Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Underrated Disney Comedy

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and fluffed it out to 31 entries (since December has 31 days).  I have done a 30-day challenge before for movies, though that one was poorly executed (I started it in the middle of a month, at one point I posted 2 entries on one day, it is a mess).  I did another one just this year in August on Video Games, that one was better, go read it after this one, all of it.  Or don’t, no pressure.

            Today is day 18 and the topic is “Funniest Moment”.
As you can probably tell from the title of this blog, I’m going to go ahead and cheat again, the fact of the matter is that I think there are lots of funny moments in Disney films.  They make tons and tons of comedy series and comedy has always been a part of their formulas for what they are releasing to the big sceen.  It is why there are so many stupid fucking sidekicks—e.g. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
So rather than just pick out any one part or moment—something that was easier with the sadness—I chose instead to focus on showcasing a funny movie that I think is terribly underrated—but not the most underrated, that blog entry is still down the line later this month.  This is the most underrated pure comedy.
It is a funny movie.
It is a silly movie.
It is “A Goofy Movie”.
It is both strange and not strange to me that this scene in the movie is emphasized in the poster.
I kind of love this movie.
The Plot
Goofy’s son, Max managed to pull off an epic stunt/prank on the last day of school before summer to impress the girl he has had a crush on, unfortunately that stunt pissed off his hyperbolic principle enough to tell Goofy that Max is going to end up on death row one day (seriously).  Goofy decides to take Max on the same road trip he and his dad went on years prior to help Max get back on the right path, Max would rather go on a date with his crush.

Does anyone know what animal she is supposed to be an anthropomorphized version of?
Ultimately Max lies to the girl he likes, telling her that the trip he is going on is to a concert and that he will be on stage with the performer.  Will Max decide to go with his dad on a corny trip thru painfully uncomfortable attempts to have fun?  Or will Max manage to turn the trip to the concert and find some way to get on stage?  Spoilers: He does.

Movie Analysis
This film successfully matches two of my favorite subgenre’s of comedy, the “road trip” and the “odd couple”.  As the young and trying hard to be cool son, Max goes from gag location to gag location with his older and trying hard to connect father, Goofy allowing the two to bounce off one another in a variety of locations.
The movie is also a great musical.  There are several scenes in which the musical performances are happening in the context of the story and it not only sounds good but because of the risk and nervous tension of the characters performing it, the staging becomes a lot more fun.  It is and feels like an adventure.

Character Analysis
Both Goofy and Max have goals and motivation that make sense, Max might be on a trip with his dad but he still wants to do something to impress the girl he has an infatuation with, and is ultimately too scrupulous to let the lie he told her—a lie that inexplicably worked out—to stand.  Goofy, in contrast is worried that his son is going to be a crook because of bad information he got from Max’s principle, and much like Clark Griswold in “Vacation” Goofy wants to take his family on a trip to connect and show them who he is and that they matter to him.
Let me just reemphasize the Goofy = Clark Griswold comparison.  Goofy is a well-meaning idiot who is just smart enough to know he is below the curve and attempts to make up for his deficits with can do attitude, it is the entire basis of his character going back to the instructional videos Disney would release of Goofy trying to hook up speakers or play golf—and those videos hold up exceptionally well.
The only real difference between Goofy and Chevy Chases’ most well-known role is that Chevy is more of a scumbag.  Goofy is therefore much more likable, and along with guys like Ernest P World and Pee Wee Herman, make up a pantheon of loveable dumbasses from my youth.

Though I think they might be a few other references in this movie too.

The Beg for Attention
            Share your own thoughts on this in the comments.  I know I am not the only person out there who is nostalgic for Disney products, and I am sure many people disagree with my selection for today’s entry. 
I picked Disney stuff just because I knew there was so much of it to talk about and it lends itself to discussion in the comments.  So please, tell me how my opinion about cartoon movies is biased and how your opinion on cartoon movies is objectively right.


If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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