In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb wildlife

Wildlife

One never senses judgment from Dano, Kazan, Gyllenhaal, or Mulligan—they recognize that there’s beauty even in the mistakes we make in life. It’s what makes…

Thumb halloween poster

Halloween

Do you know the biggest sin of the new Halloween? It’s just not scary. And that’s one thing you could never say about the original.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

A Goofy Movie

  |  

About two-thirds of the way through the screening of "A Goofy Movie" last Saturday morning, something goofy happened. The movie was suddenly upside-down, and you could see the jagged lines of the optical sound track zipping along on the right side of the screen.

This was not a good sign. As Goofy would say, "Gorsh!" I was in a theater with about 200 kids, who made loud noises of protest, confusion and delight. Eventually the movie was stopped, and the manager explained that there was a "technical difficulty," and gave us all passes for a future screening. Since we had gotten into this screening for free, that was a good deal.

Advertisement

But now I am faced with a deadline, and a review to write. What to do? It occurred to me that since I had seen a movie in progress, I should write a review in progress, simply by supplying you with the notes, written and mental, that I had taken during the movie's first hour. Such as: Is Goofy a human, or a dog? I once met Bill Farmer, who does the voice of Goofy, and he gave me the definitive answer: "Pluto is definitely a dog. Goofy is sort of the missing link between dog and man." The movie is not really about Goofy, but about his teenage son, Max.

Today's kids are so youthoriented that Goofy is too old for them to identify with. Max wears shades and wants to take his best girl/dog, Roxanne, to a rock concert.

Goofy is a single parent. Someday I would like to see a cartoon about the court battle he went through to gain custody of Max.

All the animated characters in Disney movies have a thumb and three, not four, fingers. Is it true that Walt thought this was a good idea because it makes it impossible for them to flip the bird? What does the bathroom look like in Goofy's house, and how does he use it? At one point there is a moving truck in the movie, and on its side is painted: "Starving House Pets Movers." Nice touch.

I realized the human potential movement has gotten completely out of hand when I heard Goofy telling Max they needed to spend more "quality time" together.

Another sad sign of the times we live in: For the first time in cartoon history, Goofy locks his car after he parks it.

Cute moment: During a fishing trip together, Goofy suggests they play car games. "I'm thinking of a person," Goofy tells Max. "You have to guess who it is." "Is it a male?" asks Max. "Yes," says Goofy. "Walt Disney?" says Max. "Right," says Goofy.

Advertisement

That's as far as I got before the movie went upside-down.

How many stars would I give "A Goofy Movie?" Well, at the time they stopped the show, the star-meter was clicking at just a shade under three stars, but let's round it off to three and call it a day. That may be a goofy way to rate a movie, but goofy is as goofy does.

Footnote: Since writing the above, I've had an opportunity to see the rest of "A Goofy Movie," in which Goofy and Max meet Big Foot, who does a John Travolta imitation dancing to "Stayin' Alive." There is also a dangerous trip down rapids, a visit to a rock concert, a sweet reconcilation between Max and Roxanne, and a subtle background moment when Elvis turns up in a diner. Three stars still is about right.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Netflix’s Terrifying, Moving The Haunting of Hill House is Essential Viewing

A review of Mike Flanagan's new horror series based on the Shirley Jackson novel, The Haunting of Hill House.

Always Leave 'Em Laughing: Peter Bogdanovich on Buster Keaton, superheroes, television, and the effect of time on movies

Peter Bogdanovich, film historian and filmmaker, talks about Buster Keaton, the subject of his new documentary.

Why The Godfather, Part II is the Best of the Trilogy

A look back at one of the best films of all time.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus