Disney’s Goofy first debuted in 1932’s Mickey’s Revue. Developed by Art Babbitt, Frank Webb and Jack Kinney, Goofy was typically a good-natured but dim-witted klutz who would be the subject of various pratfalls and moments of slapstick. Initially appearing as an older dog dubbed Dippy Dawg by Webb behind the scenes, he had the beginning designs of the character as he’s most well-known, but minus any bottom clothing. Pinto Colvig supplied what would become Goofy’s signature laugh. His next appearance in The Whoopee Party rendered him younger. After four more essentially cameo appearances in other shorts, Goofy would spend the years between 1935 and 1940 appearing as part of a trio with Mickey Mouse (who was briefly replaced by his dog Pluto) and Donald Duck.
|Opening title card to Goofy shorts.|
Goofy and Wilbur in 1939 gave Goofy his first solo starring shot, voiced that time by George Johnson. More came in the 1940s with what became known as The Goofy How To… series of shots, in which Goofy would demonstrate to the audience how to perform a specific task, like sleeping, playing football, or riding a horse. A falling out between Disney and Colvig left Goofy without a voice, which led to the How To… shorts being mostly dialogue-free through a narrator and utilizing recordings of Colvig’s voice or imitators. By the time Colvig returned to the role in 1944, Goofy began appearing in a series of shorts where every character was a different version of Goofy, expanding his role beyond the clumsiness.
|Goofy as "George Geef."|
In the 1950s, Walt Disney felt Goofy lost some of his personality with the multiple roles. Looking to restore it, Disney proposed a series of shorts depicting Goofy as a family man dealing with everyday life. Goofy was given a makeover: he was more intelligent, had smaller eyes, and his whole body now matched his face’s coloring with only his head being black. His floppy ears, external teeth and white gloves also came and went in various shorts. While still named Goofy in the opening titles, the narrator usually referred to him as “George Geef” or other names when Goofy portrayed multiple characters.
After 1965, Goofy’s use was greatly diminished outside of a series of cameos, but his original personality began to resurface. Following Colvig’s death, he was voiced by several actors until Bill Farmer landed the role permanently in 1986. In 1992, Goofy was chosen as the subject of Disney’s next animated television effort. Developed by Peter Montgomery, Goof Troop took inspiration from the 1950s shorts and cast Goofy in the role of a widowed father trying to raise his son, Max (Dana Hill). They moved from a trailer in the city to a big house in the suburbs of Spoonerville (named for layout artist J. Michael Spooner) with their cat Waffles (Frank Welker). Goofy once again got a makeover in the form of slacks, a sweater over a shirt and a bowtie.
|Pete getting ready to run a con on Goofy.|
Goofy’s neighbor was another long-time Disney character: Pete (Jim Cummings). Pete was created in 1925 by Disney and Ub Iwerks and was usually featured as the antagonist of the shorts in which he appeared. In this incarnation, Pete was a former high school classmate of Goofy’s and not only found Goofy an annoyance, but Goofy caused Pete to lose their big football game. Pete was a used car salesman and proprietor of Honest Pete’s Used Cars. Aside from making deals that greatly profited him on his lot, Pete sought nothing more than to get Goofy out of the neighborhood.
|The Pete family on vacation: P.J., Pete, Pistol and Peg.|
Pete was also a family man. His second wife Peg (a play on one of Pete’s names, “Peg-Leg Pete,” and voiced by April Winchell) was a real estate agent who never let Pete get away with any of his antics--especially where Goofy was concerned. Pete’s son P.J. (Rob Paulsen) became Max’s best friend and was an extremely laid-back person. Their daughter Pistol (a play on another Pete name, “Pistol Pete,” and played by Nancy Cartwright) was hyperactive in comparison and talked with a lisp. Pete loved to spoil her with anything she wanted, and often got P.J. blamed for something she did. They had a dog named Chainsaw (Welker) who also had an antagonistic relationship with Waffles.
|Peg gets a ticket.|
The series was portrayed largely as a slice of life sitcom, with both families going about their everyday affairs in comedic manners. Much of the comedy came, naturally, from Goofy’s antics as well as Pete’s schemes. Pete would act like a big blowhard with everyone except his wife, who was the only one that could turn him into a mewling and agreeable kitten by shouting him down. Max, who usually played the straight man to Goofy and tried to play things cool, sometimes couldn’t escape his heritage and had his own Goof moments; connecting Max to a father he otherwise was frequently embarrassed about. Despite Pete’s intense hatred of Goofy, and Goofy unknowingly being the bane of his existence, there were moments when the two were almost friendly and did things together. Of course, something would inevitably go wrong to shatter that peace, but they had their moments.
|Storyboards for the show.|
Goof Troop originally previewed on The Disney Channel in April 20, 1992 through that July before airing as an hour-long preview movie called “Forever Goof” on September 5th. The episode was later broken up into the episodes “Everything’s Coming Up Goofy” and “Good Neighbor Goof.” It moved to its permanent home in syndication on The Disney Afternoon 2-hour programming block on September 7th. 65 episodes were syndicated while an additional 13 ran on ABC Saturday mornings. A separate Christmas special ran in the fall of 1992 apart from the regular syndicated run. The series was written by Carter Crocker, Mirith J. Colao, Jim Carlson, Steve Cuden, Steve Edelman, Rich Fogel, Karl Geurs, Gary Greenfield, Libby Hinson, Alan Katz, Bob Kushell, Stephen Levi, Julia Lewald, Susan Maddocks, Jymn Magon, Mark McCorkle, Terrence McDonnell, Mark McKain, Dennis Melonas, Cathryn Perdue, Michael Ryan, Jeff Saylor, Bruce Reid Schaefer, Mirith Schilder, Bob Schooley, Jeffrey Scott, Mark Seidenberg, George Shea, Steve Smith, Dean Stefan, Jan Strnad, Bryan Sullivan, Stephen Sustarsic, Laurie Sutton, Carl Swenson, Bruce Talkington, Mallory Tarcher, Chuck Tately, Kent Wadsworth and Marion Wells, with a theme composed by Phil Perry. In order to produce such a large order of episodes, numerous animation facilities were utilized including Wang Film Productions Company, Sunwoo Entertainment, Moving Images International, Kennedy Cartoons, Jade Animation and Walt Disney Animation’s Japan, France and Australia facilities, among others.
In 1992, Goofy and Max would go on to replace DuckTales characters as part of Mickey’s Magical TV World live stage show at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. In 1995, Walt Disney Pictures theatrically released A Goofy Movie directed by Kevin Lima. The film took place several years after the series, where Max (now voiced by Jason Marsden) and P.J. were in high school with new best friend, Bobby Zimeruski (Pauly Shore). Although spun-off from the series, Goofy and Pete were restored to their original physical appearances in the classic Disney shorts. Peg, Pistol and the pets were also left out, and the setting was changed from Spoonerville to New York City. In 2000, a direct-to-video sequel, An Extremely Goofy Movie, was released following Max and P.J. as they began college, with Goofy joining them to finish earning his degree. Walt Disney Home Video released Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas in 1999 on VHS (and DVD the following year), which contained the segment “A Very Goofy Christmas” featuring Goofy, Pete and Max (Shaun Fleming). In 2004, Disneytoon Studios released the sequel Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas that featured Goofy and Max (again voiced by Marsden) in “Christmas Maximus,” where an adult Max brings a girl home to meet Goofy.
In 1992, Burger King offered four toys based on the show in its Kids’ Meals. They were pull-back toys of the male cast being dragged away by their bowling balls. In 1994, they were again featured in a Disney Afternoon promotion for beach toys. In 1993, Pizza Hut had a promotion where they offered Goof Troop gear with their personal pan pizzas. Figurines of the characters were released through Kellogg’s cereals and from Bullyland in Germany. In 1994, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies offered Goof Troop magic tricks on the boxes. Justoys released a line of bendy Bendems featuring Goofy, Max, P.J. and Pistol both separately and as a box set. In 2011, Disney Vinylmation, a line of character figures available from Disney Parks made to resemble Mickey Mouse despite the character depicted, produced a series of Disney Afternoon figures. Goofy and Max were released for the Goof Troop set.
|The Goof Troop video game.|
Capcom released a game based on the series in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, where Goofy and Max had to rescue Pete and P.J. from pirates (notably, it would be the first game designed by Shinji Mikami who would go on to create Capcom’s Resident Evil series). That year, View-Master released a 3-slide set for the show while Aladdin Industries produced a plastic lunchbox. Little Golden Books published two books based on the show: Great Egg-Spectations and Goin’ Gold-Fishing. Goof Troop was featured in Marvel Comics’ Disney Afternoon comic as well as a strip in Disney Adventures magazine, and had one new story in Disney’s Colossal Comics Collection #9.
In 1993, three VHS collections were released containing two episodes each. “Have Yourself a Goofy Little Christmas” was released with the Darkwing Duck episode “It’s a Wonderful Leaf” on the Happy Holidays with Darkwing and Goofy VHS. In 2006, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Goof Troop: Volume 1 on DVD which contained three of the episodes previously released on VHS. The DVD of A Goofy Movie included the episode “Calling All Goofs” as a bonus feature, but minus the series’ intro. Disney Movie Club released an exclusive DVD called Have Yourself A Goofy Little Christmas that contained the Christmas special. In 2013, the Movie Club released two collections of 27 episodes each which later became widely available in the beginning of 2015. In 2019, it became one of the launch titles for the streaming service Disney+.