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To be perfectly honest, this classic Goofy short is more concerned with
the actual getting to your holiday destination of choice than with the
two weeks vacation itself. We see far less of this and a lot more of
the travelling process involved, which sometimes makes me wonder if
they really had loads more material to come on this one but were forced
to cut things short for the sake of the 6 minute running time.
Something about the story here does feel just a tiny bit
incomplete...nevertheless, combining all the usual ingredients in the
trusty Goofy formula the off-screen, plumy-voiced narrator who
succeeds in putting a more positive spin on the visual mishaps our hero
endures, along with fluid animation and distinctive voice-work it
lacks none of the charm or humour needed to make a great Disney
Taking a break from the monotony of the office, Goofy is hitting the road and heading for the wilderness for a fortnight of camping and leisure, but finds the journey to be stressful enough in itself. Of all the Walt Disney shorts I watched while I was growing up (and am always glad to come across again whenever I'm going through all my old videotapes from the 1980s), this is one of the little highlights that have really lingered on inside my mind. Not so much for its amusement level (which is certainly high), but mainly because its depiction of life on the 'Open Road' is, in some ways, every bit as troubling and twisted as it is funny and this was 19 years before Steven Spielberg's 'Duel' at that. I tell you, the sequence with the approaching train by the overnight rest-stop used to freak me out considerably as a younger viewer and please, don't get me started on the deal with that trailer!
Unlike those Disney shorts centred around Pluto or Donald, which have appealed to me from pretty much the split-second I was introduced to them, Goofy's unique line of cartoons are something I think I came to appreciate more with age. There's a fairly wry, ironic and sometimes even satirical edge to his shorts that's perhaps even more liable to tickle an adult audience than one made up of kiddies, including a great moment here involving a road-side hitch-hiker who seems determined to disprove the old saying that 'beggars can't be choosers'. I also have to dig that foreseeable but still very enjoyable encounter with the crooked car mechanics. And of course, there are still plenty of colourful sight gags on hand to ensure that younger viewers won't be bored.
For anyone familiar with Goofy's luck, the final outcome shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but the central joke of this short that setting out on vacation can be ten times more exhausting than being at work is definitely a good one, and doesn't go to waste.
A Walt Disney GOOFY Cartoon.
The Goof is looking forward to nothing but rest & relaxation during his TWO WEEKS VACATION - if he doesn't become road kill first.
Hapless Goofy encounters all the hazards of the two-lane highway - road hogs, flat tires, dishonest mechanics and rundown auto courts - in this humorous little film. The short sequence with the finicky hobo is quite funny.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & 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 comic 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 storm of naysayers, 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 childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
If you are a fan of Goofy you will love Two Weeks Vacation, it's one of his best shorts. The animation as is nearly always the case with Disney is great, the colours are vibrant, the backgrounds are detailed and the characters are well-drawn. The music again drives the short perfectly with how it synchronises with the action and gags, it also sounds lovely and it has a lot of energy. The sound effects are appropriate and never bizarre, while the narration is funny and educational and is voiced thoughtfully. The gags are imaginative and hilarious too, with the no vacancy signs, the running gag with the trailer and lines like "so long slaves" and "ta ta trailer". There is the odd creepy element too with the dilapidated shack. The story is paced very well, not feeling too over-stretched or too slight, and is the sort that will make you feel sympathy for Goofy, the ending is not the most surprising but amuses still so it doesn't come across as too much of a problem. Goofy is still a great character, instantly likable and comic timing comes naturally to him. And the trailer is a good support character, cute and somewhat annoying but still funny, although its material is basically a running gag it isn't one that wears out its welcome. Overall, a Goofy classic with everything that is so good about Goofy and his shorts evident. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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