When it comes to iconic Disney characters, many fans are quick to think of Mickey Mouse. As beloved as Mickey is, his dippy dog co-star arguably has the more impressive range and collection of shorts under his belt.
Goofy might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when it comes to being a versatile performer, Goofy kinda has Mickey licked. His performances range from dopey sidekick and sitcom dad to all-star athlete and even an antagonist on a rare occasion. The point is that while Mickey is often cast as the leading protagonist, Goofy has had a multitude of genres to play with across his decades-long career.
Goofy made his career as Disney’s everyman, starring in several “how-to” shorts which often saw him take on a variety of activities resulting in some of Disney’s best slapstick. No character has understood the art of the fall better, and even Donald Duck’s angry antics hardly hold a candle to how much Goofy can survive. To quote Roger Rabbit “nobody takes a wallop like Goofy.”
On the subject of Goofy’s impeccable slapstick repertoire, it’s actually quite surprising just how violent his cartoons can often be. Paul Rudish has certainly gotten some buzz thanks to his drastic redesign of Mickey and his pals in The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse, but his work hardly holds a candle to how insane some of Goofy’s shorts can be. Such notable examples of his more graphic works include Hockey Homicide in which a stadium full of Goofy clones rips and tears their way across the ice, and How to Be A Detective where Goofy works as a private investigator in a shady city where crime happens rampantly on screen. Goofy has survived more damage than the Terminator, and he’s got the filmography to prove it.
Of course, Goofy’s work is not limited to being the studio’s punching bag. When he’s paired with his son, Max, he takes on the role of sitcom dad remarkably well. Disney fans only have to watch A Goofy Movie to see how both silly and serious the guy can be. The confrontation scene with Pete at the roadside motel is certainly one of his most cinematic moments and practically begs to be studied by Disney film buffs.
Goofy has become many things since he was first drawn on a film cell. What he lacks in brains, he more than makes up for in resilience, and fans absolutely love him for it. From How-Tos to Park appearances, the cartoony canine certainly has a lot to offer the Disney name.
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