Animation Cel-ebration
May 30, 2022 posted by Michael Lyons

Parental Guidance Suggested: The 30th Anniversary of “Goof Troop”

Goof Troop well may be Disney’s most relatable TV show. We’ve all been a child, a parent, or both, and this animated series explored what it’s like to be all of them.

Starring one of Disney’s most iconic stars, Goofy, Goof Troop focused on this life as a single father to pre-teen Max, and the pitfalls of parenting.

Created by animation veterans Robert Taylor and Michael Peraza, Jr., the premise spring boarded off a series of classic Goofy cartoon shorts, in which he was cast as a father character.

Goof Troop took the concept further, looking deeper into father-son relationships while staying true to the character of Goofy.

This is evident in the first episode, Everything’s Coming Up Goofy, where the title character decides to move himself and Max back to his hometown of Spoonerville (named after background artist Michael J. Spooner).

Of course, the episode is filled with comical, “Goofy”-esque moments, such as his car careening out of control down a mountain road, as he attempts to get control of it. There are other pleasant, well-written comical moments, such as with best friend Pete, who finds himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown with Goofy first living in his house and then moving next door.

In the satirical (and very ‘90’s) Wrecks, Lies, and Videotape, Goofy and Pete compete for a prize on the TV show “America’s Most Painful Home Videos,” where, at one point, he tries to take advantage of Goofy’s, well, “goofiness,” and capture it on camera.

Then, there’s the fantastical, Great Egg-spectations, where Max finds an egg and, when it hatches, a dinosaur emerges (who looks suspiciously like Elliot from Pete’s Dragon).

And through each episode, Goof Troop also looked to shed light on not just parent-child relationships but also those with best friends, neighbors, and the community.

The cast of Goof Troop includes the legendary Bill Farmer as Goofy. Farmer, at this point, had been voicing the character since 1987 and brought so much to the personality, as he still does today. Actress Dana Hill, who played “Audrey Griswold” in 1985’s sequel, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, voiced Max.

The supporting characters in Goof Troop were brought to life by a “who’s who” of voice acting icons: Jim Cummings as Pete, April Winchell as his wife Peg, Rob Paulsen as their son Pete, Jr., and Nancy Cartwright as sister Pistol. Additionally, Frank Welker provided the voices of Waffles, Goofy’s cat, and Chainsaw, Pete’s Dog.

The show’s look was in the comforting style of classic Disney shorts, and the catchy theme song became one an entire generation now knows by heart.

Goofy made his earliest appearance as a laughing proto “Dippy Dawg”, an audience member, in the 1932 short Mickey’s Revue. That makes this a Happy 90th Birthday to the Goof himself. His series, Goof Troop, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, running for two seasons from 1992-1993, on The Disney Channel, in syndication, and ABC.

The series was so popular it eventually inspired two full-length features. First, the 1995 theatrical, A Goofy Movie, which, like the show itself, is held close to the hearts of its fans. The movie’s tagline sums up Goof Troop and why it continues to be popular: “It’s hard to be cool when your Dad is Goofy.” An equally beloved sequel, An Extremely Goofy Movie was released direct-to-video in 2000.

14 Comments

  • It seemed very obvious to me at the time that Pete’s wife Peg was modelled after Peggy Bundy of “Married… with Children”, with the same bouffant hairstyle, hoop earrings, tight Capri pants, voluptuous figure, etc. One presumes that at some point during the few years that elapsed between “Goof Troop” and “A Goofy Movie”, Peg divorced Pete and got custody of Pistol. That would explain their absence from the movies. Without a strong father figure in her life, Pistol might have grown up to be a promiscuous teenager like Kelly Bundy. Now there’s a Disney Afternoon show I’d have liked to see.

    Did they ever explain what happened to Max’s mother, or even mention her at all?

    I forgot that Goofy’s cat was named Waffles! Oh, if only Pete’s dog had been named Don….

    • They do mention that Goofy is a widow in an episode where Peg convinces Goofy to go back in the dating game

    • No need to speculate too much about what happened to Peg and Pistol in A Goofy Movie.
      Jymn Magon stated that they weren’t included because it didn’t serve the story. Both were still present in the first drafts of the script.

      • Exactly.

        I actually never saw ‘Goof Troop’ when it was new and only finally saw ‘A Goofy Movie” as an adult in the past few years. While it’s intriguing to know the Peg and Pistol characters were initally considered for inclusion in the film, it’s also doesn’t seem like a stretch to think Pete and P.J. are on a male bonding trip just like Goofy and Max, while Peg and Pistol get to have some ‘girl time’ back at home.

    • According to the comic of the movie, Peg and Pistol are visiting her mother. I thought about the divorce thing too, but they had a really loving relationship on the show.

      Disney’s official stance is that Max never had a mother. I think Bill Farmer once suggested it was Jessica Rabbit as a joke. The widower thing is an urban legend, in that dating episode Pete actually scoffs at the idea of Goofy being married.

      Personally, I think Goofy telling Sophie their date was the happiest night of his life is too weird for a guy who was married with a kid, so I’d guess college girlfriend who left shortly after Max was born and that’s why he also had to drop out of college after three years.

      • RobGems68 wrote:
        The idea of Peg & Pete divorcing came some years after “A Goofy Movie” was released. When I first saw the movie in 1994, I remember being disappointed that Peg & Pistol weren’t in it, but I also felt the same way about Roxanne not appearing in “An Extremely Goofy Movie”, and then there was that Mona girl that replaced Roxanne in a “Goofy Christmas Special”. A lot of Max/Roxanne shippers were not satisfied with that storyline. and felt that Roxanne was cheated out of the “Goof Troop” canon. I thought at first “Beret Girl” (who doesn’t have a real name, by the way) was a more sophisticated, mature version of Roxanne, but I was wrong, and the writers shipped her with P.J..

        • Apparently Mona was supposed to be Roxanne ( they even have the same voice! ), but they couldn’t animate her hair in CG so they just made her a new character.

          Couldn’t they just change her hair style? Or have it covered? Or even change the art/animation style? ( Have Max and Goofys segment animated in 2D )

  • I always wondered why in the series, Goofy’s pants alternated from being blue and brown. The other characters’ clothing never changed color.

    • This was probably due to production code listings (some episodes aired before ones that were created first). Early produced episodes had Goofy with a pink bow-tie with blue polka dots and teal pants. Later on, it was changed to a blue tie with red polka dots and brown pants. The animation companies and techniques also changed as production moved forward, so that may be another cause for the change.

    • RobGems68 wrote:
      I’ve always wondered about that too. I also noticed that in some episodes Peg’s hair is red, but in others, it’s auburn, sort of red-brownish. maybe she dyes here hair, I always wondered. I think Shaddai’s answer is closer to the truth.

  • “A Goofy Movie” was fun and surprisingly sharp, especially with Max’s embarrassment over his father (and terror of becoming him) and that gloriously cheesy Disney knockoff (Goofy says something like “It’s more beautiful than I remember!”). The sequel was handsomely produced but weirdly plotted: The central joke is Goofy being embarrassingly out of it with his disco music and rainbow wig, while a beatnik coffee house and an Animal House-era snotty fraternity are accepted as up to date.

  • “An Extremely Goofy Movie” was a direct-to-video release, not a theatrical film (unless they gave it a short run at the El Capitan, but that’s not recorded in any source I can find). It’s still one of the better DTV Disney sequels, I’ll give it that.

  • I should point out that Charles Nichols came back to Disney after about a thirty year absents and ended his animation career by help timing some of the episodes of “Goof Troop” although I don’t recall him ever directing a Goofy short other than animating some of them (sadly, both Kinney and Hannah had both passed by this point and never work or consultant on the show).

  • I always assumed this series inspired The Looney Tunes Show. I prefer Warners to Disney, but I give kudos to Goof Troop for being more cartoony.

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