Goofy gets his motoring Jekyll and Hyde on in the 1950 animated short Motor Mania

(image via Wikipedia (c) Disney)
(image via Wikipedia (c) Disney)

 

Goofy has always been my favourite Disney character.

There’s something incredibly appealing about his innate, well, goofiness, an innocent, fun likeability that makes him somehow more relatable for me than say Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.

First appearing in Mickey’s revue in 1932, Goofy, described by the good folks at Wikipedia, as “a tall, anthropomorphic dog, and typically wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat originally designed as a rumpled fedora” is often a few kilos short of a full bag of puppy chow but he is no less loveable for that.

I would in fact argue, as a lifelong Goofy fan who fell in love with his adventures on The Wonderful World of Disney TV programme, that this increases his appeal since he seems all the more down to earth and hilariously normal as a result of not being as whippet smart as his fellow Disney stars.

But for all his goofy likeability, Disney, to their creative credit, showed a willingness to stretch and expand Goofy as a character, most notably in Motor Mania, a 1950 cartoon short directed by Jack Kinney that showed how the usually affable Goofy, playing the part of well-behaved suburbanite, Mr. Walker could be transformed into a reckless, angry, slavering monster called Mr. Wheeler, by the simple act of getting behind the wheel of his yellow Lincoln-Zephyr convertible.

Yep, folks, way before anyone had coined the term, Goofy starred in a cartoon about road rage, and as Laughing Squid correctly points out (video via Twitter user @gregveen), “many of the points about road rage are still valid today.”

It’s a lesson about being a safe driver, playing fair and well yeah, not quite learning the lesson in its entirety, if at all.

 

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