Post #12: Aquamania

1 May

Seeing as I had so much fun looking at a Disney short last week, I figured I’d do another one this week.

This week I’m looking at Aquamania, a 1961 short featuring another one of Disney’s main characters, Goofy.

When I was little, I remember that some of my favorite cartoons were the Goofy documentaries. Usually they entail a voiceover explaining how to do something, such as play tennis or baseball, or just commenting on his observations of Goofy playing basketball or camping, while Goofy attempted, and usually comically failed, to do the things the short was based around.

I don’t know why, but these shorts always stuck with me, and I find myself watching classics like Double Dribble and The Olympic Champ. This short was a nice blend of all the different types of Goofy cartoons, and mixed the three major topics that Goofy shorts were usually about; sports, being a father, and being a documentary subject.

The film shows Goofy, or “Mr. X” as he is called, and his “aquamania,” or obsession with boats. Goofy buys a boat and takes his son out to the lake to teach him how to do all sorts of things, including water skiing. Naturally, Goofy ends up reluctantly becoming part of a water skiing race, and after a lot of slapstick, ends up winning the race.

A few of my observations were that the short almost felt like it was two stories in one. At first, it felt like it was going to talk about Goofy’s obsession with boats and how it took over is life, but then it shifted and primarily became about the water skiing race and the comedy that came from that.

Also, how about seeing this version of Goofy’s son? For us 90’s kids who grew up with Goof Troop and A Goofy Movie, we all know that Goofy’s son is Max. I have no idea who this kid is, but it was interesting seeing this first incarnation of Max.

I also liked seeing this older version of Goofy. He still was similar and recognizable based on how he looks and acts today, but I don’t know, he seemed less goofy to me in this older incarnation, if that makes any sense.

As for the animation, I love it. I thought it was interesting seeing this opening, with a title sequence and a “Walt Disney Presents” as opposed to just the picture of Goofy that the audience had become accustomed to.

This short is also significant, as it again was nominated for Best Animated Short Film in 1962, as well as receiving the distinction of being the last Goofy animated short of the Golden Age of Disney animation.

Once again, this is a fun short with a classic character who is beloved by a lot of people, and with it only being eigt minutes, there’s no reason not to check it out.

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