It is difficult to classify the characteristics of the Goof into columns of the physical and mental, because they interweave, reflect, and enhance one another. Therefore it will probably be best to mention everything all at once. Think of the Goof as a composite of an everlasting optimist, a gullible Good Samaritan, a half-wit and a shiftless, good-natured hick. This little analysis has covered the Goof from top to toes, and having come to his end, I end.
—Art Babbitt, the man who made Goofy into who we remember him as today.
Goofy first appeared in a Mickey Mouse short, Mickey's Revue, in 1932. After a few appearances in Mickey's cartoons and joining up with Mickey and Donald in classics such as Mickey's Fire Brigade and Lonesome Ghosts, Goofy eventually starred in his own series of cartoons, with his voice provided by Pinto Colvig. When Colvig left Disney, Goofy was left without a voice, so Disney made the best of a bad situation and conceived the How to... shorts, where most of the dialogue was done by a narrator. The concept of the How to.. shorts was so well received, that they are a staple of Disney and considered some of Goofy's best cartoons. One of them, The Art of Skiing, introduced his trademark Goofy Holler (YAAAAAA-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOEY!).
In comic books of the 1970s, he had a Superhero alter ego, Super Goof. In the 1990s, he starred in a new TV series, Goof Troop, in which he and his son, Max, moved in next door to a Lighter and Softer version of Mickey's nemesis, Pete. This led to a movie loosely based on the series, A Goofy Movie. Goofy is the only one of the Power Trio to get a full, non-segmented theatrical movie.
INDIVIDUAL SHORTS FILMOGRAPHY
- Goofy and Wilbur (1939)
- Goofy's Glider (1940)
- Baggage Buster (1941)
- The Art of Skiing (1941)
- The Art of Self Defense (1941)
- How to Play Baseball (1942)
- The Olympic Champ (1942)
- How to Swim (1942)
- How to Fish (1942)
- El Gaucho Goofy (1943, originally edited to Saludos Amigos, 1942)
- Victory Vehicles (1943)
- How to Be a Sailor (1944)
- How to Play Golf (1944)
- How to Play Football (1944)
- Tiger Trouble (1945)
- African Diary (1945)
- Californy'er Bust (1945)
- Hockey Homicide (1945)
- A Knight for a Day (1946)
- Double Dribble (1946)
- Foul Hunting (1947)
- They're Off (1948)
- The Big Wash (1948)
- Tennis Racquet (1949)
- Goofy Gymnastics (1949)
- How to Ride a Horse (1950, originally part of The Reluctant Dragon, 1941)
- Motor Mania (1950)
- Hold That Pose (1950)
- Lion Down (1951)
- Home Made Home (1951)
- Cold War (1951)
- Tomorrow We Diet! (1951)
- Get Rich Quick (1951)
- Fathers Are People (1951)
- No Smoking (1951)
- Father's Lion (1952)
- Hello, Aloha (1952)
- Man's Best Friend (1952)
- Two Gun Goofy (1952)
- Teachers Are People (1952)
- Two Weeks Vacation (1952)
- How to Be a Detective (1952)
- Father's Day Off (1953)
- For Whom the Bulls Toil (1953)
- Father's Week-End (1953)
- How to Dance (1953)
- How to Sleep (1953)
- Aquamania (1961)
- Freewayphobia (1965)
- Goofy's Freeway Troubles (1965)
- How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007)
- Checkin' In With Goofy (2011)
- Actor Allusion: Once or twice in the old cartoons, Goofy would be humming the song "The World Owes Me a Living", the song of the Silly Symphonies short "The Grasshopper and the Ants", the eponymous grasshopper also being voiced by Goofy's actor, Pinto Colvig.
- He also has a pet grasshopper, which is most likely an allusion to this.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: A trait he got in the Italian Disney comics. Goofy strongly refuses to believe in the existence of magic, no matter how many times Witch Hazel shows him her most powerful magic tricks.
- Art Evolution: Went from a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, to fully clothed, to looking more human with smaller eyes and then back to his previous big-eyed look.
- Ascended Extra: He started as an extra in some of Mickey Mouse's cartoons and went on to get his own series.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Do NOT harm Wilbur, Goofy's pet grasshopper.
- The Big Guy
- Bumbling Dad: Much to the dismay of his son, Max.
- This trope is also played to perfection in the 1950s cartoons where Goofy is depicted as a suburban father named George Geef.
- Cartoon Creature
- Catch Phrase: "Gawrsh!" "Somthin' wrong here." "Heavens 'ta Betsy!", "**YAAAAAA-HA-HA-HA-HOOOOEEEEEEEY!", "Ah-hyuck!"
- Characterization Marches On: He was more of a Jerkass in his first few appearances in the Mickey Mouse comic strip, stealing furniture to open a detective agency, playing pranks on Mickey's pets, and so on. This was soon dropped and we got the bumbling yet nice character we all know.
- The Chew Toy: Although not to the extent of Donald, most of his shorts threw him into unfortunate situations at his expense.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Goofy's cars fall, literally and figuratively, into this trope.
- Clark Kenting: When he's Super Goof.
- Conjoined Eyes: Averted in his George Geef years and in Goof Troop.
- Depending on the Artist: Disney couldn't decide how they wanted Goofy to look during the 40's and 50's. He was depicted with or without his ears, black fur or flesh-colored skin, with or without gloves and with or without buck teeth.
- In the short, Goofy and Wilbur, when Goofy takes of one of his gloves, his gloveless hand is revealed to be flesh-colored.
- Diet Episode: The short "Tomorrow We Diet".
- The Ditz
- DIY Disaster: Occurs in many of his shorts.
- Early Installment Weirdness: First appeared as an old man with a beard in the 1932 short, Mickey's Revue. He was also pantsless in his first few years and had a tail.
- The Fifties: He's often the Standard Fifties Father, occasionally with a Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe (see also: Bumbling Dad).
- The Fool
- Formally-Named Pet: Mr. Pettibone, Goofy's pet cat in Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- Furry Confusion: When he appears alongside Pluto the Pup.
- Furry Reminder: He has fewer Furry Reminders than either Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Clarabelle Cow, or even Pete, but even he has a few.
Gordie: If Mickey's a mouse, Donald's a duck and Pluto's a dog, then what's Goofy?
- Glove Slap: Used in The Art of Self Defense to demonstrate what self-defense was like in the romantic age.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Goofy was pantsless and didn't wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath his vest in his Dippy Dawg years.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The shorts, Teachers Are People and Two Weeks Vacation, were narrated by Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone.
- Idiot Hero
- I Have Many Names: Dippy Dawg, George Geef, G.G. Geef, James Boyd, Mr. Walker, Mr. Wheeler, Goofus D. Dawg., Mr. X, Driverius Timidicus, Motoramus Fidgitus, Neglectarus Maximus, Stupidicus Ultimus
- Iron Butt Monkey: In the How to... shorts.
- The Klutz
- Loads and Loads of Roles: Several of his cartoons (especially the How to series) portray every character with Goofy-like features.
- Moody Mount: His mount in "How to Ride a Horse".
- Nice Hat
- Nice Guy: His current characterization.
- The Other Darrin: Has been voiced by many different actors (Pinto Colvig, Hannes Schroll, Bob Jackman, George Johnson, Hal Smith, Tony Pope, Will Ryan and his current actor, Bill Farmer) over the duration of his career.
- Rotoscoping: The short "Baggage Buster" used rotoscoping to animate Goofy, resulting in more down to earth movement for him. "How to Dance" also uses rotoscoping for a brief scene of a Hula dancer.
- Simpleton Voice
- Soap Punishment: Happens to Goof, Jr. in "Fathers Are People".
- Stock Audio Clip: Goofy barely spoke in his '40s shorts (the original voice, Pinto Colvig, had left Disney for Max Fleischer's studio) and when he did, most of the time his lines and yells were from previous Disney shorts.
- Stock Scream: His famous scream.
- He had two others during the 40's and 50's.
- Tomato Surprise: In The Return of the Phantom Blot, an accident Goofy ends up in at the beginning of the story causes him to think he is the Phantom Blot during the night, and ends up very sleepy during the day.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the cartoons, but he's only a mild example, as he's more klutsy and ignorant than genuinely stupid.
- Too Dumb to Fool: In the comics.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: This is Goofy's whole shtick.
- He is loose-jointed and gangly, but not rubbery. He can move fast if he has to, but would rather avoid any overexertion, so he takes what seems the easiest way. He is a philosopher of the barber shop variety. No matter what happens, he accepts it finally at being for the best or at least amusing. He is willing to help anyone and offers his assistance even when it is not needed and just creates confusion. He very seldom, if ever, reaches his objective or completes what he has started. His brain being rather vapory, it is difficult for him to concentrate on any one subject. Any little distraction can throw him off his train of thought and it is extremely difficult for the Goof to keep to his purpose. Yet the Goof is not the type of half-wit that is to be pitied. He doesn't dribble, drool or shriek. He has music in his heart even though it is the same tune forever and I see him humming to himself while working or thinking. he talks to himself because it is easier for him to know what he is thinking if he hears it first. His posture is nil. His back arches the wrong way and his little stomach protrudes. His head, stomach, and knees lead his body. His neck is quite long and scrawny. His knees sag and his feet are large and flat. He walks on his heels and his toes turn up. His shoulders are narrow and slope rapidly, giving the upper part of his body a thinness and making his arms seem long and heavy, though actually not drawn that way. His hands are very sensitive and expressive, and though his gestures are broad, they should reflect the gentleman. Never think of the Goof as a sausage with rubber hose attachments. Though he is very flexible and floppy, his body still has a solidity and weight. The looseness in his arms and legs should be achieved through a succession of breaks in the joints rather than what seems like the waving of so much rope. He is not muscular, yet has the strength and stamina of a very wiry person. His clothes are misfits: his trousers are baggy at the knees and the pants legs strive vainly to touch his shoe tops but never do. His pants droop at the seat and stretch tightly across some distance below the crotch. His sweater fits him snugly except for the neck and his vest is much too small. His hat is of a soft material and animates a little bit. The Goof's head can be thought of in terms of a caricature of a person with a pointed dome - large, dreamy eyes, buck teeth and a weak chin, a large mouth, a thick lower lip, a fat tongue and a bulbous nose that grows larger on its way out and turns up. His eyes should remain partly closed to help give him a stupid, sleepy appearance, as though he were constantly straining to remain awake, but of course, they can open wide for expressions or accents. He blinks quite a bit. He is very bashful, yet when something very stupid has befallen him, he mugs the camera like an amateur actor with relatives in the audience, trying to cover up his embarrassment by making faces and signalling to them. He is in close contact with sprites, goblins, fairies and other such fantasia. Each object or piece of mechanism which to us is lifeless, has a soul and personality in the mind of the Goof. The improbable becomes real where the Goof is concerned. He has marvelous muscular control of his fanny. he can do numerous little flourishes with it and his fanny should be used whenever there is an opportunity to emphasize a funny position.