Monday, July 9, 2007
In 1939, Goofy finally got his own series of cartoons. The first entry, "Goofy and Wilbur" shows that a perfect formula for the character was still not realized. Don't get me wrong, it's a good cartoon but it can't compare with what was to come in Goofy's career.
Goofy goes fishing (in a "No Fishing" zone. Gasp!) and he brings along his grasshopper friend, Wilbur, who is used as live bait.
After several successful catches, Wilbur is eaten by a fish but saved by Goofy. This is a "buddy film" in just about every sense of the phrase and Goofy's concern for Wilbur seems quite genuine. Although, I guess Goofy never really thought things through and realized the potential danger in using his friend as bait.
The near-tragedy does not stop the duo from trying again and this time, Wilbur is eaten by a frog. In pursuit of the frog, Goofy watches in horror as the frog is eaten by a stork. Goofy follows the stork to its nest but loses the bird, leaving a tearful Goofy to lament the loss of Wilbur.
Just when things look most bleak, Wilbur hatches out of one of the stork's eggs. Don't ask me how that happened. I guess it is a lesson for another time.