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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After having found Goofy's first ever (official) "Art of" short film,
(The Art of Skiing) I started to hope that the next title in the series
would show Goofy and the film makers discovering their artistic touch.
Beginning in the Medieval period,the film shows how self defence training has changed from knights in armour,to people (and Goofy) having to "feel the burn" at the gym.
View on the film:
Separating the movie into a number of short sketches,the screenplay by Rex Cox,Ralph Wright and Leo Thiele moves at an extraordinary pace,with the writers joyfully spoofing the cliché view of "British fighting" by having Goofy interrupt his defence training with a tea break,and also bringing a whole new meaning to the term "shadow boxing"
Giving each sketch its own distinctive feel,director Jack Kinney shows a stylish eye by giving the fantastic animation atmospheric details,that go from icy mist covering the tops of mountains,to Goofy fighting for his life in a boxing ring,surrounded by smoke and camera flashes,which leads to this self defence lesson being one that is very much worth taking.
Goofy is one of Disney's funniest and most appealing characters, and his cartoons are always great fun to watch. The Art of Self Defense is a strong example of what I love about Goofy in the first place. Being the first short of Goofy's that has him doing multiple characters and personalities, The Art of Self Defense is of historical significance. The sheer entertainment value that The Art of Self Defense also has though makes it a short that is much more than being of historical significance. Goofy is every bit the clumsy yet appealing and good-natured everyman that we are familiar with, even with the multiple characters he has, the second half especially is where you see this. He interacts wonderfully with the narrator, who, helped by the witty, thoughtful narration, is wonderfully voiced by John McLeish. The gags are imaginative and hilarious, the shadow boxing and the image of Goofy riding a chariot through the stars are priceless gems really. The story is very like the "how to" Goofy short format but done in a way that is fresh and holds your attention. The Art of Self Defense is also a short that looks and sounds great. The animation has fluidity and is vibrantly coloured, while the music- especially in the sequence when Goofy walks into the gym- is beautifully orchestrated and energetic, enhancing the action seamlessly. Overall, hugely entertaining and epitomises everything that is so lovable about Goofy and Goofy's shorts. 10/10 Bethany Cox
This cartoon begins with a discussion of self defense through the ages.
The first scene, which I particularly liked, show two cavemen (both who
look like Goofy) bashing each other over the head with clubs. I know it
ain't intellectual, but it made me laugh. What also made me laugh is
that as time progressed, things didn't change all that much! I guess I
just like seeing people bashing each other over the head.
Then, after the first third of the film is complete, it switches to the format of the usual "how to" cartoon featuring Goofy. This consists of Goofy working out and practicing his boxing--with predictable results. Ultimately, it culminates with Goofy going into the ring and fighting with a real opponent--again with predictable results.
Overall, the usual funny and well animated film you'd expect from Disney during this amazingly creative era.
A Walt Disney GOOFY Cartoon.
Goofy aptly demonstrates THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE throughout the Ages.
Pugilism comes in for a gentle ribbing in this amusing little film. Goofy proves to be as adept at fisticuffs as he is at most everything else in his befuddled life. John McLeish narrates in his best documentarian manner.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
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