|Posted by Moviefan12 on June 27, 2012 at 6:40 AM|
Hello and welcome back, today I'll be taking a look at an old Disney special from '87. It's best to think of this special as the predecessor to DuckTales as it aired before it and while good, it does have some differences from the show and Goofy is also different in this short as he is less Goofy than usual. Though according to my reading there was a mockumentary that aired right before this special showing all of Goofy's shortcomings and this lead into this special where Goofy was show as the hero and athletic. Which may explain why Goofy does the sports shorts. Still in those he is still shown as Goofy. Also I should point out that in this short that Goofy was referred to as Sport Goofy or Sports Goofy. Therefore that's what I'll be referring to him as in this short and also the VA's for Goofy and Scrooge are different in this special than the others and I believe that this special was the only time that these VA's were used for these characters as Scrooge was voiced by Will Ryan and Goofy was voiced by Tony Pope.
The plot of this special is admittedly a bit cliche in some aspects. Such as you have the underdog team that no one thinks is going to win but makes it to the finals and everybody is cheering them on. Well, when your opponents are The Beagle Boys, it's not hard to choose what team to root for but I'm getting ahead of myself. The special actually starts when Huey, Dewey, & Louie ask Uncle Scrooge for support for their soccer team and he thinks that he means moral support but rather monetary as they need a new trophy and Scrooge being the stingy miser that he is donates an old antique that is actually worth a million dollars and wants to get it back and the boys say the only way for him to get it back is by sponsoring the winning team. Although the team doesn't seem to be in winning shape when we meet them as one of the boys points out, every one on the team was picked last. Now The Beagle Boys come into this plot as they want the trophy and instead of stealing it, they form a soccer team and try to win it legally. I must admit that is clever but I guess that I have to use cartoon logic because in the final game, you have adults going up against children. Well, it's never outright stated whether or not the other team members on Huey, Dewey, & Louie's team are children or not but I assumed that was the case because with the boys being the on the team, I thought it was something along the lines of a pee-wee team. Here, I'm probably just nitpicking and other than that, I enjoyed this special for what it was.
Announcer - Chick Hearn
Narration in this special was more along the lines a sports game a la the first (and good) Casey short and it worked. It blended in well and wasn't a distraction, which I was thankful about and it actually felt real. Of course after doing research Hearn was a real sports announcer, so that was a nice touch and it makes it feel genuine.
I do apologize for not having a picture of the trophy. This is one of the key elements to this special as it was the plot revolves around and Scrooge wants to get it back but at the end of the day, he donates it to The Duckburg Museum.
Now I'll be breaking this down into Main, Supporting, & Villain. Let's begin.
Sport(s) Goofy voiced by Tony Pope
Goofy was so odd in this special because while I knew it was Goofy, it didn't feel like Goofy. I don't know if that makes sense but whereas Goofy is usually a slapstick comedian akin to a young Jerry Lewis. Here, he felt out of character because he wasn't clumsy and I think that what's made him feel not Goofy. I thought maybe that I should apply my actor theory to Goofy in this special and for those that don't recall, the actor theory explains how a character acts in something when it seems out of character such as Around The World In 80 Days with Scrooge but I don't think that works here because even though he is different, there is a still a morsel of Goofy in this special.
Uncle Scrooge voiced by Will Ryan
Now for the most part, Scrooge was his usual self in this special save for one key element that was missing. His Scottish accent. I'm sorry but that is important factor of Scrooge and not having it makes the character feel amiss. Now if you'll recall my review of Winnie The Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, I basically trashed Will Ryan's performance. I'm not a fan of his work as Rabbit and here he did okay but it wasn't for me. Scrooge as a character felt like Scrooge but at the same time, him not having his accent rubbed me the wrong way and I'm happy that this was the only time that Will Ryan voiced Scrooge.
Huey, Dewey, & Louie all voiced by Russi Taylor
Now you'll notice here that Huey, Dewey, & Louie are all wearing the same color. I believe that is because it wasn't until DuckTales that they were given individual colors. Now this special was before DuckTales and that led into a problem I have when these characters are used sometimes. Instead of being three individual characters, they're instead one group of characters that don't have any defining personality traits to separate them apart. They aren't bad in this special but compared to Goofy and Scrooge, they seem forgettable and that is a little disappointing considering that when used correctly, these three are great characters.
McDuck Greenbacks - Not Voiced
The soccer team at best were background characters that were there to advance the plot. I'm not even sure any of them had a line of dialogue. The most we learn about them is that before Goofy took over as coach, they were all bad at soccer as one of the triplets said that they were all picked last. I do wish that we could have gotten more time with them but again this was a 30 minute special and I do think that if time had been extended, we could've seen them grow more instead we were just given a montage of them playing but you don't actually see them playing but rather just the scores and news reports. See, if the montage had actually had shown game footage, I think that it would've made it easier to root for the team and not have it feel forced because as I said, the opposing team is The Beagle Boys, and well that doesn't leave much room to choose what side you want to root for.
The Beagle Boys also voiced Will Ryan
Perhaps the only characters that felt like themselves in this special were The Beagle Boys. I have to say that their plan was clever. They decide to enter the soccer tournament and win the trophy legally. I like this idea as they can't be arrested for taking the trophy. Although, they do cheat so there is that and they do kidnap Goofy as to bring the spirits of the team down. When they went to Goofy's house to kidnap him, it was funny and very cartoony. These were perhaps the best characters in this special and the ones I had the most fun watching.
My Final Thoughts
I don't dislike this special but I do feel that are some missteps and missed opportunities in this special. The biggest gripe that I have with this special is that Goofy doesn't feel like Goofy. Now as I said up top, there was a mockumentary that was shown before this special saying that this special would show Goofy as the hero. Now I have no problem with Goofy being the hero but I'd also like Goofy to be funny and here it feels like he is playing the straight man and I know that this will sound like an odd complaint but there is no comic relief in this special and I have to ask why not? Don't take this to mean that there aren't humorous moments in the special but Goofy is a comedian and Goofy is great for comic relief. Sure, I have other qualms such as Scrooge's accent but my biggest gripe is with Goofy not feeling like Goofy. At best, give this one a watch, if your curious.
Categories: A Look At Disney