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|Kevin Krock, editor|
I have to tell you up front that I really like The Goofy Movie. It has a fun, heartfelt story, a few catchy songs, and a great balance of adult and child humor. So it was with some cautious optimism that I checked out its direct- to- video sequel, An Extremely Goofy Movie.
This movie starts with Max and his buddies getting ready to graduate from high school and head off to the freedom of college. Goofy, the ever- doting and protective parent, tries to cope with the reality that his little boy is moving out, and finds that he just cannot fully function without having Max around. Goofy realizes that he needs to go back to college and get a degree in order to improve his career options. With that, Goofy heads off to the same college as Max, and much of the rest of the movie is primarily focused on the friction caused by Max and Goofy being on campus together. There are a couple humorous scenes thrown in for the parents that revolve around Goofy’s memories of 1970s, such as the Goof with an afro, disco music and a psychedelic daydream. Ultimately, though, Max learns that he still needs his dad, and Goofy learns that Max needs his freedom to grow.
With a seeming mishmash of story elements, it quickly becomes clear that Disney is trying to make this release as hip and trendy as it can, in order to draw in the older kids. But, how many kids do you know that can relate to Max’s experiences with coffee houses, college classes, mid-term exams, and fraternities that come across as more of a gang of bullies, much less the 1970s references? It seems that the plot just falls into a weird void between what kids and adults can simultaneously relate to, and it loses its way.
On top of all that, much of the action in the film deals with Max’s skateboarding abilities and Goofy’s dumb- lucking onto a fraternity College X Games team (the college version of the extreme sporting competition). The last half of the movie is almost exclusively X Games- related, and it comes off as a big advertisement for ESPN2 (which Disney owns). Yes, there are humorous and satirical references to real sportscasters, but that hardly makes up for all of the ESPN2 banners splashed across many backgrounds. It is a good example of cross- promotion gone awry.
Like most of Disney’s other direct- to- video DVD releases, I didn’t really expect any significant goodies, and unfortunately, my expectations were soundly met. The trivia game and read-along are standard for Disney DVDs, and the joke short and music video are simply uninteresting. Maybe a few classic Goofy "How to..." sporting shorts would have helped a bit.
The Video, Audio and Interface
The video transfer of this movie looks pretty good, but it certainly is not anything spectacular when compared to many recent releases. As expected, the colors and detail are quite acceptable throughout the movie, and the picture is very clean. Additionally, the transfer is done in letterbox widescreen (1.66:1, not enhanced for widescreen TVs), so it has a theatrical look to it, rather than the full-frame picture (1.33:1) typically associated with direct- to- video releases.
As for the audio, it’s pretty simple. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack was acceptable on my Dolby Pro Logic system, and it ought to sound good on any system.
There is not much to say about the interface. The menu system is the same boring static, soundless screens that are found on all of Disney’s 1999 and 2000 DVDs. Not only are the menus lackluster, you also have to endure the infamous and annoying forced Disney previews that are present on all Disney DVDs released in that timeframe.
The Final Evaluation
For adults, the disc misses the mark on several levels, but kids may find the movie mildly engaging. The movie has a couple of cute scenes for the parents, but it simply lacks the heart and emotional pull of original. The lack of goodies is disappointing, but not totally unexpected for this mediocre direct- to- video title. The audio and video are acceptable but hardly impressive.
If you want to watch Goofy making a goof of himself playing sports, you may want to save your pennies and wait for the Walt Disney Treasures collection of classic Goofy shorts (rumored to be currently in production...).
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