Movie Review: “Not Just a Goof” Documentary Treats “A Goofy Movie” With the Reverence It Deserves

Until recently, The Walt Disney Company hasn’t understood the significance of A Goofy Movie. Sure, the 1995 film’s VHS sales were strong enough to warrant a direct-to-video sequel in 2000, but there’s otherwise been very little love for the movie from the studio that made it. Max rarely made appearances in domestic Disney Parks after Goof Troop went off the air. The film’s DVD release looked marginally better than a VHS tape and lacked any form of a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made. No deleted songs or scenes, no interviews with the cast and creative team, and no look back at the legacy of the film. But that all changed on May 20th, 2024, when, during the Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise on Disney Cruise Line, directors Christopher Ninness and Eric Kimelton unveiled a work-in-progress version of their new documentary film, Not Just a Goof.



Not Just a Goof is the definitive behind-the-scenes story of A Goofy Movie. It covers everything you ever wanted to know about the making of the film and then some. The doc makes it clear just how much of an underdog project A Goofy Movie was, akin to an independent animated film being produced for a studio that was the reigning champion of the medium. Not only does the film feature the behind-the-scenes story of A Goofy Movie, but it also tracks the iterative process of making an animated film, including snippets of deleted songs and scenes. Through a mix of newly recorded interviews and archival footage from the film’s production, fans of A Goofy Movie get unprecedented insight into the making of one of their favorite films. When archival footage doesn’t exist, they animate an approximation in the style of Goof Troop/A Goofy Movie (provided by Venturia Animation Studios).

For animation history buffs, Not Just a Goof feels like an unintended sequel to Don Hahn’s Waking Sleeping Beauty, which told the story of the Disney Renaissance at Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of the central figures of that doc, Jeffrey Katzenberg, is a key player here as well, having put the project in motion as a testing ground to see if Disney could make animated features faster and cheaper than they had been doing. Not Just a Goof follows a ragtag group of artists from Disney Animation yearning for an opportunity to prove that they could do more. While they undeniably do just that, the film also pinpoints the ever-changing studio dynamic of this era, with Katzenberg being ousted while A Goofy Movie was still in production.

Newly recorded interviews featured in the work-in-progress cut of Not Just a Goof included director Kevin Lima, producer Dan Rounds, story supervisor Brian Pimental, screenwriter Jymn Magon, and voice actors Bill Farmer (Goofy) and Jason Marsden (Max). Archival interviews included additional creative and voice talent, including Jim Cummings (Pete), Rob Paulson (P.J.), Jenna von Oÿ (Stacey), and Tevin Campbell (Powerline).

Like A Goofy Movie itself, Not Just a Goof has a few emotional tricks up its sleeve. The secret sauce isn’t just the stories of the creative minds who made A Goofy Movie but also its legions of fans. Not even the cantankerous ducks in the audience could keep their eyes dry through a sizzle reel of fans sharing their heartfelt stories about why A Goofy Movie means so much to them. Christopher Ninness and Eric Kimelton keep their personal reasons for wanting to tell this story close to their chests until the very end, giving Not Just a Goof a narrative all its own. This is a film made by fans, for fans, and as the title suggests, there’s so much more in store for viewers who go on this journey.

I give the work-in-progress version of Not Just a Goof 5 out of 5 cups of sugar to get to the moon.

For more updates on Not Just a Goof, follow the film’s official Instagram account.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).