Sometimes things just sort of perfectly come together. Whether it’s coincidence or something else entirely, there are moments in your life where you experience something that you can connect back to something from your past. Or relate it to a story that you love. That’s kind of what happened to me recently with A Goofy Movie and I wanted to take the time on this Father’s Day weekend to talk about it.
Released in 1995, A Goofy Movie was a bit of an odd film not unlike the titular character. You see, the mid-90s was the peak of what we now call the “Disney Renaissance” a period where the studio released a series of blockbuster hits back-to-back from Aladdin to Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. They were big sweeping epics that won numerous awards. But A Goofy Movie was the exact opposite of that it was a much smaller scale film and had a significantly lower budget than any of the Renaissance films. It wasn’t even produced solely by the feature film division it was made along with the television animation division of the studio. As the film served as a sequel to Goof Troop a sitcom that was airing on the Disney Channel featuring Goofy raising his son Max. Due to the show’s success, they decided to write a feature film based on it.
But even though A Goofy Movie isn’t technically considered to be a part of the Renaissance films, it arguably has just as big of a cult following as some of the other films. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it might one of Disney’s most beloved films. I think that love comes from a lot of things one the soundtrack which while maybe dated is still awesome. Also, even though it had a lower budget it’s still a beautifully animated film in my opinion. But above all else I think what so many people connect to with this film is the story. In the film, Goofy decides to go on a road trip with Max fearing that he’s going down the wrong path and that he may lose him. Max simply wants to stay home and spend time with the girl of his dreams Roxanne. He lies to her saying his father is taking him to California where they’ll perform onstage with the pop star named Powerline.
Everyone has their own favorite Disney film and part of what people love about Disney is the feeling of going into a fairy tale world. But as great as that is there’s just something kind of refreshing about watching a film that feels like something you’ve definitely experienced at least once in your life. We’ve all had moments where we feel embarrassed by our parents. Where we dreaded traveling with them when we’d rather do something else and it’s not just something that happens when you’re young. Like Goofy says to Max in the film no matter how big we get we’re always going to be our parents’ kids. I didn’t expect to experience something like that again as an adult, but I did.
A few weeks ago, my Dad invited me to travel with him to go see a baseball game. When I say “asked” it was more like he just kind of told me we were going, like Goofy does to Max, and I was so annoyed at first. Aside from never being that much into sports I just didn’t feel like going. But I went and it didn’t even really take that long for me to start enjoying myself. We didn’t have to go through a near death experience the way Goofy and Max do in the film to get to that point. But just spending time together was a nice feeling and I realized that It’s really never about the game or the fishing trip or whatever the excuse is for why they want to travel. What it comes down to is they just want to spend time with you because they love you. You need moments like this to remind yourself to not take your parents and their love for granted.
A few days later, I rewatched A Goofy Movie and just laughed at how real so many moments felt, particularly Max’s initial frustration before the somewhat reluctant realization that he does enjoy spending time with his dad. It’s a story that a lot of people can relate to and a timeless one. So, for this Father’s Day maybe consider giving the film a re-watch or view it for the first time if you’ve never seen it before. And remember: your parents may be embarrassing (or Goofy), but they only act like that to show you they care about you (and maybe to annoy you just a little).