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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

DISC 2

As Leonard informs us in his introduction (1.59), Disc 2 opens a transformation. Goofy became an "everyman", appearing in a number of shorts as George G. Geef, a man who has to cope with the stresses of work, children, marriage and life in general. Many of these shorts retain the same feeling of the earlier "how to" shorts, only within the framework of Goofy as a family man.

Goofy tries to bulk up in "Goofy Gymnastics." Mr. Wheeler is a demon behind the wheel in "Motor Mania." Humphrey the Bear makes his debut in "Hold That Pose."

THE SHORTS

Tennis Racquet (1947) (7:00)
The Goofys take us through the ropes of tennis with the usual comedic distractions. As the two players try to concentrate on getting the ball from one side of the net to the other, they must endure the gardener who seems unable to keep out of the way and seems insistent upon planting trees on the court.

Goofy Gymnastics (1948) (6:34)
The first use of Goofy as an "everyman" has him coming from work exhausted until the offer to become a bodybuilder sparks him into action. Instructed by a record contained within a set of mail order bodybuilding equipment, hilarity ensues.

Motor Mania (1950) (6:41)
The obsession with motor cars is tackled in this "everyman" short. Mr. Walker is a courteous, law abiding citizen, yet behind the wheel he becomes Mr. Wheeler, an uncontrollable road hog.

Hold That Pose! (1950) (6:54)
Returning home from a tiring day's work again begins things in this cartoon which the hobby of photography is reviewed. The amateur photographer is taken through the various cameras and films at their disposal with which to capture nature. Goofy attempts to do so too, choosing as his subject Humphrey the Bear in his debut role, although not quite looking exactly how we would come to know and love him.

"Home Made Home" finds Goofy encountering problems with a set of blueprints. "Cold War" sees the flu bug strike. In "Tomorrow We Diet", Goofy watches his weight. Literally.

Lion Down (1951) (6:35)
In his rooftop garden, Goofy wants nothing more than to string up his hammock and relax, but he only has one tree. So, he heads out to the forest in order to claim a second. However, lurking in its branches in none other than Louie the Mountain Lion, who follows Goofy home and decides he would like the hammock for himself.

Home Made Home (1951) (6:35)
Building oneself a house can be a tricky prospect at the best of times, and as you’d imagine it would be an even trickier one if you were Goofy. Blueprints, glass and paint are amongst the stumbling blocks for the Goof in this short.

Cold War (1951) (6:49)
The common cold strikes office worker Geef, who is immediately sent home by his boss. Unfortunately he receives no sympathy upon his return home as his wife is playing bridge at Mabel’s. As Geef tries to recover, the cold virus does it’s best to make him feel his worst. When his wife does return, she subjects Geef to a variety of remedies and cures.

Tomorrow We Diet (1951) (6:44)
A rather plump Goofy decides it’s time to lose weight when he catches his reflection in the mirror, which points out his condition. Resisting the urge to eat however does not prove easy.

George G. Geef finds fatherhood a troubling time in "Fathers are People." Goofy tries to kick his habit in "No Smoking." "Father's Lion" sees the Goof take his son into the great outdoors.

Get Rich Quick (1951) (6:32 with "1934" introduction card)
Mr George G. Geef will jump at any chance to gamble his hard-earned cash. His luck does not always hold out, as he tries everything from slot machines to horse racing. When he joins a poker game, Lady Luck for once smiles upon him.
Geef sneaks home in the early hours with a full wallet, only his wife appears to have other ideas about where the money will go.

Fathers are People (1951) (7:08)
George G. Geef becomes a father, and with the baby comes responsibilities, which Geef takes on board, stringing out line after line of washing. When George finally has a chance to get some rest, he finds himself being awakened at all hours due to the baby’s crying. Unfortunately, things do not grow easier as Junior grows up.

No Smoking (1951) (6:29)
Smoking is a hard habit to break as Goofy finds out in this now perhaps controversial short. Goofy lives his life to smoke and when the urge takes him to quit, he finds every moment a struggle to resist temptation as everyone around him continues to smoke.

Father’s Lion (1952) (6:50)
Louie the Mountain Lion once again acts as a foil as George takes his son Junior on a trip to learn about the wild outdoors in a short which could easily be seen as a point of inspiration for A Goofy Movie, only here his son is slightly more enthusiastic about the trip. As George plans to show his son how to hunt, Junior hopes to shoot a lion and George exaggerates his prowess as a skilled hunter, only for his embellishments of the truth becoming all too apparent.

Two dogs, one playing dead in "Man's Best Friend." Goofy has a run-in with bank robber Pete in "Two-Gun Goofy." Goofy copes with a class of unruly children in "Teachers are People."

Hello, Aloha (1952) (6:35)
The hustle and bustle of city work becomes too much for George G. Geef, and he desires to escape. An island of rest and relaxation beckons where George can cast off the stresses of daily life. As a guest on the island, George learns from the islanders that only he can appease the god Pele, only will the natives throw Geef to the volcano?

Man’s Best Friend (1952) (6:28)
Seeking companionship, Geef spots a puppy in a pet store window who he just has to have. The puppy – who is named Bowser – soon begins to destroy the house and training him does not go too well at first either. Bowser soon grows to be an uncontrollably large dog and Geef finds himself having to reimburse the neighbors for the damage he has done.

Two-Gun Goofy (1952) (6:35)
Pete appears as the dastardly bank robber of a way out west style town in this short. When Goofy comes to town, he falls in love – with a girl whose face we never see - and unwittingly knocks Pistol Pete into the mud. News of this unlikely hero spreads to the next town and Pete goes in search of the man who got the better of him, only for the Goof to continue to knock him out without even trying.

Teachers Are People (1952) (7:07 with introduction by Leonard Maltin)
As a teacher, Goofy has to cope with the antics of a room full of children. As their efforts to distract Goofy range from paper airplanes to pupils bombing the school, Leonard Maltin explains in his introduction that during the 1950s such unruly behavior was merely a flight of fancy.

Tired at the Wheel from "Two Weeks Vacation." A familiar looking weasel threatens Goofy in "How to Be a Detective." Goofy journeys south of the border in "For Whom the Bull Tolls."

Two Weeks Vacation (1952) (6:23)
The paid vacation of the title is what Goofy dreams of and out he heads onto the open road. Goofy soon however finds that he is getting nowhere fast as punctured tires and picky hitchhikers hinder his progress.

How to Be a Detective (1952) (6:59)
Without a doubt, this is one of the most violent cartoons in Disney’s repertoire. Within the first 20 seconds we see someone being pushed from a bridge, someone being held a gunpoint, a brutal beating and someone hanging in a noose. In response, Goofy sets up a detective agency, where a mysterious veiled woman pays him to "find Al", only for Pete to show up telling him to leave the case alone. Soon after, Goofy is held at gunpoint by a weasel looking like one of the villains from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He then finds himself underwater with his feet set in concrete, dropped down an elevator shaft and in a high speed car chase, but who is Al?

Father’s Day Off (1953) (6:56)
Goofy is left in charge of the house and his son George whilst his wife is away for the day. As he begins the housework, he finds messy children and messy pets are conspiring to make his life miserable.

For Whom the Bulls Toil (1953) (8:06 with introduction by Leonard Maltin)
Goofy takes a trip to Mexico where he comes across a bull blocking the road. After trying to move him without success, he wipes his brow with a red handkerchief, a sight which instantly moves the bull into action. As Goofy goes about trying to continue his journey the Mexican villagers mistake the sight and belief he is a matador, and Goofy gets a rather unexpected welcome when he arrives at the next village.

Junior makes a racquet in "Father's Weekend." All he wants is a good night's rest in "How to Sleep." Waterskis get the better of Goofy in "Aquamania"

Father’s Week End(1953) (6:44)
After a hectic week, Sunday morning provides George Geef with the chance for a lie in. Only everyone else seems to be doing their best to prevent him from getting his rest. Unfortunately, a trip to the beach with his son was not what he had in mind.

How to Dance (1953) (6:21)
Dancing through history has served many purposes, but George Geef with two left feet is always left watching. His desire to learn to dance leads him to practicing with a dressmaker’s dummy.

How to Sleep (1953) (6:43)
The inability to get a good night’s rest is the topic at hand, and we begin with a trip through the ages looking at the various imaginary designs of beds, before moving on to the strange animal mimicking sleep habits of people. Unable to slip into the land of dreams, Goofy resorts to series of increasingly stranger methods in order to get his rest.

Aquamania (1961) (8:38)
Coming eight years after the previous short “How to Sleep”, there is a large difference in the appearance of the two shorts. The Xerox process which helped retain the lines of the artists’ drawings was in place by this stage and the short retains the feeling of features such as 101 Dalmatians. Mr X desires nothing more than a boat and soon secures his dream purchase. With his son, Mr X sets off for the beach where Goofy is entered into a water ski race against his will, by his son who has taken charge of the boat.

The original poster for "How to Swim" The Goofy comic book was a big hit. The cover of a Goofy record from the memorabilia gallery This pencil sketch shows Goofy taking aim in "How to Play Golf."

BONUS FEATURES

The first of the bonus features found on disc 2 is “A Conversation with Bill Farmer” (13:54), the man who now provides Goofy’s voice. Leonard Maltin interviews Farmer discussing his career and his affinity to do impressions, a few of which he demonstrates. Farmer reveals how it was Michael Eisner’s insistence that the characters retained a familiar sounding voice, and so the search was launched to find someone able to provide one for the Dippy Dawg. Out of hundreds of hopefuls, Bill Farmer secured the job.

The poster gallery contains 37 still images of the original posters from various Goofy shorts. All are in full color and 15 contain audio commentaries by Leonard Maltin or Bill Farmer.

Next up is a memorabilia gallery which contains 13 still images, 5 of which with an audio commentary. The images depict the various Goofy merchandise available, ranging from comic books to records.

Finally is the “Goofy Through the Years Gallery”, which leads to a sub menu from which 8 years of Goofy’s career can be selected. In total there are 172 still images which range from pencil drawings, to cel set ups and backgrounds. Again many feature audio.

Disc One's menu style is carried over to Disc Two. The pictures are different however the music is the same, with only the cartoon selection menus lacking sound.

VIDEO & AUDIO

Everything included on The Complete Goofy is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. All 46 shorts have been magnificently restored, with not a piece of grain or a blemish in sight. The colors are rich and sharp, and an obvious difference can be noted when compared to the unrestored clips used in the introductions and bonus features. These cartoons look as good as they ever have, and it is doubtful if a future presentation could make a great improvement.

The audio too, is clear and crisp, devoid of any unwanted disturbance. All of Goofy’s adventures can be enjoyed, with comprehensible dialogue and as can each of the numerous sound effects which litter the set.

The Goof tends to a spot of housework on "Father's Day Off." Goofy escapes the stresses of life in "Hello, Aloha." Aloha and thanks for reading!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Whether you are a Disney fanatic or not, this two-disc set is bound to please. The 46 shorts here have been wonderfully restored and appear completely uncut. Many Goofy shorts had edits done to them over the years during the Disney
studio's period of making sure nothing in any of their films had anything which could even remotely offend or give a bad example was removed. In some cases, shorts such as “How to Be a Detective” had gone unseen for years. Now, these forty-six treasures can be seen again as originally intended, with glorious picture and sound.

There are those who would inquire at the title featuring the word "complete" as many have been slightly annoyed by a few shorts being lacking from the set. “How to Ride a Horse” was originally a segment of the feature film The Reluctant Dragon (1941) and “El Gaucho Goofy” originally appeared as a section in 1943’s Saludos Amigos; both received reissues as shorts. Their inclusion as bonus features would have been appreciated, especially considering that on the Gold Collection DVD of Saludos Amigos a small edit to the Goofy cartoon has been made. Although, given the fact they were originally seen as part of other productions, I feel their exclusion can be justified.

Two shorts which would also have been a welcome inclusion are “Freewayphobia” and "Goofy’s Freeway Trouble”, both from 1965. The two shorts do receive mention from Leonard Maltin in his introduction, and he highlights the fact they were "educational shorts." This may be a possible reason for their omission; being educational shorts, they may not technically be acknowledged alongside the standard Goofy shorts. Nonetheless, it is disappointing that they are not present. The featurette “Sport Goofy in Soccermania” (1987) could also have been featured here, considering that “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983) and “The Prince and the Pauper” (1990) were inluded on the Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two collection. Despite the exclusion of these five shorts, I feel that the "Complete" Goofy title is justifiable given the "special" nature of these other projects.

One small criticism for the set is the lack of a "Play All" option. With 46 shorts, it can grow tedious continually having to select from the main menu the next short. Other than that small gripe, I feel that The Complete Goofy stands out as one of the better DVDs from the Walt Disney Treasures series, not necessarily because of the extra features (which are lighter than some other volumes), but simply because of the quality of the material. It is a DVD well worth owning. Even if it requires a higher than average price for a used copy on eBay or Amazon Marketplace, the quality of these 46 gems more than makes up for it.

Unlike the Mickey and Donald cartoons which were churned out because of the popularity of the characters, often encountering similar situations with only slight twists, the impression is given that the Disney story men only made a Goofy short when they had a flash of inspiration. Therefore, there was no sense of repetition or growing monotony whilst viewing all of the shorts one after the other, a feeling I have encountered whilst viewing other Treasures DVDs. The ability of The Goof to fit easily into a range of roles as well as the use of Goofy's appearance inhabiting different characters keeps these shorts fresh and original. Goofy has been entertaining the world for over 70 years, and here’s hoping that he’ll continue to do so for many more to come.

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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

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Review posted May 8, 2006.