This post was previously posted on my column over at ldsblogs.com. I’d love if you guys took a look at the post and gave a comment or two. Thanks! Tomorrow my Family Movie Night pick will be last years Boxtrolls so that should be fun. If you have any suggestions or ideas for Netflix picks I could use I would love it. Thanks!
This week on my Facebook page I was delighted to see lots of back to school pictures from my friends with children starting off the school year. Seeing these images and the smiling (and a little bit nervous) looks on kids’ faces made me want to come up with a family movie night pick they might like and that has a back to school element. I also wanted to pick a movie which I thought boys would like since they are a little bit harder to come by on Netflix kids. After much thought, I went with the fun but imperfect An Extremely Goofy Movie.
Made in 2000, An Extremely Goofy Movie is a sequel to the 1995 film A Goofy Movie (Netflix only has Extremely not the original). Both films were made by the Disneytoons division which is the studio that makes the lesser-known, often straight to DVD films for Disney. They are behind the terrible sequels in the 2000s like Bambi 2 and the horrifically bad Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 (that’s available on Netflix and I promise you it’s awful. Don’t watch it!). Honestly the Goofy, Tinker Bell and Winnie the Pooh franchises are the standouts over at Disneytoons.
I could see someone really eviscerating An Extremely Goofy Movie and it isn’t without its flaws. First of all, it is dated and stuck in the year 2000. Everything is extreme including extreme sports like skateboarding and BMX biking (even the name is Extreme!). It also has a lot of lame jokes about coffee and Starbucks that feel very dated.
But if you can get beyond that junk there are things to like in An Extremely Goofy Movie. The plot is Max is now 18 and going off to college (even though he looks exactly the same as in the previous film). He is naturally very excited to be on his own and away from his overprotective but well-meaning Dad. Unfortunately for him, Dad loses his job and has to go back to college for the year. This means Max has to put up with Goofy for the entire school year.
Things get further complicated when a rival fraternity (led by Bradley Uppercrust who is just as snobby as he sounds) challenges Max and friends to an XGames show-down. Goofy also meets a love interest named Sylvia and they share a common infatuation with anything 1970s and are actually quite funny together.
Whether it is in the movies or on The Goof Troop TV show, I’ve always liked the relationship between Goofy and Max and can relate to that dichotomy of needing your parents but wanting them to be as far away as possible. I think it’s good for kids to talk about their parents as real people with feelings that make mistakes and Goofy is such a character. There is no doubt his heart is always in the right place.
They decided to not have any original songs like A Goofy Movie but I don’t really mind that because I’m not a huge fan of those songs. Instead they have a bunch of classic rock songs from the 70s featuring Pat Benatar, Peaches and Herb, Carmen Carter, John Avila, The Specials, The Partridge Family and more. I’m impressed for a direct to DVD movie they would pay so much for the copyright to songs like C’Mon Get Happy. They can’t be cheap.
Overall, I feel like they really tried to make a good movie. The animation is solid (definitely much better than most of the Disney sequels from Disneytoons). There is a cool sequence where Goofy is trying to take a test but is so focused on Max he has kind of a hallucinogenic dream. I like when Disney animators get nutty and weird for no apparent reason. It’s like the animators creativity bursting through the screen! (Another example is the yodeling song in Home on the Range. It’s like they couldn’t help themselves).
The voicecast they got also shows effort. Bill Farmer is of course great as Goofy but we get James Marsden, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lewis, Bebe Neuwirth (my favorite as Sylvia), Pauly Shore and Rob Paulsen.
Not all the humor works in this film but I still laughed. Kids will like the slapstick jokes but I thought some of the writing was funny. My favorite was when one of the boys says “And why are we always wearing these gloves?”! Hasn’t everyone been wondering that all these years?
The most important part of An Extremely Goofy Movie is its heart. The relationship between Goofy and Max is one I think most families will be able to relate too and perhaps have some discussions about communication and accepting each other’s differences. Movies don’t have to be perfect to be worth a watch, and An Extremely Goofy Movie is a film I’d certainly like to watch with my family at the beginning of the school year.
17 thoughts on “An Extremely Goofy Movie Review”
I saw this one back in 2000 as well. I definitely enjoyed it as well. The only thing I was iffy about was that Max and Roxanne most likely broke up sometime in between this film and the last film. But I guess that’s life sometimes, eh? Yeah, I agree that kids and adults will likely relate to his one a lot. Granted, I liked A Goofy Movie better, but his was certainly enjoyable too.
Oh, and another thing! If you hunk Hunchback 2 is horrifically bad, again, I’d check out 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure. I’d day that one was probably 5-10 times worse. But that’s me, I guess. If you want to check it out, go ahead, but if not, good for you.
Oh, and for the record, I think it’s rather tragic that Return To Neverland and Jungle Book 2 were the only sequels from Disney Toon Studios to go to theaters. I would have liked it if Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and Lady & The Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure had a theatrical before going to video as well. Oh well! By the way, did you know that Lion King 2 and Bambi 2 had a theatrical release at least in some European and Latin American countries?
You really think Dalmatians 2 is worse than Hunchback 2? Yikes. I haven’t seen that one I must admit.
I like the original Goofy Movie better too but it’s not available on Netflix for this series. Still, I think they really tried to make a good movie and I appreciate it.
Good point about Max and Roxanne. I wonder if that was covered on the tv show?
Yes, I at least think so. Yeah, hopefully they did go over the relationship with Max and Roxanne in the series. You’re talking about the Goof Troop series, are you not?
Wow. Must be awful then because Hunchback 2 is one of worst animated films I’ve ever seen.
Yeah I was referring to Goof Troop.
Gotcha! By the way, you mentioned that you never saw Jungle Book 2. I was just curious, did you see say Retuen To Neverland, or had you not seen that one either?
I think I saw Return to Neverland years ago but not sure
Okay, I was just curious as to whether it not and or if you liked it or not.
I’m not a fan of this film and wish they had put songs in it. I quite enjoyed some of the songs from A Goofy Movie like After Today, On the Open Road, and Nobody Else But You.
Cool. I think the songs are just ok. The original Goofy Movie isnt available on Netflix or I would have picked that but I think this one is enjoyable to watch.
I liked those songs too, along with Stand Out and Eye To Eye.
I thought they were ok. I personally like the classic rock songs better if I’m being honest. The original Goofy Movie has better writing but this one is enjoyable to me
I agree. I really loved A Goofy Movie as a child mostly because of the relationship between Max and Goofy being genuinely sincere and touching. As far as I’m concerned, this is right up there with Shark Tale. A movie I never liked even once, and considered a “bad movie” right off the bat. (I think I have to take back what I said about Home Alone being “objectively bad”.) I’ll admit that when I watched it years ago a large part of me disliked it because I couldn’t relate to life in college and the whole world of being bullied by fraternity leaders was so incomprehensible to me, but the whole thing feels manipulative, dated, and manufactured. Right down to the use of “extreme” right in the title.
There’s not much to analyze. It’s just… kind of an annoying movie, honestly.
(One strange fact about it is that I think part of the ending was cut out on television broadcasts. My memory is that there was an explosion of some kind. The television broadcast shows Max getting out of the explosion or the crash, or whatever, but they cut out what happened inside when he found or confronted the fraternity leader.)
Yeah the explosion is in the Netflix version. Different tastes I guess. I’m not saying it’s perfect. It has those dated elements but I liked it. Thanks as always for commenting
Mr. Pool: All right, turn it down. “Shake your whammy fanny”, oh, please! You know, in my day, we had good music.
Harvey: Mr. Pool, didn’t you grow up in the seventies?
Mr. Pool: Yes… (pause) Never mind.
– Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Third Aunt from the Sun (1996)
Ha. I like those classic rock songs from the 70s but taste in music is extremely subjective. To me the original Goofy Movie songs were very generic. I like the movie fine but I also enjoy this one. Different strokes for different folks!
Do we really need to date Goofy’s adolescence as being in the 70s and Max as living in 2000, though? It feels tacky.
I generally picture Donald, Mickey, and Goofy living in a cartoon version of the 40s-50s, mostly because of Carl Barks.
That’s a valid point. The original film and the TV show I think are clearly set in those time periods so that is probably why its that way in the universe of this movie.
I don’t really see the Goofy in A Goofy Movie, Goof Troop and Extremely Goofy Movie as the same character as the Goofy of those shorts from the 40s-50s.