top of page

The Media Man Reviews: A Goofy Movie (ft. Erin-Gamer-90)


Title card for my review of A Goofy Movie

There's a lot of Disney movies out there that are pop-culture phenomenon that are still very popular to this day and there are Disney movies that are less well-known and are more underground cult favourites. Today's subject is one of them.


Released in 1995, A Goofy Movie was a movie unlike anything Disney usually made. It was a movie starring...well, who else(?), had a more "modern" setting (for the time that is) and wasn't really a fairy tale romance story but more of a father/son bonding road trip movie. Yeah, not what you expect from Disney, is it? XD The film was released to mixed reviews from critics and grossed only $37.6 million against an $18 million budget. However, the film has become a cult classic for many and has only garnered more fans in recent years. The film is often hailed as a 90's nostalgic classic and it's one of the few Disney films outside of the main canon that's actually really good. I too can admit I've had some exposure to this film what with being a 90's kid myself. I was always seeing the adverts for the movie on many VHSes I owned and I even OWNED the movie on VHS and would watch it from time to time. Not as much as other Disney films I owned but I did watch it. I no longer have the VHS but I do have the DVD still. Nevertheless, I do have some nostalgia towards this film like many others do.


So is this movie actually smarter than the title implies? Or is the idea of A Goofy Movie just too goofy? We'll find out soon but first, allow me to introduce my special guest and close friend for this post, Erin-Gamer-90. The review was his idea so special thanks to him for suggesting this co-op to happen. Say hi Erin!


Erin: Hello everyone! Long time no see, as it is great to review a beloved Disney film once again with the Media Man. We have reviewed Disney films before, like our beloved Disney Renaissance Retrospective on my page back in 2020 and I also did other looks at other Disney media like I reviewed the Kingdom Hearts games with Chris (aka Keyblade973 on DA) and the Owl House, all 3 seasons with Reece lately, and while I am iffy with Modern Disney lately, I feel it's best to be positive for the brand's 100th Year and of course to review a beloved Disney film like with Goofy.


Before we start the film, it is best to note that it is a film based on the TV show, Goof Troop as it followed the adventures of Goofy with his son Max along with their neighbours, Pete, Peg, PJ and Pistol, as it is a fun cartoon on the Disney Afternoon, not the first time a TV show gotten to make it to theatres, as DuckTales did have one with Treasure of the Lost Lamp in 1990, so how did A Goofy Movie do as a film on it's own and beloved all this years? Well, let's take a look, as we begin this fun experience on the open road!


Section 1: The Story

You may be surprised as while Goofy is a major part of the film, the central character is Max Goof (now 14 years old) as he is ready for summer vacation after the last day of middle school as he and his pals PJ and Bobby hijack the auditorium in the middle of Principal Mazur's speech, creating a small concert where Max performs, while dressed as the pop singer Powerline, as Max becomes a school celebrity and impress his crush, Roxanne, but the boys get in trouble and the Principal calls Goofy to let him know.


As Goofy is surprised by the news and fears that Max could be a trouble maker, he thought of taking Max to Lake Destiny on a long road trip to reconnect with him, like how Goofy's father did with Goofy as Max wanted to go to the party, but had to tell Roxanne that he can't and lied to her about he's going to the Powerline Concert on the trip so Goofy and Max go through some trips and detours in their wacky road trip while bumping into PJ & Pete along the way, as Max has to find a way to get to the concert or be seen as a Goof like his father, while Goofy wants to help Max get on the right path.


So yeah, this is very different and unique for a Disney film and you would never expect it, as road trip films can be very hit or miss.


Media Man: That is so true Erin. But in this case, this is a road trip movie that's good.


A Goofy Movie is ultimately a father/son bonding story with a strong theme of family bonds, fatherhood and growing up at the centre of everything. When you hear "A Goofy Movie", you wouldn't really think this was going to be the plot and yet, here we are and it's surprisingly endearing and engaging as a result. As expected, the movie does have plenty of comedy and, well, goofy moments in there. I mean nothing says "wacky hijinks" like randomly coming across Bigfoot in the middle of a fishing trip, right? XD But they didn't just make the movie a silly comedy with nothing else going on for it. As I say, the film has a strong emotional core and shows that Goofy can do more than just comedy. The growing bond between him and Max is well-handled and I imagine for many viewers is really relatable. How many of us have gone through that stage in our lives where we have to accept our children are growing up and are getting their own lives now? How many of us have also feared being left out of their lives as they move on and we want to remain part of them? This is the kind of movie that can appeal to families as much as kids with this strong emotional core and themes of family for adults and the goofy silly road trip hijinks for the kids. There's something for everybody here and that to me is the best kind of family film: the kind that appeals to both adults and kids in the best way possible.


As I mentioned before, the film can be surprisingly emotional and heartfelt at times and the writing makes these moments really effective as a result. I know many people cried at the scene when Max gives Goofy the soup cup with the words "Hi Dad" spelt at the bottom for starters. And I like many people find the scene with Goofy and Pete in the jacuzzi a pretty weighty scene emotionally too, especially when they start talking about their sons. And Goofy especially becomes a really sympathetic character as he worries over his son growing up to be a trouble maker and he wants what's best for him while also wanting to remain a part of his life. That aspect is really touching and plays well to the film's theme of family bonds. Just who knew Goofy could make us laugh and cry at the same time? Oh and need I mention how the film gets surprisingly intense during the climax with the waterfall? Or opens up with a surprisingly scary nightmare sequence? Seriously, they didn't need to go so hard in a movie starring GOOFY of all characters but they did anyway and it's quite an experience as we can tell you! XD

And naturally, since this is a movie about Goofy, there's plenty of comedy in there and thanks to the fantastic animation that we'll cover later, it's executed brilliantly. There's plenty of slapstick humour and the film isn't afraid to just go nuts at times such as again, Bigfoot's random appearance that I'm sure caught many people off-guard, the musical numbers going as over-the-top as possible and especially the scene with Max and Goofy trying to catch their runaway car. The humour is very effective and I guarantee you'll be laughing at a large chunk of the movie as you watch. Would you like to add anything to that Erin? ^^


Erin: I would agree with you on everything, as for my own words, I say it's also a fun experience and also good character development for both Goofy and Max as their road trip did change them in a way, like with Max as he fears he didn't want to be like his dad and be seen as a joke, as believe me growing up and to be your own person I can relate, plus wanting to impress a lovely gal like Roxanne, as he learns that Goofy is still a part of his life, as I can see a lot of teenagers relate to Max here and his struggle, as we have our ups and downs like him.

Also not sure if everyone knows is that A Goofy Movie works well as an entry point to introduce anyone to the duo and the world of Goof Troop, as I can assure most would have this film and also the cartoon to be familiar with them, so the movie works well as stand-alone so that's a bonus.

As for faults in the film? Well, it is strange that Peg & Pistol weren't in the film or mention, as heard some fan theories that Pete & Peg fell apart, as don't want to get into that...But the film is more about Goofy & Max, as hard to find some nit picks. How about you Scott?


Media Man: I don't have a lot to criticize either. The most I can say is that depending on the person, the movie's story might be really predictable and that for some I can imagine might kill their enjoyment a little as nobody likes it when they can easily guess what'll happen next. The plot is pretty formulaic and goes through a lot of the usual tropes you'd expect like the liar revealed moment, the family argument and the misunderstandings. Now for guys like us, we feel the execution salvages this cliched sounding story but for some, I imagine it might not be enough so whether the film's predictability matters too much to you is down to you really. I like the film's story but even I can agree it is rather predictable.


Also as many have lamented, Roxanne's not in the movie all that much and would've benefited from more screen-time. Personally, I'm not sure if they really could've done that much with her without the film feeling a little crowded but yeah, they could've done a little more with her maybe.


Also, as hilariously random as Bigfoot's appearance is, it's still pretty random and ends as quickly as it started. No joke, after the scene where Max changes the map while he and Goofy are trapped in the car at night, the next scene sees them at the diner having breakfast and Bigfoot is nowhere in sight. He's just gone! Like...what? How did they get away from him eventually? Why did they just gloss over that? Could they really not spare a few minutes to show how they got away from Bigfoot? It feels like the writers set him up and used him to set up the scenes with Max and Goofy in the car and then just forgot to deal with him accordingly so they just moved on like nothing happened. That was the one bit of writing that felt lazy to me and it stands out sorely against the rest of the writing which had more thought and effort put into it.


Overall though, the film's story is well-handled and goes much harder than it had any reason to. It's goofy, enjoyable, heartfelt, emotional and a lot of fun. It's what you expect from A Goofy Movie and more and that I think is a neat little package for any movie to be wrapped up nicely in.


Section 2: The Characters


If it's not the story that many people remember fondly from this film, it's definitely the characters. Even to this day, many people love the characters in this film and hold them dear to their hearts. And I can see why.


We have, of course, Goofy (voiced by Bill Farmer). It wouldn't be "A Goofy Movie" without him, would it? XD Goofy is his usual clumsy, scatter-brained self but this movie ends up showing he can be more than that for Goofy here gets to be a more three-dimensional character that you wouldn't see in his cartoons. Goofy is a single father who wants to remain close to his son but his son wants to move on with his own life so Goofy's left in a bit of a struggle as he wants to be a part of Max's life and while his intentions are pure, how he goes about them aren't all that helpful. Goofy's easily the most sympathetic character in the movie and easily the most relatable for adults as many parents have gone through what he has. When's the last time you could ever say you related to GOOFY of all characters? He does still get to have his trademark goofy humour of course but the emotional aspect is as strong as it is because of him and it makes him a more endearing character as a result. If anything, this movie shows even the silly comic relief characters can have depth too...


Erin: I would agree with ya, and also in the film is Goofy's son and other star of the film Max Goof (voiced by Jason Marsden). He is now 14-years old and got out of middle school to enjoy summer vacation, as he has plans to impress his crush but got roped into the trip with his father. As he is no longer the cool kid back in the cartoon but now a teen, he wants to be his own self and not be seen like Goofy, as he is quite annoyed and angsty when he gets dragged into Goofy's antics during the trip, but later he has softes up to Goofy during the trip. I say he has a good arc on his journey, to learn that no matter what he will be Goofy's son and he is quite a solid character for teenagers and kids to relate to as he does make some mistakes in the film, but we understand why he does them and it is nice that he & Goofy get along as a sweet father and son duo. :)


Also in the film are Pete (voiced by Jim Cummings) and his son, PJ (voiced by Rob Paulsen) reprising their roles, as they join in the fun. With Pete, he is more of the grumpy, mean and tough neighbour of Goofy, even his work partner from the photo job as he gives Goofy advice to be a tough and better parent to Max, in case Max gets into trouble and slips under his thumb, as he does overhear when Max changes the map and warns Goofy about this. With PJ, he is more of Max's best friend and he is quite fun as he does let Max know about the awkward lie he told Roxanne about the concert and of course the two while having short screen time are good pals and a nice call-back of their friendship from the early Goof Troop days. :)


Media Man: Quite so buddy. Interestingly enough, though Pete is kind of an antagonistic force here, this film doesn't have any real villains to speak of. Even Pete isn't really the villain here, just a guy with um...a different idea on how parenting works shall we say? It's even debateable and interesting to ponder about his motivation for telling Goofy about Max's deceptions. Was he doing it altruistically or did he have a more selfish motive behind that? Also his line about how his son "respects him". (shudders) I don't think I wanna know what that entails...


The only other real significant character to talk about here is Roxanne (voiced by Kellie Martin). I'm aware Roxanne's quite beloved and the romance between her and Max is often viewed as a highlight due to how adorably awkward they are together but sadly, Roxanne hasn't got much else going for her. She's just "the love interest" and she even disappears for a good chunk of the movie while Max and Goofy have all the fun so she doesn't get utilized as well as she could've been. Then again, trying to put her in the story as well might've caused it to feel crowded so it was probably for the best they didn't try that too. Still for what little screen time she has, she is pretty cute and I like how unlike most crushes in animated movies, they make it so Roxanne's just as shy and awkward as Max is. That especially made their romance even cuter for many, myself included. If only the sequel brought her back but that's neither here nor there...


Aside from that, there's not much else to talk about with the characters. There's Powerline (voiced by Tevin Campbell) of course but I hardly call him a character. He's more like the goal of the plot really and is just the big celebrity singer Max wants to see on stage. I do love how cool he is with Max and Goofy just barging in on stage like so and he just goes with it during the climax. That's pretty funny. XD Also his song "I2I" really rocks but we'll get to that later...


Erin: Yep, plus there is another side character that Max & PJ knows of is Bobby (voiced by Pauly Shore) as he's more of an out there character. XD While the movie has an interesting cast of characters in the film, the main cast are quite fun as always and the development and bond Goofy and Max has gladly stands out the most, and couldn't have it any other way. :)

Section 3: The Animation

Being a Disney film from the 90s, you can say the animation is up it's game and guess what, it still is and wow, they don't need to go that hard as I say it is one of the best looking animated films I have seen, and impressive it's set in the modern times, well in 1995 of course, as we have a great roster of locations the film offer, like Max's Middle School, the hometown, the camping grounds and others.

Plus the anthro characters has a great look as a lot of them fit well in the Disney universe as Goofy and others gotten a nice modern update here from the past Goof Troop days.


Media Man: There's no doubt about it that the animation is among the movie's biggest highlights. It's easy to thinking A Goofy Movie's just one of those direct-to-video movies that Disney made back in the day but no, this was released in cinemas I remind you and the quality of the animation reflects that.


As Erin mentioned, the film takes place in what was then modern times so you don't get your usual Disney fantasy setting for this movie. This is strictly 90's America and they do a great job capturing the look, feel and culture of that decade with the animation whether it's the technology they use, the clothes the characters wear and much more. Heck, we even get a scene with a jacuzzi (or hot-tub as you Americans say). When's the last time you saw a jacuzzi in a Disney movie? XD Even the presence of Powerline harkens back to the popularity of big pop stars like Prince and Michael Jackson which further adds to the 90's culture of the movie. Yes the movie may come off as a little dated because of this but I feel the 90's setting only added to the movie's charm and gave it more of its own identity and for many viewers, I imagine it makes them feel nostalgic looking at it so most audiences nowadays can enjoy the animation for a different reason than those before.


But anyways, the animation is very solid with an appealing art-style that stays true to the usual Disney style while taking the look of Goof Troop and giving it an animation bump now they have the budget for it. For a movie about Goofy, you need solid animation to make the comedy work and they sure nail it. The comedy scenes are as funny and effective as they are thanks to great comic timing from the animators and how well-executed the gags are and they even get creative with a lot of the humour too with a lot of slapstick, visual gags and completely out there moments like Bigfoot's appearance or the musical numbers. "On the Open Road" especially really gets creative with the kind of crazy visuals the animators can think up for a musical road trip scene. Even the opening scene goes a bit crazy by starting off with Max and Roxanne in a beautiful golden field and enjoying the tranquil peace and each other's company and then suddenly it shifts into a nightmare scene where Max transforms into Goofy in a way that feels like a werewolf transformation! I know it's called "A Goofy Movie" but damn, that's wackier than anyone would've suspected I'm sure! With a movie about Goofy, you can getaway with the visuals being a bit crazy and it only made the film more fun and memorable as a result.


I also feel the movie has a great use of colour too. The movie as a whole is brightly colourful as most animated movies for families tend to be so everything's easy to make out and all but some scenes make more use of colours than others and it's done so well. The dream scene starts off in a tranquil field of gold and everything's all heavenly looking with the colours and then when Max transforms into Goofy, the colours get much darker and the scene looks more eerie to emphasize that this is no longer a dream, but a nightmare. Another great example is when Max is changing the map. Throughout the scene, he's bathed in the red glow of the car's interior lights as he edits the map as if to further raise the tension that he could get found out. And then there's the jacuzzi scene that is able to use its colours in two different ways. The heavy use of blues at first sets up a relaxing, soothing feel as Goofy gets to have a soak in the water but then when Pete comes in and the conversation steers into an unpleasant direction, the blues symbolize that the mood has turned sour and become much more of a downer. Its always great to see when animation gets creative with how it uses its colours.


But the animation works especially well during the emotional scenes too. The jacuzzi scene especially is a great example of that with the heavy use of colour I described earlier and there's no over-the-top faces or exaggerated body language. It's all done completely seriously and it further adds to the weight of the scene as a result. And then you have the waterfall scene where in a typical Goofy cartoon, that would've been played for laughs but in here, it's not at all. They actually make it look like a matter of life and death and make you feel as if Goofy could actually DIE in this scene! Again, why did they go so hard on a movie starring GOOFY of all characters?! It's insane and I love it! XD


Erin: Exactly, as when doing the emotional scenes, they get the job done with their body language and expressions on their faces. My favorite scenes are when Max has to change the map, Goofy finds out about the map when Pete let him know, Goofy at the Grand Canyon mad as Max wants to explain and of course the waterfall scene as they do a great job.


Honestly I say the animation overall is very great as it does a great job with the film and setting, as it is timeless. Then again it is a great Disney 90s film when 2D Animation is at it's prime, so nuff said. :)


Section 4: The Songs


And we saved the best for last, the musical numbers, as of course being a Disney film you should have a roster of great songs you will listen to and sing any time. A Goofy Movie doesn't disappoint as they have some banger songs.


The first one is "After Today" as it has Max and other teenagers being excited for the last day of school and being ready for summer vacation as the others have big plans and Max to get his chance with Roxanne, as it is quite a catchy and so 90s song that everyone can enjoy.


The second one is "Stand Out" as it has like two verses, as the first one is more of Max (dressed as Powerline) as he express himself to be noticed and also to gain the attention of Roxanne and the rest of the teenagers at school as it is quite a beat and extreme in a good way, and even gotten an awesome reprise as after the last day, Max got his A-Game as everyone cheer for him and skateboard home as the reprise is quite a great encore.


Media Man: This is a soundtrack that people love, and for damn good reason too. It slaps ridiculously hard and those two songs Erin already mentioned are good examples of that.


But there's more to cover as next we talk about Bill Farmer's personal favourite song in the movie "On The Open Road". This song is a classic from beginning to end with a fun tune, a catchy chorus, zany visuals as the animators give us a variety of different cars and drivers that all have their own kinds of characters driving by and it makes what would've been a dull road trip one of the most fun scenes in the movie as a result. It's no wonder Bill himself names this his favourite song in the movie because he not only sounds like he's having a ball singing it, but we all have a ball singing along with him!


And then next we have "Nobody Else But You" which is a tender song between Max and Goofy as they sing about how they each have their faults, but in the end they always had each other's backs and there's nobody else but them in their lives. After the emotional breakdown between Goofy and Max, this song was very much needed to lighten the mood and give audiences a break from what came before and it's also a sweet scene as the two make up in the end after all their fighting. I can imagine that some people might even get teary-eyed with this song too.


And last but certainly not least, there's "I2I", the big song that Powerline performs during the climax. Not only does Tevin Campbell sing like he's never sung before with this track but its rocking beat, catchy, quotable chorus and themes of love make for an absolute banger of a song that makes the climax even more epic as a result. It's so epic that they play it again during the end credits and we get to hear the full song! This song I feel sums up the soundtrack of A Goofy Movie in a nutshell: it rocks and went much harder than it needed to.


Erin: All the way buddy, as the songs in the Goofy Movie hits and they still very rock as they are very amazing for what they offer and it's another reason why this film works so well. :D


Overall


So overall, I say A Goofy Movie is ahead of it's time and still holds up as a great Disney film that has the heart, comedy and emotion Goofy and Max deliver for us. I love it from when I first watched it and we love it now years later. Sure the road trip buddy comedy cliché is still there and of course the minor nitpicks we can address, but the highs are still very high up to be along the greatest Disney film. Man how is it NOT a part of the Disney Resanniace?! As I sometimes see it as it could've been up there along the great films from that era. :)


Oh man, you could admit that too, as Goofy did appear with Mickey & Donald in Disney Canon Films before like Fun and Fancy Free. XD

And of course the film is still a great entry film for anyone to get into Goof Troop and as a stand-alone film. :)


Media Man: Aye, this movie is easily among the best Disney films outside of the main canon and may be one of the best Disney films to come out during the Renaissance period that isn't actually part of said renaissance. With its timeless story, 90's charm, memorable characters, gorgeous animation and rocking soundtrack, A Goofy Movie is well deserving of its reputation as a cult classic and is a fun ride from beginning to end. If you haven't seen it yet, I advise that you do. Seriously, the title shouldn't put you off for A Goofy Movie is way better than a movie about Goofy had any right to be and that just made it all the better for many of us. If your nerves are raw and brain is fried, just grab a friend and take a ride together out on the open road with this movie...


And that's our review on A Goofy Movie. I hope you enjoyed it and I invite you all to share your thoughts down below. Do you love the movie? Do you not love it? Do tell. ^^ And I thank my good friend Erin for joining me for this review. It was a lot of fun. Thanks for joining me buddy. :)


Erin: No problem and it sure was fun. I am glad to review this amazing Disney film, and fitting for Father's Day too as you guys have a great holiday as maybe this movie will be a good experience to share with your fathers. ^^


As if I'll do another review with Media Man, we'll see, as I have some fun ideas to discuss but time will tell. Thank you and you guys have an awesome day.


Media Man: Thanks buddy, you too. ^^


In the meantime, join me again soon as I hope to review Transformers Rise of the Beasts first chance I get. See you then everyone!


If you wish to follow Erin-Gamer-90, you can find him here on DeviantArt.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page