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A Walt Disney GOOFY Cartoon.
Transported to the Argentine Pampas, our Texas cowboy becomes EL GAUCHO GOOFY as he learns the ways of the South American vaquero.
In 1941, with so many European markets cut off by the War, the United States Government felt it would be wise to strengthen the country's ties with the nations of Latin America - culturally as well as commercially. Among those invited to travel South on goodwill tours was Walt Disney. Walt was dealing with his own problems at home, including profit losses from his animated features and an acrimonious strike in the Studio. When the invitation arrived from the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs at the State Department, Walt agreed to go on condition that the Government would sponsor his making of a Latin American feature, using the trip to get background material. The artists who accompanied Walt received much inspiration for future animation and Walt himself took some valuable home movies which, incorporated with the animation, resulted in the short feature SALUDOS AMIGOS (1943), of which EL GAUCHO GOOFY was an extract and eventual stand alone cartoon short. SALUDOS AMIGOS (which also had a nice role for Donald Duck) was quite popular with audiences and the GOOFY short was responsible for part of that success. The animation is very good, the comic situations are humorous and there is still a good deal of authentic information to be gleaned amidst the chuckles.
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.
El Gaucho Goofy is not one of my favourites of all-time, that said
there is still a lot to like about it. Very like the format of the How
to...series(which I am very fond of), El Gaucho Goofy is a little
routine in terms of story. The animation however is great, the colours
are warm and vibrant and the fluid backgrounds and drawing are also
very nice. It also gives me the feel that I've been transported to
South America, which is always a bonus. The music is very catchy as
well with lots of energetic rhythms and lush orchestration. Like the
animation, it succeeds in being authentic. The narration is sly, funny
and thoughtful, with some very adept voice acting to deliver it. The
visual gags deliver too, the best of them are hilarious, my favourite
being the one where the horse turns over making the bed on Goofy
despite the narrator telling us the opposite. Goofy is every bit the
appealing everyman that is so endearing about in the first place, and
the rhea(though can be easily mistaken for an ostrich, which will help
to answer those who question what an ostrich is doing in South America)
is a good match for him.
All in all, very good though I've seen better from Goofy. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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