.

Clark Griswold-esque chaos ensues. They keep running into PJ and his dad, Pete (Jim Cummings). Pete convinces Goofy that he has to keep his son under his thumb and basically ruins everything. Max and Goofy love each other. Then they hate each other. Then they fall down a waterfall. Then about half an hour seems to be cut out of the movie because not only do they end up in Powerline’s instrument cases, but they somehow get their car back from the bottom of the lake.

All’s well that ends well. Naturally. This is a Goofy movie, not a Bergman movie.

The movie really is a lot of fun, but it’s locked in its time. There’s no mistaking this for a recent film. And not just because of Pauly Shore’s (thankfully) brief appearance. The music, the animation (which is sometimes nearly Bakshi-ish), the fashion (Roxanne’s friend is basically Blossom), the pop culture references…just everything.

This doesn’t make it bad, of course. Just dated. Goofy and Max’s relationship is actually pretty believable. The shyness between Max and Roxanne is super cute. And, of course, Goofy is pretty hilarious.

But I don’t think it lived up to my memory of it. I remember just thinking that it was great when I first saw it. Now, it’s just kind of a fun diversion from the fairly serious Disney movies I’ve been watching. There’s no serious subplot. There’s no hidden message beyond “family is important.” It’s just Goofy being Goofy and Max being embarrassed, as any teenager would be.

And then there’s Pauly Shore. This is probably his best role. And that’s really all I have to say about that. He’s the Leaning Tower of Cheeza.

A few years later, Disney would sequelize this one. We’ll watch that one, too, even though it was straight to video. I just want to see if it holds up at all, because I remember really liking it, too.