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The Complete Goofy DVD Review

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Disc 1: 22 Goofy Shorts (Click title to view that portion of the review)
1939: Goofy and Wilbur; 1940: Goofy's Glider;
1941: Baggage Buster, The Art of Skiing, The Art of Self-Defense;
1942: How to Play Baseball, The Olympic Champ, How to Swim, How to Fish;
1943: Victory Vehicles; 1944: How to Be a Sailor, How to Play Golf, How to Play Football;
1945: Tiger Trouble, African Diary, Californy 'er Bust;
1946: Hockey Homicide, A Knight for a Day;
1947: Double Dribble, Foul Hunting; 1948: They're Off, The Big Wash

Bonus Material: "The Essential Goof", "Pinto Colvig: The Man Behind the Goof"

Disc 2: 24 Goofy Shorts (Click title to view that portion of the review)
1947: Tennis Racquet; 1948: Goofy Gymnastics; 1950: Motor Mania, Hold That Pose!;
1951: Lion Down, Home Made Home, Cold War, Tomorrow We Diet, Get Rich Quick, Fathers are People, No Smoking
1952: Father's Lion, Hello, Aloha, Man's Best Friend, Two-Gun Goofy, Teachers are People, Two Weeks Vacation, How to Be a Detective;
1953: Father's Day Off, For Whom the Bull Tolls, Father's Week End, How to Dance, How to Sleep; 1961: Aquamania

Bonus Material: "A Conversation with Bill Farmer", Galleries
Video & Audio; Closing Thoughts

Running Time: 326 Minutes (5 hours, 26 minutes) / Rating: Not Rated
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Ratio) / Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Originally Released between 1939 and 1961
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned / DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
Two single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $32.99


REVIEW CONTENTS

Page 1: Disc 1 Shorts and Bonus Features
Page 2: Disc 2 Shorts and Bonus Features, Video & Audio, and Closing Thoughts

By David Willis

Since his introduction more than 70 years ago, Goofy has become one of the most recognized and loved characters of the animated world, being voted in 2005 in Disney's “Golden Ears” survey as the character most people identify with. Yet like his predecessor Mickey Mouse, Goofy has not remained the same all these years; he has undergone countless changes. In his 1932 debut “Mickey’s Revue”, he first appeared with the name Dippy Dawg, which answers a frequently-asked question, “What is Goofy?” He is a dog, however unlike Pluto, Goofy was granted the anthropomorphic features of walking on two legs, wearing clothes and partaking in “human” activities, like his fellow stars Mickey and Donald. It was his
laugh which helped Goofy stand out from the other generic background characters – although it is his yell which many identify with - in the early barnyard shorts, provided by one-time clown Pinto Colvig. Goofy became an instant star and was promoted to appearing alongside Mickey and Donald on many occasions in such classic 1930s shorts as “Clock Cleaners” and “Lonesome Ghosts.”

Despite initially having the official title of Dippy Dawg, to the Disney staff he was always “The Goof.” He demonstrated his Goofy nature by falling victim usually to inanimate objects such as the piano in the 1936 short “Moving Day”, and the shorts would always progress with Goofy trying method after method to achieve his goal, with the methods growing increasingly more farcical. However, due to argument between Walt and Colvig, Colvig left the studio after the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – for which he had provided two voices – and went to work for Walt’s rival Max Fleischer. Other actors were hired to replicate Colvig’s voice and audio tracks were reused, but it was not the same without him and eventually in 1942 Colvig came back to the Disney studio for good.

The Goofy title card "The Olympic Champ" proves pole vaulting is not as easy as it looks.

As the writers began failing to think of ways to make Mickey fresh, the mouse gradually became eclipsed during the late 1930s by Donald and Goofy, and so in 1939 Goofy was granted his first solo project, “Goofy and Wilbur.” A trademark of the Goofy cartoons, more so than even Donald Duck's shorts, was their use of slapstick and pantomime. In some cartoons, Goofy would not speak and the story progressed from his frustration at the situation, as illustrated by his numerous facial expressions. Goofy’s actions in 1942’s “Goofy’s Glider” were set to narration and became what was the first "how to" short. Exploring Goofy’s attempts to master a given field, the "how to" shorts were a minefield of slapstick, quick action, fanciful designs and endeavors, sight gags, in-jokes, puns and anything else that those involved with the shorts decided to throw in. The ultimate example of this class is 1946’s “Hockey Homicide”, which could easily be described with the word "frenzied." Many of these shorts often featured not one Goofy as we know him, but a whole world filled with Goofys of all shapes and sizes.

The Complete Goofy features 46 shorts originally released between 1939 and 1961 on two discs found inside a double Alpha keepcase. This case is housed within a silver tin, which is imprinted with the number of the individual copy of which 125,000 were made available. Also included is an 8-page booklet which outlines the 46 shorts included as well as bonus features and provides some information about Goofy from Leonard Maltin. Finally, there is a collectible art card reproducing the original theatrical poster for “The Olympic Champ.”

Goofy and his grasshopper friend in "Goofy and Wilbur." Goofy attempts to get airborne in "Goofy's Glider." A skeleton in the trunk from "Baggage Buster."

THE SHORTS

Disc One opens with an introduction by Leonard Maltin (2:17) where he introduces us to the loveable Goofy, gives us a glimpse at the character's evolution and informs of what we will see on this set. This clip can also be selected from the main menu. The shorts can be accessed either in chronological or alphabetical order, although disappointingly, no "Play All" option is provided.

Goofy and Wilbur (1939) (8:08)
After more than a decade of supporting Mickey and Donald, Goofy was finally given the chance to shine on his own, sharing the billing only with Wilbur the grasshopper (in his one and only appearance). The two friends go fishing, with Wilbur being used as the bait in order to lure the fish to Goofy’s net.

Goofy’s Glider (1940) (7:59)
Although the words do not actually appear in the title, this was the first of what are affectionately referred to as the "how to" shorts. Goofy tries to make himself airborne in a glider, attempting various ways to make it take to the sky.

Baggage Buster (1941) (7:33)
Working at a railroad station, Goofy runs into trouble when he has to put a magician’s trunk onto an approaching train. As his inquisitive side gets the better of him, the various props in the trunk – not to mention various animals – do their best to hinder Goofy’s progress.

Goofy gets ready for the slopes in "The Art of Skiing." Time marches onward in "The Art of Self-Defense." "How to Play Baseball" might be more accurately titled "Hoe to Tie Oneself in Knots."

The Art of Skiing (1941) (7:59)
Pronounced SHEEing as the title card informs us. The various skills and techniques of skiing provide the task which Goofy attempts to tackle amongst snow-covered Alpine mountains, naturally with a soundtrack full of yodelling. Be sure to listen out for the first Goofy scream as he tumbles down the side of a mountain.

The Art of Self-Defense (1941) (7:51)
The survival of the fittest across the ages forms the theme of the next short. We journey through the various civilizations of the world, all with Goofy look-a-like citizens. As we return to the modern age, Goofy attempts various methods of exercise. This is one of the first Goofy cartoons to use slow motion to exaggerate Goofy’s movements.

How to Play Baseball (1942) (8:03)
The rules of baseball, or the "Great American Game" as we are informed, are taught to us in the only way that Goofy can, or should that be Goofys? Two teams full of Goofys take to the field allowing the game to descend into slapstick fuelled chaos.

The Olympic Champ (1942) (7:03)
The Olympics are studied from their beginning in the days of Ancient Greece, naturally cueing a toga-clad Goofy, complete with Olympic torch. As we move forward to the present day, various Olympic events are demonstrated by the Goof.

Goofy takes to the water in "How to Fish." A pogo stick designed for mother and baby is showcased in "Victory Vehicles." Goofy is a Viking in "How to Be a Sailor."

How to Swim (1942) (7:37)
Beginning with the Goof modelling what was once the latest in bathing suit fashion, Goofy learns how to swim. Naturally, this is not done in a pool, but in the home with the aid of a piano stool.

How to Fish (1942) (7:18)
The cosmic force of Pisces awakens the desire to fish within every man, or at least within every anthropomorphised dog. Goofy ventures into nature – this time without Wilbur the Grasshopper – and is instructed in the various methods of securing a catch.

Victory Vehicles (1943) (9:41 with introduction by Leonard Maltin)
Wartime shortages, in particular the lack of gas and rubber which restricts car use, outline the subject of this short. Transport problems created by the shortages call for innovative homemade solutions to be developed. After seeing many fanciful designs of transportation, powered in various different ways, the answer comes in the shape of the humble pogo stick. The short ends with the catchy ditty "Hop on Your Pogo Stick", which Leonard in his introduction suggests we all demand a CD reissue of.

How to Be a Sailor (1944) (7:08)
The history of sailing through the ages, from the days of Cave Goofs floating on logs to the introduction of the boat and to modern war ships It is perhaps surprising that this short is not preceded by an introduction by Leonard Maltin due to its potentially offensive ending, being a product of the Second World War’s propaganda.

"How to play Football" features two teams full of Goofs on the gridiron. The hunter stalks his prey in "Tiger Trouble." Goofy is on safari in "African Diary."

How to Play Golf (1944) (7:42)
"Contrary to popular belief, golf is not a waste of time," this short instructs us. The art of golf is demonstrated by Goofy with the aid of a stick figure, who comes to life to show Goofy the correct techniques of the sport. Unfortunately, playing the ball where it lies leads to the two falling foul of a bull.

How to Play Football (1944) (7:40)
Football is the second sport to be graced with two teams full of Goofys, as Taxidermy Tech takes on Anthropology A and M. The players get injured in numerous ways, all of course due to the spectacular techniques the Goofys use. It should be noted that the names of the players are based upon the surnames of those who were behind the Goofy shorts.

Tiger Trouble (1945) (7:43)
Goofy on elephantback tracks a tiger through the jungle, as the tiger – who looks remarkably like the character who would become known as Louie the Mountain Lion - and Goofy come face to face, the hunter becomes the hunted.

African Diary (1945) (7:06)
A trip to Africa for a safari leads to the depiction of some less than politically correct tribal stereotypes. As our intrepid Goofy hunter goes out to shoot game, he runs into a rhino.

Big Chief Rain in the Face from "Californy 'er Bust." "Hockey Homicide" takes a Goofy look at ice hockey. Sir Loinsteak gets his armor polished by Cedric in "A Knight for a Day."

Californy ‘er Bust (1945) (7:41 plus introduction by Leonard Maltin)
The Western, a staple of the movies at the time, falls prey to parody here. As a cavalcade of Goofys heads out west in covered wagons, Indians spy the wagons and attack. There are various depictions of Indians here, which Leonard Maltin points out are not as stereotypical as they were in earlier productions, but are more a satire of the stereotypes seen in western movies.

Hockey Homicide (1946) (7:44)
The rules of ice hockey are explained with the action building to a frantic climax, that moves along at a ridiculously frenzied speed, with countless sight gags, including an appearance by Monstro the whale. As with previous shorts, this one is littered with in-jokes featuring players with surnames of familiar members of the Disney staff.

A Knight for a Day (1946) (7:07)
As we journey back to the days of medieval Britain, a tournament for the fair hand of Princess Esmerelda is held. The knight Sir Loinsteak prepares to battle the champion Sir Cumference to win the fair maiden. Unfortunately, Sir Loinsteak’s servant Cedric knocks his master unconscious and decides to seize his chance and attempt to win Esmerelda’s hand for himself.

"Double Dribble" instructs us on the art of basketball. Goofy struggles to decide which is the real duck in "Foul Hunting." "They're Off" shows us the ins and outs of horse racing.

Double Dribble (1947) (7:20)
Basketball is given the Goofy treatment, seeing U.U. playing against P.U., who unfortunately only have the one supporter. As P.U.’s men slowly get knocked out of the game, it is left up to a less-than-vertically-blessed Goof to ensure victory.

Foul Hunting (1947) (6:13)
Goofy goes duck hunting and tries to entice the fowl with a mechanical duck. The only problem is that Goofy fails to recognize which is the real one and which is the fake himself. The duck deliberately trying to confuse him in order to save his feathers doesn’t help matters either.

They’re Off (1948) (6:38)
The science of horse racing is studied, with a view to earning a quick buck. Goofy goes through the process of picking a horse to win the race, finally deciding upon Snapshot III, a horse who comes from a line of "camera muggers", a problem, it is hoped is not to be his undoing.

The Big Wash (1948) (7:26)
Circus Worker Goofy has to keep Dolores the elephant happy. Unfortunately, the peanut-munching pachyderm objects to having to take a bath and makes life for Goofy difficult.

Leonard Maltin provides an introduction. Pinto Colvig, long the voice of Goofy. Disc One's main menu

BONUS FEATURES

The first of two bonus features to be found on Disc 1 is a short piece titled “The Essential Goof” (6:31). The determination of Walt and the staff at the Disney studios to give their characters charm and personality and to bring them to life is well known. Art Babbitt, who had animated the Big Bad Wolf in “The Three Little Pigs”,
cared so much for Goofy’s character that he lectured the animation staff on how the Goof should be correctly handled, detailing his precise personality and his outlook on life. Babbitt also described the specific ways in which the animation of Goofy should be approached. An extract of that lecture is presented here.

The second feature on Disc 1 is a brief biography of the man who provided Goofy with that unmistakable voice entitled “Pinto Colvig: The Man Behind the Goof” (5:33). Narrated by Leonard Maltin, Pinto Colvig’s life story is briefly presented from his early days travelling the country as a performer to his arrival at the Disney studios in 1930. Colvig worked as a gag man and provided many characters with voices including the Practical Pig in “The Three Little Pigs” and Grumpy and Sleepy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. His departure to the Fleischer studios in Miami is also looked at, before his return to Disney in 1941, where he remained providing the voice of Goofy until he retired.

The menus are simple, featuring scenes of Goofy from his various adventures. The menus feature simple music, excluding the cartoon selection sub menus.

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REVIEW CONTENTS

Page 1: Disc 1 Shorts and Bonus Features
Page 2: Disc 2 Shorts and Bonus Features, Video & Audio, and Closing Thoughts

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Wave 2 on the Walt Disney Treasures Page | Treasures on the Direct-to-Video Page

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Review posted May 8, 2006.