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Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3
Starring Goofy DVD Review

Buy Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3 - Starring Goofy from Amazon.com Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3 - Starring Goofy
DVD Details

Running Time: 64 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated
1.33:1 Fullscreen, Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned

DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
Originally Released Between 1941 and 1953
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
White Keepcase


The formula for shorts featuring Goofy, Disney's anthropomorphic canine cartoon star, relies on clumsiness. Goofy's shenanigans often clash with stately narration and textbook definitions of various activities. This format shows up in many of the nine shorts that make up Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3 - Starring Goofy.

This single-disc DVD release represents Goofy's foray into the studio's new line of low-priced short compilations. Providing one hour of vintage cartoons not in any particular order or with any recurring theme, Starring Goofy shows Goofy in his endearing misadventures. These shorts, from the early 1940s through early 1950s depict both the blunderous bum and the identifiable everyman he would become. Unlike Volume 1's disc on Mickey Mouse, all of the shorts contained in this volume prominently feature Goofy and none of the fellow Disney cartoon subjects he would sometimes team up with.

The nine shorts are as follow:

"The Art of Skiing" (1941) (7:56)

In the prototypical Goofy short, the unseen narrator covers the basics of skiing as the clumsy protagonist stumbles through each step from waking up and getting dressed to trying his hand at dangerous downhill moves.

"How to Fish" (1942) (7:18)

A similar format is employed here, as the narrator scientifically explains the ins and outs of fishing which everything out of Goofy's trip seems to contradict.

"How to Swim" (1942) (7:36)

Atop a piano stool and adorned in vibrant threads, Goofy demonstrates a variety of swimming strokes. When he finally makes it to the lake to actually swim, each maneuver poses a challenge for Goofy from getting dressed to diving.

"How to Swim" "How to Fish" "Baggage Buster"

"Baggage Buster" (1941) (7:30)

A magician's trunk needs to be delivered onto a train, which is the perfect setup for Goofy's physical hijinks to ensue. Among the obstacles he endures are a barrage of feisty animals including a hat which produces no shortage of rabbits. In a departure from formula, humor devolves from the creature interaction rather than narrator/Goofy divergence.

"How to Dance" (1953) (6:25)

Goofy can't dance, but the narrator promises he can learn, with predictable but amusing results. With the aid of paper foot cut-outs and a mobile bust form, Goofy becomes a suave hipster. When the big dance arrives, though, things get violent as the Firehouse 5 + 2 (animator Ward Kimball's band) perform.

"Lion Down" (1951) (6:34)

Goofy's at peace in his little place atop the roof of a high rise apartment building, until a lion (who looks more like a liger) decides he'd be a better occupant. The two duel for command of the hammock Goofy has set up with the obligatory high altitude falling stunts.

"How to Dance" "Lion Down" "The Big Wash"

"The Big Wash" (1948) (7:23)

Gleefully enjoying the circus life, Goofy is oblivious to Dolores, the grumpy elephant he is about to wash. As Goofy tries to proceed with the bath, Dolores makes every effort to get out of it. This short oddly opens with "Fully Restored Classic" and the blue castle Walt Disney pictures logo.

"Hold That Pose" (1950) (6:54)

Though this short starts with a standard Goofy setup, it evolves into a zippy comic adventure. Worn out from his job, Goofy takes up photography as a new hobby. After stocking up on all the necessary equipment, he proceeds to aim for the perfect pictures with an imposing brown bear as his subject. Confusion and chases abound, with funnier results than usual.

"Father's Day Off" (1953) (7:54)

With his wife out for the day, Goofy thinks he can handle a Saturday at home with his son. But Goofy's attempts to take care of domestic duties all result in disaster. The mayhem in this short is quite funny, as the house goes haywire and Goofy finds himself at the mercy of fires, floods, and unwanted solicitors.

VIDEO and AUDIO

All nine shorts are presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen, approximating their original aspect ratios. These cartoons, from the '40s and '50s, are a couple of decades more recent than the earliest Disney animation and they look expectedly better. Few issues plague the video, which is mostly clean, consistent, and sharp, certainly the result of substantial and careful restoration.

The shorts are presented in Dolby Mono 2.0. The frequently employed narrator's dialogue often sounds somewhat muddled, but I've found this to be the case in viewing most Goofy shorts, no matter what the medium. Goofy's dialogue, and the widely-used sound effects and score reveal less problems and overall, this is pretty much the best audio presentation you can hope for on shorts that are more than fifty years old. It's not a knockout soundtrack, but it's faithful to the material and conveys a mix (simple by today's standards) sufficiently.

Starring Goofy Main Menu "Hold That Pose"

BONUS FEATURES AND MENUS

This and the other Classic Cartoon Favorites are equipped with "Disney's FastPlay" a mode which essentially plays DVDs like VHS, requiring no remote control pushing or menu tinkering. Before anything else loads, you are presented with a choice to go directly to the main menu or let it proceed via FastPlay, which takes you through two previews and all the cartoon shorts.

In other instances of FastPlay, there would be a select number of bonus features to play after the feature. But there are no bonus features to be found here. In addition to more comprehensive short collections, the yearly Walt Disney Treasures sets have served up supplemental content.

Before the feature plays, previews run for 2005's two upcoming Platinum Editions, Bambi and Cinderella. From the Sneak Peeks menu, there are two additional trailers for Mulan II and February's Studio Ghibli titles.

The lively 16x9 main menu rotates through a rainbow of colors with some animated sparkles and Goofy on stage in front of a background that features silhouettes of his head. All menus feature lively instrumentals.

"The Art of Skiing" "Father's Day Off"

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I can't say for certain that this DVD is the best of Goofy, but it undoubtedly shows the wacky human-like dog in his glory. With Goofy, comedy and chaos go hand in hand, and each of these shorts prominently features this popular and enduring character in the messy situations that made him a star. While the "How to" formula wears a bit thin in the first half of this collection, this is mostly an inspired and not too dated batch of cartoons. Fans of Goofy who missed out on his 2002 Walt Disney Treasure will find some consolation in this new release (available for a limited time only). But if they don't already have it, diehard enthusiasts will still want to get that now out-of-print The Complete Goofy DVD which contains these nine shorts and many more, plus bonus features. For non-completists and casual fans, Starring Goofy succeeds in delivering an hour of classic cartoons that are mostly entertaining all these years later.

More on the DVD

Buy Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Goofy from Amazon.com Marketplace

UltimateDisney.com | Review Index | Upcoming Disney DVDs | Classic Cartoon Favorites: Wave 1 | Walt Disney Treasures Page

Related Review
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 1 - Starring Mickey
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 2 - Starring Donald
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 4 - Starring Chip 'N Dale

Reviewed January 10, 2005.

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