Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 16 minutes
MPAA Rating: G
Directed by: Ian Harrowell & Douglas McCarthy
Written by: Scott Gorden
Voices of: Bill Farmer, Jason Marsden, Jeff Bennett, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lewis, Bebe Neuwirth, Rob Paulsen & Pauly Shore
Around the mid-90’s, Disney did something that forever changed opinions on the company as a whole. They began releasing cheap direct-to-video cash-ins on their most popular movies. This might not have been so bad if even the slightest bit of effort was being put into making the unnecessary follow-ups. With ALADDIN, THE LION KING, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, and even POCAHONTAS (for whatever reason) receiving sequels, it seemed like nothing was safe. As time went on, Disney began making cheaper cash-ins for their less successful and famous films, the underrated GOOFY MOVIE being one of them. I’ll give AN EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE this. It’s not nearly as a bad as it could have been. You can tell that some form of effort was behind-the-scenes in the making of this 2000 sequel to the 1995 hit. It’s definitely better than almost every other Disney sequel, but that’s not saying a whole lot.
Max, P.J., and Bobby (once again voiced by Pauly Shore) have graduated high school and are college-bound. While Pete is overjoyed to finally get his son out of the house, Goofy is distraught at the new lonely life without Max. When he loses his factory job, Goofy goes back to college to get a degree…much to the dismay and humiliation of Max. Goofy is a fish-out-of-water whose stuck in the groovy 70’s. Meanwhile, Max and his friends compete against a group of stuck-up frat boys in order to win an X-Games-like competition.
If nothing else, AN EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE tries to be enjoyable for older viewers and kids. The first movie walked a tightrope between heartfelt and wacky to far better effect, but there are moments in this sequel that are genuinely funny. One thing that I imagine far more adults enjoying than kids would be the 70’s memorabilia collected by Goofy and his newfound librarian girlfriend (referencing disco, mood rings, Gilligan’s Island, etc.) as well as a soundtrack that includes stuff like the Partridge Family and “Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades.” It only makes sense that the Goofy storyline is more entertaining to me than Max’s storyline, but I can’t really imagine too many kids being interested in watching Goofy go to college. Maybe, Goofy falling down, being a klutz and embarrassing the crap out of his kid yet again….but setting this movie in college seems like a strange choice seeing as this is technically a G-rated kid’s movie.
While Max was a likable teenage character in the first film, something about him is distinctly unlikable this time around. I can’t really place why that is, but it could be attributed to the clichéd college competition and Disney trying far too hard to make him relatable to the younger generation. As Disney went forward into the 2000’s, their TV shows were trying far more desperately to appeal to the cool kids…and rarely succeeding at it. A GOOFY MOVIE had that dated 90’s feel (especially with Pauly Shore voicing the punk character), but EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE manages to feel far more dated despite being the most recent of both movies. The X-Games subplot seems bland and has been seen way too many times in other movies.
As far as other problems go, EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE looks cheaper in the quality of its animation. The biggest slap in the face comes from the recycled moral message that was already covered in the first film. This is where the movie really drops the ball and reveals what a pointless exercise in cashing-in this whole film really is. EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE tries way too hard to be…well…Extreme (what with the X-Games and college and whatnot), but doesn’t spend enough time on being goofy and genuine. This is still one of Disney’s better direct-to-video sequels (probably tied with the two ALADDIN follow-ups and, maybe, THE LION KING II), but that’s not necessarily a compliment when you consider the competition. You’re better off just sticking with A GOOFY MOVIE and ignoring this sequel.