Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Goofy vs Pluto Explained

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[J] Hey, brother!

Ben, you know something that used to always bother me?

If Goofy and Pluto are both dogs,

then why is one of them Mickey's friend, and the other one his pet?

(Intro music)

[J and Ben] Hey, brother!

[J] Classic case of all animals being equal, but some animals being more equal than others, am I right?

Seriously, am I right? I'm not quite sure if I'm giving that quote right.

Ah, the Sensational Six!

If you don't know, that is the name given to Disney's most core, original, elite, and famous characters:

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto.

Poor Goofy, though!

I mean, the group is made up of two mice, two ducks, and two dogs, but not all the pairs match up so well.

Mickey and Donald both get girlfriends, while Goofy on the other hand, is a widower,

and the other dog, Pluto, can't walk or talk and isn't even his pet!

Although, I guess maybe that would be weird for a dog to have another dog as a pet, I

Actually, fun story about my experience with the Sensational Six;

When Ben and I were kids, we got to go to Disney World once,

and one of the things I loved was getting autographs from all different characters,

and my goal by the end of the week

was to meet and get autographs from Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto.

And we have gotten to the end of the week, and we still hadn't met Goofy!

And we were like, exiting the park, and I remember just, lamenting to our dad how,

"Huh, I guess we're not going to meet Goofy."

And then, like magic, my dad just goes, "Yes we are, look!" And he had like, spotted him

50 yards away, and I was like, "*gasp*!"

It was so cool, like, as we were leaving the park for the final day and we got to meet him.

Ah, loved it. Great way to end the trip!

That being said, for years, I wasn't even sure what Goofy was supposed to be.

I assumed dog, that's what he most resembled, but

then, there was Pluto, and Pluto was definitely a dog, and Goofy and Pluto were definitely

very different from each other, so...

What was Goofy?

Well, he is a dog, but the reason the two are so different, and yet, still part of the same group,

really just stems from how each character got their start.

Within the early days of Disney Animation, there are basically two kinds of characters;

Either "animals," or "funny animals."

And, yes, that is the actual term: Funny animals.

And "funny animals" are still around today. It's basically just any animal that lives and acts like a human.

Typically, they are bipedal, they wear clothes, they can talk, they can have jobs, maybe drive cars,

and they might retain some aspects of the species they represent, but

for all intents, and purposes, should just be considered human.

The other characters, the regular animals, are just that.

Regular animals, and should be thought of as such.

So, for example, Pluto's first ever appearance was in a short cartoon called "The Chain Gang," in which

Mickey Mouse is a convict and escapes from prison, and

I'm sorry, are we talking about the right character?

After Mickey escapes, the guards try to track him down using blood hounds, and thus,

Pluto's first appearance is made, but of course, in that situation, he's just a dog.

In fact, I'm not even sure if he had a name at that point.

Then, the next time we see him is as the pet of Minnie, who brings him along on a picnic date with Mickey,

but at that point, they weren't calling him Pluto yet, they were calling him "Rover."

Also, I feel we should point out that he was subject to some very questionable pet ownership.

Ah, remember that time when Mickey dragged Pluto behind his car by his leash? *chuckle*

I'm serious, are we talking about the right character?

So, imagine if you will, if we, the Super Carlin Brothers, existed back in the 1930's.

I'm sure we, at that point, would've considered Pluto's appearance in that cartoon as something of an Easter egg.

Like, "Oh my god, did you notice that they used the same model from that blood hound thing,

when Mickey was the convict, and then they put him in this one with Minnie?"

The reason animators would do something like that is because

rather than having to recreate a brand new character, it's easier to just use existing models in your new cartoons,

especially when they're not already a developed character. It's just,

"We needed a dog, so, hey, we've already got a dog!"

It wasn't until his next appearance in 1931 in "Moose Hunt With Mickey,"

where he finally became Mickey's pet, and donned the name, "Pluto," and it's been that way ever since.

And naturally, as the pet of Disney's most famous character, he rose in popularity, as well.

But as you can see, right out of the gate, he was never really anything more than just Mickey's pet.

And that brings us to Goofy.

Goofy made his first appearance in 1932 in "Mickey's Revue" as Dippy Dog.

And while Goofy's overall appearance would change and become more polished over time,

that first short was responsible for introducing his signature laugh, which is still around today.

[Clip of Goofy's laugh from "Mickeys Revue"]

And if you ask me, it's like the only funny part of that cartoon at all, and probably why the character stuck around, so, good job!

Credit for the voice and laugh of Goofy actually goes to a guy named Pinto Colvig,

who actually had a big falling out with Disney in 1939, but at that point,

the character was so popular that Disney couldn't just drop him.

Instead, they created this whole new "How To" series, where

Goofy would sort of fumble through different every-day activities, like baseball, or golf, or swimming,

and there was a humorous narrator, but Goofy himself didn't have to do any talking.

And I only bring up that little series, because it started in 1939, and it's actually still around today.

The last one did come out in 2007, but I remember seeing it in theaters

weirdly before "National Treasure 2" for some reason, I don't know. But it was

"How to Hook Up a Home Entertainment System," and it is hilarious.

I totally recommend you look that up after you watch this video.

But anyway, much like Pluto, "Dippy Dog" eventually got the name change to Goofy, but

when that happened is a little less clear.

Goofy started appearing in trio cartoons with Mickey and Donald in 1935,

but then there's this book called "Dippy the Goof" that came out in 1938, so,

not quite sure when he officially became Goofy.

Either way though, the important takeaway is that there was never really any

grand plan by Disney for the Sensational Six to be the Sensational Six.

Disney had a lot of different characters and all of them were introduced at different times,

and their popularity sort of dictated whether or not they stuck around.

And it just so happened that they ended up with two dogs,

one anthropomorphic and one not.

It makes sense in its own kind of way, but it does still make me wonder,

why, if they wanted to have regular animals,

why didn't they just have humans instead of "funny" animals?

The answer to that question is, uh...

...racey, ah?

No, wait. Hold on, that joke doesn't make sense yet. Wait for it.

So, when you're working with just black and white cartoons and only have the two colors to work with,

typically, the eyes of your characters are white.

Which means in order to cause contrast so you can see the eyes, the rest of the face would need to be black.

But if you do that with a human character, you end up with "blackface."

See, racey? Told you it would make sense. Hilarious, right?

And predictably, blackface, not super socially acceptable.

But if you make the characters animals, then you can do that because it's not black skin, it's just like black fur or hair.

Plus, in addition to not representing any specific race or ethnicity,

having animals instead of people is just more kid friendly, which makes them more marketable in the long run.

Although, on that note, Dippy Dog was originally described by his creator as...

"A gullible, good samaritan; a half-wit, a shiftless good-natured colored boy, and a hick."

So, you can interpret that however you want to.

But anyway, that is why Mickey has both a dog friend and a dog pet.

Ben, my question for you and everyone else is, who is your favorite member of the Sensational Six?

Personally, I would probably have to say mine is Goofy,

solely because of "The Goofy Movie" and the much underrated "Extremely Goofy Movie."

Let me know your thoughts in the Towel Section down below.

These socks are amazing!

Guys, thanks for watching, as always. Please like the video if you haven't already,

and subscribe so you don't miss any future videos about the history of Disney.

If you would like to see why Mickey Mouse is actually also Kevin from "Up," I recommend you check out this video,

and if you want to see the other mouse that saved Disney, I recommend this one,

The Mouse Who Saved Disney.

But Ben, that's all I've got for you today, man. I will see you in another life, brother.

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