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Life lessons from “An Extremely Goofy Movie”

With their groovy soundtracks, classic Disney humor and entertaining plot lines, it’s understandable how Disney’s “A Goofy Movie” and its sequel, “An Extremely Goofy Movie,” have gained vast popularity. And no Disney cartoon would be complete without golden wisdom woven between the dialogue of its quirky characters. As a college student, I can see how Max and Goofy can teach us not just about our school years, but also life in general.

Let’s take a look at five life lessons that made “An Extremely Goofy Movie” an endearing story to children and adults alike.

1) Branching out to new people is important, but doesn’t require ditching your old friends.

Upon arriving to college, the rag-tag trio of skateboarders, Max, P.J. and Bobby, are in awe of their college’s champion skateboarding group, the “Gamma Mu Mu” fraternity. With a name like that, I can’t blame Max for being tempted to join after being exclusively invited by the group’s esteemed leader, Bradley Uppercrust.


From Disney


However, Max displays impressive maturity and loyalty when he stands by his true friends instead. The trio then works together to qualify for the X Games, a testament to the beauty of teamwork.


2) Your time in school is limited, but learning continues after the diploma.

I know, I know, this one sounds like it belongs on a cheesy motivational poster in a high school cafeteria. But take heed, the importance of lifelong learning is two-fold: answering questions in class is important, but so is questioning your own life. Goofy goes back to school to get the degree he needs for a job, but learns a lot about life through his changing relationship with Max and new relationship with Sylvia. Meanwhile, Max and his friends must learn all they can in four years, but still take the time to venture out to a poetry slam and ponder life’s questions.


goofy movie.gif

Gif from Fem Burton


3) Friendship can form anytime, anywhere.

Goofy first meets his future girlfriend while at the library, and Max and his friends get to know Mocha Chino after seeing her perform in a coffee shop. By keeping yourself open to others, you can form connections even in the most unexpected places.

goofy dance.gif

Gif from fancysomedisneymagic

4) Communication is key.

This one comes up quite a bit. Max panics after seeing Goofy in his lecture since he was unaware of his dad’s plans, and at one point Goofy fails to inform Sylvia that he can’t make their date. But let’s not be too hard on Goofy — in both cases, he simply got overwhelmed and forgot to keep others in the loop. He does the right thing, though, as he does his best to get along with Max and visits Sylvia to apologize the next day.

All in all, taking time out of hectic situations to talk with those close to you is important to avoid conflict or unwanted surprises like this:

surprised max.gif

Gif from Wifflegif

5) When challenge arrives, you can either conquer or be conquered.

Throughout the movie, Goofy experiences victory, but not without hardship. After having an argument with Max, Goofy allows his emotions to consume him, causing him to forget about his date with Sylvia, and fail his exam the next day. He even considers leaving school. However, Goofy eventually digs deep and builds the determination to get things going again. He quits the Gamma Mu Mu team as his membership was causing tension between him and Max, reconciles with Sylvia, and studies hard to achieve all A’s on his following exams.

From Disney

In the end, Goofy and Max achieve their respective goals, but not without a story of trial and error. This portrayal of life rings true. There will always be challenges, including common ones like seeking new friendships without leaving the old, and maintaining said friendships with keen communication. We can step away from this movie knowing that ultimately, we can sort through the chaos of life as long as we keep our determination to succeed and will to learn new things along the way.

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