A Goofy Movie (1995)
A GOOFY MOVIE will always hold a special place in my heart. It was one of the few movies on this list that my sister derived (almost) as much enjoyment in as me, and we watched it so many times, that I knew the movie by heart, leading to a spectacularly embarrassing “play” we performed for our parents, recounting the movie in its entirety (this would also happen with THE LION KING). There’s a very minor scene in A GOOFY MOVIE where a baby whatever-they-are lost their pants in a grocery store while running away from its mother, and despite every reason to the contrary, I even enacted that scene, nudity and all, not to sacrifice the integrity of the film in the slightest. I was cool; I also bucked the odds and didn’t become a pornstar.
I doubt I was able to capture Bill Farmer’s Goofy voice or translate the bombastic and zany soundtrack to a live medium, but it hardly mattered. It just matters that I did it. When I was younger, I was deathly shy, and even with an audience of two, it’s fairly incredible I even committed to something so outgoing. I can only imagine how awful it was for my parents to watch, or for my sister to contribute (I dragged her into it), but this may have been one of the very earliest times I realized that I wanted to entertain people, that I wanted to inspire laughter, and be a part of it.
If this flaming piece of crap of a performance was captured on celluloid, it’d be the grainy footage that would play during my E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY, emphasizing how tragic it was that I succumbed to coke, stuffed animals, and Miley Cyrus.
Disney holds an indelible imprint on any kid growing up in the 1990’s, with their amazing revitalization fueled by BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN and THE LION KING, among innumerable others, but for whatever reason, A GOOFY MOVIE doesn’t go away. Perhaps its the soundtrack with one song that stands above all the rest, “On The Open Road.” C’mon Maxie! Ah-yuk!
When I first visited Los Angeles in high school, a decade AFTER I first saw the movie, and was driving down with my Dad, I made a playlist for the journey, and “On The Open Road,” was one of the first songs that made the cut. Not only does this prove my awesome taste in music, but it was no accident, considering the circumstances. I’ve always had a pretty damn good relationship with my father, so it’s not like it needed mending through Disney songs, but I quickly identified A GOOFY MOVIE as a touching story between a father and his son. A GOOFY MOVIE portrays that awkward time in adolescence when your parents can’t do anything right and only exist to embarrass you. Max is a total asshole the entire film to poor, out-of-touch Goofy (a massively clever and knowing wink at Disney’s former place in the market and Goofy’s place among the Disney pantheon), but after camping, rock concerts and horrifying amusement parks, the father and son are able to hug and make up, while also becoming rock stars and getting the girl in the process. Just like real life.
Seriously, I think I half dread/want to find a place like Possum Park every time I take an exit on the freeway. It’s amazing how almost each and every childhood movie has something deeply disturbing that sticks with you more than the aw-shucks moments. Possum Park is one of those, and may be why I always search for the best dives and curmudgeonly looking restaurants around the highway to stop and dine at (that and Guy Fieri).
It also didn’t hurt that Roxanne is smoking hot. Seriously:
A GOOFY MOVIE is a sad, uncomfortable and realistic portrayal of parenthood and adolescence, and its a universal tale. It’s left a lasting imprint on me, perhaps the first (and one of the best) road trip movies I had ever seen, a genre I’d grow to love (and emulate with my first full length screenplay), instilling in me a yearning to travel and try new things that was only unlocked on the eve of college. It’s no accident I’ve driven cross-country on three separate occasions, and have backpacked through Europe. A GOOFY MOVIE presented the first evidence that getting out on the open road was something desirable.
Every day another new adventure
Every mile another new zip code
And the cares we had are gone for good
I’ve got no strings on me
I’m feelin’ fancy-free
How wonderful to be
On the open road!