Happy Birthday to my unsinkable, unflappable friend, Goofy!
Who would know that you are 83 years young. In fact, you don’t look a day over 40!
Every Disney fan has a favorite character, and I (Melvin) am not in a small group who has an affection towards that loveable anthropomorphic dog (is he man or is he dog? Either way, he looks Goofy to me). He brightens our days with his antics and innocent view of life. No matter what happens, he always finds his way through.
While he has always been “Goofy,” he has undergone some changes over the decades. His early look was a bit rough with sharper lines and he needed a shave. Today he is more kid-friendly and has a look that makes us all smile.
Goofy’s first appearance was in the 1932 cartoon “Mickey’s Revue.” This was released on May 25, hence marking this debut as his birthday, even though we all know that he was born in someone’s imagination much earlier. Back then he was known as Dippy Dawg, and over the years was known occasionally by the name George Geef. But he soon transformed into that lovable goof we currently know.
It took some time for him to develop his identity and become a star in his own right, instead of just a side kick for another major character. Over the years he became an expert in many areas and would often show us “how to” do something – such as How to Ride A Horse, How to Play Baseball, or even the most simple task in How to Sleep. He even helped with the war effort in WWII.
In 1995, he was given his first full-length feature in A Goofy Movie. April 7, 2015 was the 20th anniversary of its release (it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long). This fun-filled animated movie actually did better for Disney than they had originally expected, giving evidence to the size and strength of his fan base.
While animated characters can live forever, unfortunately their human counterparts cannot. Goofy’s first and original voice was performed by Pinto Colvig, who was also the original Bozo the Clown. Over the years, there were other actors such as George Johnson, Stuart Buchanan, Bob Jackman, Jack Bailey, Hal Smith (Otis Campbell from the Andy Griffith Show), Will Ryan and Tony Pope, who all had short stints recreating the voice. In 1987, a young comedian and impressionist, Bill Farmer, auditioned and was hired by Disney as the voice artist to bring Goofy to modern life, and has had that awesome responsibility ever since. Bill is credited in all the current movies, cartoon shorts and Mickey Mouse Club TV show.
So, to that always endearing, fun-loving creation from the imaginations at Disney, we say a great big “Happy Birthday.” May you live to entertain young and old for generations and generations to come.