A Goofy Movie is an Underrated Disney Classic

Rant time on in three, two, one...

Perhaps my millennial views are showing a bit too much with this title, but I feel that 1995's A Goofy Movie is an underrated Disney classic. Stick with me here, Frozen and The Lion King diehards. I know what you're thinking. "How dare Speed talk about A Goofy Movie as being among the 'greats' when it didn't even do that well at the box office?"

To that, I offer this retort. People expected A Goofy Movie to be, well, nothing but goofy hijinks. And while we got those, there was so much more to this film.

Most of these people forgot that, for every hijink the film's source material, the '90s series Goof Troop, contained, there were heartfelt moments out the wazoo. The series was before its time as it talked about death, splintered families, "modern families," and things you didn't really expect to see in an afterschool Disney cartoon (just rewatch the first couple of episodes to see what I mean). I guess people saw "Goofy" and were disappointed when they didn't get much "Goof." What we got was Disney's attempt to talk to teenagers--and families--about some pretty heavy stuff.

Let's say this before we get to ahead of ourselves. No one in this film is free of deceit or is really that "good" of a character.

The closest we get is Goofy, but even he has his breaking point, much like the Everyman series of the 1950s-1960s. Sure, you can argue "oh, he just wanted to spend time with Max." But, in doing so, he forced his only son to go on a road trip. And the road trip itself is pretty crappy, because Goofy doesn't want to accept that Max isn't really his little buddy anymore--until the ending scenes. It's a dark film, full of characters, specifically Max, coming to terms with their damages--and maturity issues/issues with upcoming maturity. I mean, hell, Max risks life and limb for a concert because he lied about knowing Powerline in the first place. And for what? A girl.

Sure, Roxanne was awesome and was, I'll admit, a cartoon crush of mine in my younger years (screw you, at least I can admit it). But, ultimately, Max risked the safety, sanctity, and sanity of his family to impress a girl. What teenager, myself included, hasn't done some stupid stuff to make someone like them, romantically or otherwise? It's mostly what being a teen is about. Being a teenager means figuring out what works--and what doesn't--in life. That's one of the overarching themes of the film: figuring out what works in a dynamic that is everchanging, bringing back the issues of maturity.

On top of that, Tevin Campbell did a damn good Bobby Brown impersonation as Powerline.

I'll admit that the darker tone isn't what you'd expect from this film. But, for me, that's what makes it classic. Underrated even. It takes some solid risks and, for the most part, it succeeds. Sure, the film's songs, other than Powerline songs like "Eye to Eye" and "Stand Out," they aren't all that memorable. I'm not going to be singing "On The Open Road" on the random. I'll give that to the detractors. But, it was a Disney film that wasn't built just for its songs, just as a vehicle to have songs tell the story. It was a Disney film that tried to speak its message without being preachy or--in many Disney films' case--too "song-y."

Additionally, the film captures the '90s so beautifully. Oh, my word, does it capture the '90s so beautifully. It's a topical film that, twenty-plus years later, still is relevant (especially since people are loving '90s retro stuff these days). Sure, kids today probably won't understand that Powerline was some mix between Prince, MJ, and Disney magic. But that's okay. He can be representative of, like, Justin friggin' Bieber today and the message still works. But, because it's so '90s, it becomes timeless, in the way a time capsule does. It's cheesy at points, but that nostalgia you get from watching the film back? It's beautiful.

So, there you have it. My thoughts on A Goofy Movie. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. Now. They even sometimes show it on Disney Junior for the kids today (my kid loves it). Just avoid its sequel. An Extremely Goofy Movie never happened, guys. Like, seriously.

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