A Goofy Movie

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

Category Animation/Family Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1995 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 74:33 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director Kevin Lima
Walt Disney Pictures
Warner Home Video
Starring Bill Farmer
Jason Marsden
Jim Cummings
Kellie Martin
Rob Paulsen
Wallace Shawn
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $34.95 Music Carter Burwell

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Hebrew (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ?Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Well, once again we return to the staple of the Walt Di$ney Company - animation. Since the very first time that they brought animation to the big screen in 1937, they have consistently done it better than anyone else, and even though there have been some serious challenges from other quarters in recent years, theirs remain the benchmarks by which all other animation efforts are rated. Not everything they have done is brilliant, and for a while they were going through some serious problems, but since the return of quality animation to the forefront of the Walt Di$ney Company in 1989 with The Little Mermaid, the standard has been consistently high. Sometimes the formulaic approach has gone somewhat awry and the results have not been the best - like The Return of Jafar as the sequel to Aladdin. This to some extent is the problem with A Goofy Movie. Whilst the idea might have sounded good on paper, the execution is not amongst the high points of the Walt Di$ney archives. Part of the reason is that if you care to look too hard, you can note obvious draws from several of those classic animations. Without being exhaustive, some of the character animation somewhat clearly derives from The Little Mermaid and some of the background animation is clearly derived from The Rescuers Down Under. Maybe I have just watched too much Di$ney animation and know it too well for my own good? Still, this remains a pleasant enough romp, even if like most Di$ney stuff it hardly taxes the brain too much.

    Naturally if your father is Goofy (Bill Farmer), you are facing an uphill battle in life. And so Max (Jason Marsden) is suffering in general as a result of that, but in particular because he has the proverbials for the foxiest looking dog in school in Roxanne (Kellie Martin). In a rather wayward attempt to impress Roxanne - how many of us have done something similar? - Max concocts a hijacking of the last school assembly of the term by doing a impersonation of the current rock icon. Unfortunately, like most such plans, it comes to naught and Max ends up having to deal with Principal Mazur (Grand Negus Zek... err, sorry, Wallace Shawn) and ultimately his own father. Whilst Roxanne thinks the whole deal was terrific and agrees to a date with Max as a result, Goofy thinks it is time for a good old father and son fishing holiday instead. So what follows is your basic holiday from hell as far as Max is concerned, particularly as in breaking his date with Roxanne he has made a suggestion that borders on the criminally insane. Still, undeterred he tries to ensure that he is able to do as he said, by sidetracking the holiday jaunt, along the way discovering that all he needs to do is just talk to his old man and things are not as bad as he thought. Since this is a Di$ney film, we all know that not only does he make good on his totally insane suggestion, but he also gets the girl.

    Now don't get me wrong, just because this is typically Di$ney fare, does not mean that there is nothing to enjoy here. It is simply that I really wish that just once we could have a Di$ney film that does not end up in the usual happy ending - a decent non-ending would be nice for a change even. In other words, just chop this off at the end of the concert and I would have been just as happy with the result, even though as it is this is a seriously short film. The story is reasonable enough, if completely derivative; just don't expect too much from it and you will enjoy it fine. You will not get too much in the way of laughs either, but at least a slight grin can be expected now and then - probably as you recall the horror holidays that you have been forced to endure more than anything else!

    If you like bright animation and need to keep the kids amused for an hour or so, then this may serve you well. Just don't raise expectations too high or it will disappoint - although you can always sit there trying to work out where you have seen some of the character animation/background animation/broad story before.

Transfer Quality


    The experts say that DVD does nothing for animation: I am still trying to work out what they mean, as this comes up pretty well indeed with one caveat - there is something with the transfer that just doesn't seem right and I really am puzzled as to what it is.

    This is a rarity this far in Di$ney animation in Region 4 - the transfer is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1: unfortunately it is not 16x9 enhanced and that may be the source of my puzzlement over the transfer.

    Okay, it is animation so there is obviously some stylistic restrictions on the transfer: whilst it is quite sharp, obviously there is little depth to the picture. The detail is limited to the detail available in the animation and in this instance it is quite a flattish animation style. The transfer is in general very clear and there did not appear to be any low noise problems with the transfer.

    This is a really vibrant looking transfer with plenty of bright colours to keep the younger ones more than happy. Thankfully, there was also a very nice consistency to the vibrancy of the colours. This really is about the best looking animation I have seen thus far in DVD as far as the colours go, reflecting the more recent vintage of this effort compared to the others available so far. It really does pique the interest about how good something like Beauty and The Beast will look when we finally get to see it on DVD. There is no hint of oversaturation at all in the transfer, other than that which was intended to be present.

   There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. The question of film-to-video artefacts is the puzzler though: the impression I get of the transfer is that of minor aliasing throughout the film, making the sharp, black edges of the character animation seem far less solid than I would expect. I would doubt however that that is the real reason for my problem with the transfer, but it is the best analogy I can come up with. I would doubt that animation could show the sort of aliasing problems that would be necessary to cause the problem I describe, but no doubt somebody far more knowledgeable upon the technicalities of transferring animation will be able to correct me here. And I stress that this is an impression that the transfer gave me - maybe I was just expecting something a lot sharper given that this is a PAL transfer as opposed to the NTSC transfers I have seen recently of Di$ney animated films. There may not be anything really wrong with the transfer, and it would be very wrong to think that I am condemning the transfer because of it, for I am certainly not doing so: I was in general very happy with the overall video transfer package. I do not recall seeing any film artefacts in the transfer, which really is very clean.

    Unfortunately, it would seem that Buena Vista have caught the Warner's disease and the packaging omits an Icelandic subtitle option in the special features listing on the back cover.


   And the packaging errors continue with the soundtrack listings: the packaging claims that the disc contains Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in English, French and Italian. I would be staggered if they actually are, as PowerDVD says Dolby Digital 2.0 and the soundtracks are definitely flagged to my player as Dolby Digital 2.0.

   There are a plethora of audio tracks on the DVD by Di$ney standards: apart from the three false Dolby Digital 5.1 efforts listed above, there are also Dolby Digital 2.0 efforts in Dutch, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Hebrew. Whilst there is nothing quite like watching the film in Hebrew with Icelandic subtitles, I actually decided against doing so for the whole film and boringly stayed with the English default soundtrack. One rant I do want to make this time around, simply because it is starting to really annoy me, is why are the languages only selectable from the menu? What is wrong with being able to change the language on the fly like the DVDs from just about every other source???

   Dialogue was clear and understandable throughout.

   There did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the transfer. Okay, that was an attempt at humour - of course there are audio sync issues, that is the whole point of animation (and especially animation with talking dogs). Everybody expects it so it does not make any difference how sloppy your dialogue work is, nobody will complain about it.

   The musical score comes from Carter Burwell, and it really is nothing to write home about. The main musical contribution comes from the songs - what else do you expect from Di$ney formulaic animation? - and in general these are reasonably catchy little numbers.

   Apart from the fact that the sound is not what the packaging represents it to be, there is nothing too much wrong with the sound that we have. It is not the most detailed effort I have ever heard: indeed, I would go so far as to say that the surround channels were superfluous here, along with the bass channel. But it is animation after all, so what do you really expect here? Its clean, free of distortion, eminently listenable and devoid of real character. Anything else you would like to be included?


    I must have got a mispressed disc - they are missing off my DVD.


    Very nicely mimics the front cover slick but curiously in a mirror image. And that is about as much as needs to be said about the menu.

R4 vs R1

    Does not matter how bad they made this DVD, it was always going to be a winner for Region 4 as the Region 1 release is not due to hit the stores until 20th June, and would appear to be identical in content too. Superior PAL resolution and available four months earlier too - who needs Region 1??


    A Goofy Movie is no classic, but is certainly a pleasant enough romp of a film that will keep the little darlings amused for an hour or so of your life. The bright colours are obviously aimed right at the young discerning viewer market, as long as they have not seen and marvelled at A Bug's Life.

    A very good video transfer despite my minor puzzlement.

    A good audio transfer.

    The extras are as good as the hole in a doughnut.

    And unlike previous Di$ney releases, this effort has come packaged in one of those sexy transparent Amaray cases pioneered by Fox Home Entertainment. Hope it is a harbinger of a wholesale change, as they look a lot better than the dowdy black Amaray cases previously used.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
29th February 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL