Monday, June 23, 2008

Goofy as Lovable Archetype

I've always had a very great affection for Goofy.

I guess it's an identification thing, though maybe lots of people - in their most honest moments - see themselves in his (archetypal) character. And this is probably why his name has entered the language to describe a certain type of wacky naive persona, as in this 1950's cartoon:

Goofy was first known as Dippy Dawg and then Dippy the Goof, and even as Mr Geef, who had a wife and a son, Max. As Disney attempted to smooze the character into its most widely acceptable form. The anthropomorphic hound first appeared in 'Mickey's Revue' (1932) as a member of the audience of the show:

'Mickey's Revue' (1932)

What I remember most is Goofy's highly distinctive laugh, first done by former circus clown, Pinto Colvig, and which can be heard to great effect in 'Goofy Gymnastics':

I think it's the Goofy's unaffected childlike and out-going character that makes his cartoons among Disney's sweetest and funniest, particularly the 'How to ... ' series, such as 'How to Swim':

His everyman character in this is truly adorable!


  1. Nick,
    This is so great! I have a 34 year old daughter(I was married for 23 years) who loves goffy.Of coarse, I can't show her this site.

  2. he is pretty great. i also (secretly) liked scrooge duck, cos he had all that cash - not for its own sake but for the freedom it gave him - i was obviously not free at the time! being dependent on my folks. take care. nick

  3. Those were the days, Nick.
    Yeah, I liked Goofy and Donald and the gang. And loved the Looney Tunes gang as well with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, etc etc. Now those were great cartoons!! lol

  4. hey greg. nostalgia IS a kind of drug! and with no after effect next day. never liked bugs bunny tho - not sure why - just grated - how bout you? take care. nick

  5. I liked Goofy, but I really loved Scrooge! I had all the Uncle Scrooge comic books that were published in the late '50s and early '60s. I still remember the one where Scrooge hired Donald to do his worrying for him! I loved Scrooge, his money bin, and his gigantic ball of saved string (he and his rival Flintheart Glomgold had a contest once, unrolling their balls of string across Africa--for some reason--to see whose ball was the longest). I think it's because I, too, am basically a saver at heart--although it hasn't made me rich.

  6. hey keith. i think there's often a particular comic you remember. the one i recall is when scrooge gets into a money spending competition with another rich guy - a 'mine-is-bigger-than-yours' kinda scenario. the other guy exhausts his whole fortune in this struggle - only to be told by scrooge that he hadn't even spent his spare change. loved it!

  7. hey keith again - just realized that your story was yet another version of the 'mine-is-bigger-than-yours' thing!disney has SOME sub-texts going on here!