A Goofy Movie
September 19, 2017
(The shortened opening)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (nods, then looks rather awkward as he gestures toward a poster for A Goofy Movie that appears in the right corner) So why is this a thing now?
(The title for A Goofy Movie is shown, followed by footage of the film)
NC (vo): Don't get me wrong, I always enjoy 1995's A Goofy Movie fine, but somewhere in the past five or ten years, it's gone from that cute little movie to Disney cult status, garnering (a fan drawing of Max and Roxanne appears) fan art, (a t-shirt advertising the Powerline Stand Out World Tour '95 appears) merchandise, (footage of a reenactment of a scene in the movie is shown) reenactments, (a montage of various people cosplaying as the film's characters is shown) and too many cosplays to count. I stayed away from reviewing this movie for a while because I didn't really understand what all the fuss was about. But my fascination over this... fascination has finally gotten the best of me. What is it about this film that has left such an impact on so many people?
NC: Well, I'm finally gonna take a closer look to find out. Let's time travel back to the '90s with A Goofy Movie.
(The movie's opening is shown)
NC (vo): The opening credits start off standard enough, almost too standard.
(The words "A Movie" is shown, then we hear the famous Goofy Holler, and the word "Goofy" appears, completing the film's title)
NC: I'm not gonna lie, a part of me really wonders what just "A Movie" would be.
(The words "A Movie" are shown again with footage of Max Goof and Roxanne talking and the end credits)
NC (vo): Boy meets girl, nothing happens for two hours, roll credits.
NC: I didn't say it'd be good, but it'd be "A Movie".
(We are shown the film's opening dream sequence)
NC (vo): It starts off rather beautiful with our main character Max dreaming about a girl he has a crush on named Roxanne.
(Roxanne blows a dandelion flower on Max's face, before leaping out onto his arms; they lay down on the ground while laughing)
NC: Eh, to be fair, this fantasy is kinder than the fantasies the Internet has had about her. (captions appear: "DON'T GOOGLE IT!", "I DID!" and "MISTAKE!")
(The dream suddenly gets nightmarish as Max begins suddenly growing large teeth and large ears)
NC (vo): Oh, no! He's turning into Disney's real nightmare: Oswald Rabbit!
NC: Get over it, Disney! You got him back in Epic Mickey!
(Max eventually transforms into his father Goofy, causing Roxanne to scream as Goofy does his signature guffaw while lightning strikes)
NC: Wow. I don't know how you make Goofy's laugh scary, but you found a way.
(Max is shown waking up from his nightmare, before answering a Mickey Mouse phone in his room)
NC (vo): It's all just a dream, though, as Max answers his landline in-joke, telling his friend PJ to get ready for the big day.
(Goofy comes in, just as Max is putting his pants on)
Goofy: Mornin', son!
Max: Dad! (pulls his pants up)
NC (vo): His father Goofy, of course, embarrasses him every moment possible. But Max says "After Today", he'll be the coolest kid on the block.
(The film's first musical number, "After Today", is shown)
Chorus: (singing) After today, my brains'll be snoozing!
Max: (singing) If I don't faint, I'll be fine!
NC: As catchy as this song is, I have to ask... do all the dogs just live...
(Throughout the song, we are shown various kids and citizens of the town all appearing to be the same dog species)
NC (vo): ...in one neighborhood? They're the only animals I see in this town. Is there a class system?
NC: Are they the Lion King hyenas evolved from years later? (images of the hyenas, Mufasa and Simba from The Lion King are shown, along with the image of Mufasa saying "That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba.") Film theory that shit!
NC (vo): It has to make sense that how a bus full of kids turns into a bus full of cheerleaders and then back into a bus full of kids.
Bus driver: (singing) I'm gonna sit on my butt.
NC: If you film it while complaining about movies, you can make a very good living that way.
(After the song, we see Max and his friend PJ meeting their other friend Bobby)
NC (vo): Sadly, we discover this movie's been infected by a Pauly Shore.
Bobby (Pauly Shore): Cheddar! (howls ecstatically) Cheddar whizzy!
NC: (imitates Pauly Shore) I was a thing!
NC (vo): He helps Max and PJ set up a prank during the school's last prep rally as... wait a minute. This is the '90s. Cue the adult authority figure who just doesn't understand!
(At the school's prep rally, Principal Mazur (Wallace Shawn) speaks to the audience)
Principal Mazur: Principal Mazur, what can we do to not waste our summer vacation?
NC: (as Mazur; imitating Vizzini from The Princess Bride) Like never dealing with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
Mazur: How about science slumber parties?
NC: Okay, am I the only one who wants to see that happen? What would Neil DeGrasse Tyson's pajamas look like?
(Suddenly, Mazur's speech is interrupted by Max dressed as the pop star Powerline and performing a concert for the audience while lip-syncing to a Powerline song "Stand Out")
NC (vo): But they ambush the rally with Max dressed as their favorite pop star, Powerline.
Powerline: (singing) ...to stand out...
(As the performance goes on, Bobby uses a fire extinguisher to spray smoke)
Bobby: A little smokage! (howls like a dog)
NC: (hand on cheek) That should annoy me, but I'm just wondering what it means when a dog makes a dog sound. Remember when Goofy owned a cat? (An image of a photo showing Goofy being attacked by his pet cat Waffles from Goof Troop is shown) Is that like slavery?
NC (vo): Max also takes the opportunity to hit on Roxanne.
(Max, while lip-syncing to Powerline's song, moves closer to Roxanne, who's in the front row)
Powerline: (singing) There's nothin' that I wouldn't do if it was gettin' you to notice...I'm alive.
NC: You know, is it possible to make something so dated that it's actually timeless? This movie is really trying to say "yes".
NC (vo): He's finally caught, though, resulting in him getting detention.
(Max and Bobby are shown sitting in the principal's office)
Bobby: Max, look. (reveals a cheese model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa) It's the Leaning Tower of Cheese-a. (chuckles and eats the cheese)
NC: (feeling a little bit embarrassed) He's not in this long.
NC (vo): Roxanne stumbles across Max, though, in the principal's office.
Roxanne: I liked your dance.
Max: Yeah. (suddenly becomes surprised at what Roxanne said) Yeah? Uh, yeah. It's from Powerline's new video.
Roxanne: I know. He's, he's totally a genius.
Max: Yeah, he's, uh, he's doing a concert next week at LA.
Roxanne: Oh, yeah.
NC: Aw, it's puppy love. (The audience boos) DON'T ACT LIKE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE SAID IT! YOUR HANDS ARE JUST AS DIRTY!
(More footage of Roxanne is shown)
NC (vo): It is nice that Roxanne isn't just a bland, popular knockout. She's shy, nervous, has some geeky friends, and is just as awkward as Max, making for, honestly, some adorable flirting.
(Cut to an earlier part of the scene, showing Roxanne tapping Max's shoulder, causing Max to leap in shock while Roxanne drops her books)
Max: Gosh, I'm sorry.
Roxanne: It's okay, really.
(While trying to pick up a paper on the floor, Max's and Roxanne's hands touch each other)
NC: (as Max) I've...never touched an ungloved hand before.
NC (vo): He gets a date with her, though, to watch the Powerline concert on TV, as Goofy blissfully works his job as a baby photographer.
(At his baby photo job, Goofy, having accidentally swallowed a rubber ducky squeak toy, takes photos of the smiling baby while making squeaky noises)
NC: Interested in not sleeping tonight? Pause this movie when that kid's eyes go red.
(A photo is taken of the smiling baby, and when it does, the baby's eyes do turn red for a second. That moment is paused, as a haunting chorus is heard and the baby's red eyes are shown in close-up)
NC: (smiling and speaking in sing-song) You're welcome.
(Pete is first shown speaking with Goofy)
NC (vo): His co-worker Pete tries to show off what a much better parent he is with his son.
Pete: What, for all you know, he's running around with some gang and stealing stuff and causing riots. Something's wrong when a kid won't spend time with his parents.
NC: (as Pete) Just ask Norman Bates.
NC (vo): But Goofy gets a call about the trouble Max is in.
Mazur: (speaks on the phone with Goofy) Dressed like a gang member...
Goofy: Gang member?
Mazur: ...your son caused the entire student body to break into a riotous frenzy!
NC (vo; as Goofy): Why, this wordage is eerily similar to my co-worker's verbalization of my fears.
Mazur: I'd seriously reevaluate the way you're raising your child before he ends up in the electric chair!
NC: Because Goofy cartoons should always suggest that imagery. (An image of Max's head Photoshopped on an electric chair victim is shown)
NC (vo): Goofy thinks he's been too hard on Max, though, so he decides to take him on a fishing trip, ruining his date with Roxanne.
(Max comes home to see Goofy packing for the trip)
Goofy: It's a vacation with me and my best buddy.
Max: Who, Donald Duck?
NC: (as Goofy) Oh, he's gone all angular and weird. (An image of Donald Duck from DuckTales (2017) is shown) I'm kind of afraid of him now.
(Goofy gives a now-shocked Max a fishing pole)
Max: We're going fishing?
Goofy: Yep. Just like my dad and me did. (opens a map) We're using the same map me and my dad used.
NC (vo): Huh. I don't see Dippy Dawg's name on that map.
NC: Google it, you'll get a giggle.
NC (vo): Max convinces Goofy to drop by Roxanne's house, though, to tell her the bad news.
(Max approaches Roxanne's front door, only to see a large, fat, scary and intimidating dog growling; he is Roxanne's father)
Max: Is Roxanne home?
(The father growls, until Roxanne comes out)
Roxanne: It's okay, Daddy. Max is a friend from school.
NC: (as Max, while cowering) Please call off your dad-dog.
NC (vo): Afraid she might find someone else, he makes up a lie, saying he's gonna be onstage at the Powerline concert because his dad knows him personally. Of course, he has no idea how to make this possible.
(While driving on the road, Goofy attempts to speak with a depressed Max)
Goofy: You think of a name, and I'll try to guess who it is. Man or woman?
Max: (sighs) Man.
Goofy: (thinks for a moment) Walt Disney!
(A Photoshopped explosion suddenly occurs)
NC: (as Goofy, while mimicking driving a car and chuckling nervously) Did we just implode our universe for a minute? (Beat) Oh, well. (continues driving)
NC (vo): To try and make Max feel better, Goofy tries singing a little song.
(The song, "On the Open Road", is shown)
Goofy: (singing) Do you need a break from modern livin'? Do you long to shed your weary load?
(Cut to a later part of the song, showing Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck hitchhiking at the interstate)
Mickey Mouse: (singing) Ha-ha! And it's Californ-eye-ay or bust!
NC (vo): Mickey Mouse is on a phone and he still has to hitchhike? And he's with Donald, who Goofy said he's really good friends with?
NC: Dude, Max, you should ask. Maybe your dad does know Powerline. These are some weird connections.
(As the song goes on, we are shown various other drivers on the interstate singing along, including a car carrying a grave, which has a zombie also singing along)
Goofy: (singing) ...new zip code!
Chorus: (singing) And the cares we have...
Zombie: (singing) ...are gone for good...
NC: Okay, has anybody put together how potentially disturbing this song sequence is?
(We are shown the various drivers and singers of the song as NC speaks)
NC (vo): You have country singers stuffed in a piano, a hostage in the trunk of a car, and the dead literally coming back to life!
NC: This is a friggin' morbid interstate!
(We cut to Goofy and Max driving towards a park called "Lester's Possum Park")
NC (vo): So they drop by a possum children's attraction along the way, because apparently, that exists in this world, too.
(We are shown a mother struggling to drag her screaming daughter into the possum-shaped building)
Screaming girl: No, Mommy! I don't wanna go!
(She continues crying as the mother drags her into the building)
NC: That's every kid that was dropped off at The Nut Job.
(Goofy and Max watch a performance showing animatronic possums performing their theme tune)
Lester Possum: (singing) Come hoot and howl and holler from the heart...
(Max, completely unamused by this, looks at a little girl next to him, smiling with huge teeth, some of them missing)
NC (vo): Yet another creepy child in this movie. Can we just keep the camera off them for the remainder of the film?
(The smiling, big-teethed little girl is shown again with a close-up and the haunting chorus playing. Cut to Goofy and Max walking in the park)
Goofy: I'll be right back, my little possum pal. (walks away)
Max: (sighs) My life's a living...
Lester the Possum: (suddenly appearing) Hell-o, little buddy!
NC: Okay, G film. You were this close to getting a "P" put in front of you.
(As NC speaks, we are shown Lester hugging an unamused Max)
NC (vo): Also, why is anyone dressed like a giant animal? They're all giant animals. There is no novelty!
(Max, having got a possum stuck in his pants, is struggling to get it out as Goofy, unaware of this, dances with Max, while a crowd watches)
Max: Dad! Stop, please! Dad, look, this is embarrassing! Don't! Don't!
(The crowd laughs and makes silly faces. NC is creeped out)
NC: Okay. Goofy Movie surprisingly has a lot of nightmare fuel.
(The laughing and silly face-making crowd is shown again, with the haunting chorus playing. Cut to Goofy teaching Max to fish at a lake)
NC (vo): Feeling embarrassed, Goofy tries to make Max feel better by showing him how to fish.
Goofy: Let me show you a little family secret handed down through about 12 or 13 Goof generations: The Perfect Cast.
Max: The what?
Goofy: The Perfect Cast.
NC: (as Goofy) You know, something Suicide Squad didn't have.
(Bigfoot suddenly appears and chases Goofy and Max)
NC (vo): But they come across Bigfoot. (Beat) Yeah, that happens.
(Bigfoot charges towards the car Max and Goofy are in)
Max: Hurry up!
(Bigfoot runs into the car)
NC: Not gonna lie, this is kind of a weird direction. I surprisingly expected a little less goofiness out of A Goofy Movie.
NC (vo): They get trapped in the car as Bigfoot looks over their belongings.
(One of the belongings Bigfoot looks at is a pair of headphones, which are playing the song "Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gees. Bigfoot, listening to the song, begins chuckling and dancing)
NC: I know I should be laughing, but now I'm just wondering what the Bee Gees as dog people look like. (An image of the Bee Gees is shown, with Photoshopped dog heads pasted over them)
NC (vo): Max and Goofy start to bond over making food, though, as Goofy reminds Max of when he used to spell "Hi, Dad" in his alphabet soup.
Goofy: You used to spell things out using the letters, like...
Goofy: Little words, like...
Max: "Hasta la vista"?
Goofy: Like "bye-bye".
Max: Or "I pledge allegiance...".
Goofy: (chuckles) Or "I love you".
(Max and Goofy stop speaking and remain silent)
NC: When you realize, "Shit. This movie's kind of working."
NC (vo): Followed by...
(He gasps loudly, as Max is shown finishing the soup, which Goofy notices the alphabet letters in the cup spelling "Hi, Dad". Goofy, moved nearly to tears, looks at Max falling asleep)
Goofy: 'Night, Maxie.
NC: (about to cry) Excuse me. I got something in my eye. (wipes a tear away) Ah, there we go. Where was I? Oh, yeah, this scene. (bursts into tears) This scene makes me cry!
(And we go to a commercial. When we come back, we see Max, while attempting to write a letter to Roxanne, discovering Goofy's map and changing the route from Lake Destiny to Los Angeles)
NC (vo): Max starts to write to Roxanne, admitting he lied, but then realizes he can change the map to go to the concert.
(After changing the map, Max tears the letter and throws the pieces away. One of the pieces gets stuck on a tree, revealing the words "I lied")
NC: Because every kid needs their first "Oh, I get it!".
(We see a montage of Goofy and Max on their road trip, visiting various locations)
NC (vo): Unaware the map's been altered, they both compromise and visit places the other wants to see.
(Goofy and Max are shown looking at a mime performing. The mime mimics holding a rope, while Goofy mimics using scissors to cut the "rope". Suddenly, a piano falls down and crushes the mime)
NC (vo; as Goofy; chuckles): I committed abstract murder.
(We see Goofy and Max arriving at a motel called Neptune Inn, which has an underwater theme)
NC (vo): They end up at what I can only describe as the Little Mermaid's love shack... (Max is shown lying on a bed, which has living fish inside) Oh, those fish are gonna stare at Goofy's junk all night!
NC: Are there fish people in this world? I need to know how to judge this!
NC (vo): ...as Pete and PJ happen to be staying at the exact same place. Pete overhears about Max changing the map and decides to tell Goof.
(Pete and Goofy are shown relaxing in a hot tub)
Pete: I just hate to be the bearer of bad news, but...well, I heard the little mutant telling PJ that he changed the map, so...you're heading straight to LA, pal.
NC: (as Pete) On a side note, do we really not take off our gloves in the hot tub? Our world is weird, Goof.
NC (vo): Funny enough, this moment gets surprisingly uncomfortable.
Goofy: (about to leave) You know, maybe Max isn't all the things that you think a son should be, but...he loves me.
Pete: Hey, my son respects me.
Goofy: Yeah. (walks away)
NC: I'm starting to think that Pete's hiding an abusive family story we're not aware of! (Beat) Where did the wife and daughter go? (Images of Pete's wife and daughter, Peg and Pistol, from Goof Troop are shown)
NC (vo): Goofy does check the map, though, and realizes Pete was right, leading to a great scene where Goofy gives Max a chance to redeem himself by telling him the right direction.
(Goofy is about to head towards two roads, one leading to Lake Destiny and the other leading to LA)
Goofy: Left or right?
Goofy: Come on, Max!
(Goofy's car turns left to LA, but Goofy becomes deeply angry and hurt)
NC: Most Disney movies would have this be the time where Max does the right thing.
NC (vo): But they make it a bit more interesting by still having him lie. (Goofy stops the car and walks out to sulk as Max tries to follow him) After Goofy gets fed up in one of the few quiet moments in the film, they finally open up and share their feelings...in the most cartoony way possible.
(Goofy's car is driving out of control by itself and into danger, while Goofy and Max try to chase it, all the while arguing)
Goofy: Well, you ruined the vacation!
Max: I never...wanted to go...!
NC: On the one hand, I'm kind of wishing they talked about their feelings...
NC (vo): ...at the top, utilizing that quiet moment some more. But on the other hand, talking about your feelings while tumbling down a canyon and driving through rapids feels like the way A Goofy Movie should handle this.
(Goofy and Max have now ended up in a long river on the top of their car)
Max: I've got my own life now!
Goofy: I know that! I just wanted to be part of it.
NC (vo): They blow up at each other and sit in silence while...well, there's no other way to say it...they're in a car...
(Cut to a sketch from Saturday Night Live)
Matt Foley (Chris Farley): (NC says it along with him) ...down by the river! (A laugh track is heard)
NC (vo): They do open up slowly, though, via song.
(Goofy and Max sing the song, "Nobody Else But You", together)
Goofy and Max: (singing) Nobody else but you. It's just our luck we're stuck together...
NC: (as Max) Really, we should be singing about how our car would've drowned by now and we should both be dead, but this is cool, too.
NC (vo): Speaking of death...
(The car floats toward a waterfall)
(We are shown Goofy falling down the waterfall, but Max saves him with his fishing pole, using the Perfect Cast. They are later shown breaking into Powerline's concert)
NC (vo): Max remembers the Perfect Cast, though, and uses it to save his dad. As a way to say thanks for getting him in that situation in the first place, Goofy helps Max partake in breaking, entering, and forgetting he has a serious girlfriend for a minute. (Max is shown looking at Powerline's backup dancers walking past him) Goofy even has a little bit of a creeper moment, too.
(Goofy, while searching for Max after getting separated, goes into a dressing room with a fat woman inside getting dressed. The woman screams, as Goofy makes a weird, uncomfortable face)
NC: I don't want to know the other times Goofy has made that face.
(Goofy's weird face is shown again, once again in close-up and the haunting chorus playing)
NC (vo): Through a series of mess-ups, both Max and Goofy make their way in front of the crowd with Powerline, who, of course, just rolls with the dangerous strangers who rushed the stage.
NC: And Britney Spears asked if her intruder had a gun. (Footage of a Britney Spears concert interference is shown) She should've just danced with him!
(He dances along as Max and Goofy dance onstage with Powerline)
Powerline: (singing) If we listen to each other's heart...
NC (vo): So everyone watching, of course, sees Max and Goofy on TV.
(Roxanne and all her friends are watching the concert at their house party)
Bobby: Yeah! Max is on the tube! (Roxanne smiles) That's Max! I know him!
NC: He's dancing with Prince Devo Jackson!
(Cut to Max arriving home and speaking with Roxanne)
NC (vo): Max returns home and tells Roxanne the truth, but she, of course, understands, and it leads to more adorkable chemistry.
Roxanne: You want to do something tonight?
Max: I'm kind of doing something with my dad. (Roxanne smirks) Honest! How about tomorrow?
(She offers her hand to Max, but he instead kisses her on the cheek. They both chuckle, with Max chuckling like Goofy; he closes his mouth, but Roxanne smiles)
NC: I want to bundle you both up in a cute ball and put you in a cute box of cute.
(Goofy's car suddenly explodes, causing Goofy to fly straight into the house's rooftop)
NC (vo): Goofy, of course, embarrasses him again, but this time, Max decides to roll with it and just accept who he is.
Max: Roxanne, I'd like you to meet my dad.
Goofy: Enchante, mademoiselle. (kisses Roxanne's hand)
NC (vo; as Goofy; chuckles): I killed a mime.
(The movie ends)
NC: And that was A Goofy Movie. Is it as good as people have built it up over the years?
(Footage of the movie is shown as NC gives out his official thought)
NC (vo): Honestly, I will admit, the more I watch it, the better it gets. It’s silly, of course, that is to be expected, but it also captures a lot of the excitement, insecurities and angers of being a teen as well as being a parent. Their disconnect is very believable, and neither side is necessarily wrong. It’s an identifiable connection that allows for a fair amount of laughs, as well as a fair amount of drama. Even the serious moments from Goofy, from friggin’ Goofy, are surprisingly kind of touching. Sure, it’s a product of its times, but it seems dated in the right ways, and it seems timeless in the right ways, making it enjoyably retro but also sympathetically heartfelt. Add in a touch of a cynical edge, beautifully flowing animation, and artistically pleasing backdrops, and you have a movie that tried a lot harder than it needed to, resulting in an experience that’s surprisingly still pretty damn good.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(He gets up and leaves. The credits roll)