Monday, March 15, 2010

035 Goofy and Wilbur

Title: Goofy and Wilbur
Studio: Disney
Date: 3/17/39
Credits: None listed on print
Series: Goofy (count as a series?)
Running time (of viewed version): 8:07

Synopsis: Man dog Goofy and limited sentient grasshopper Wilbur entrap fish in a net using Wilbur's meaty wiles, and when it goes bad Wilbur is nearly (or perhaps actually) killed.

Comments: First solo Goofy cartoon. I dislike him being referred to as "The Goof" (in Leonard Maltin's introduction to the disc; it's not in the cartoon). I note the title card actually says 1938. The music is strangely interrupted (in the stork chase); is the cartoon missing footage on the Goofy Treasures? I like the marimba music. I really don't like Goofy's voice in this. It is by its nature stupid, but it seems far more grating in this than it would be in later years. It may be less noticeable in his earlier cartoons because he wasn't the only speaking character (the "How To" series would eventually solve this by making him silent much of the time). Or perhaps I don't like George Johnson's voice; sources seem to say this George Johnson performing the voice here and various credits put Pinto Colvig at Fleischer for cartoons that came out earlier in the year, but other things credit Colvig on this cartoon (the BCDB, for example, which credits both in the cartoon, tho there seems to be only the one speaking part). Seeing the MCMXXXVIII in the title card makes me less than certain as to which is true (and I haven't bothered to compare definite Colvig and Johnson examples as of this writing). The BCDB has demonstrated errors to me before (one reason I'm limiting myself to what prints list for official credits on this blog (occasional parentheticals aside), not that prints can't get it wrong too). I wonder if Goofy has had a psychotic break at the end of the cartoon, and the reappearance of Wilbur is simply a delusion. This is the cartoon I most remember from childhood so far. I'm sure I remember the Popeye clip short, but it is vague compared to this one. This is no doubt due to a combination of having access to the shorts as a kid due to '80s Disney Channel programming choices and the fact that something clearly and definitely happens in the short that doesn't merge into a dozen other cartoons' plots. Goofy has five fingered hands in hand close up shots, but four fingered hands in long shots. In some ways, this cartoon more about Wilbur than Goofy, but the impression is that there is plenty of Goofy in the short, giving it less the feeling of ditching the main character than other '39 cartoons.


  1. Colvig did voices in a couple of Warner Bros. cartoons released in 1939 after he was already in Miami -- "Snow-Man's Land" and "Hobo Gadget Band" -- and one, "Jeepers Creepers" where it's supposed to be him, but it's really Mel Blanc, so it seems as if Pinto was doing voices up until he boarded the train bound for Florida, but at the same time left California while a few other cartoons he was expected to do voice work on (like this one) were still in production.

  2. I just discovered your blog. Interesting concept...I look forward to following along!