Friday, January 15, 2016

Short Subject: How to Play Baseball (1942)

Goofy plays baseball.

And I love it!  This one along with ‘Tennis Racquet’ is up there as my favourite Goofy sports short.  I watched this one a ton as a kid and it still holds up today.  The first thing I find interesting here is that there is no main character that Goofy plays.  He himself isn’t learning the sport and there’s no Swivel hips Smith or Bertino and Ferguson here either, just Goofy in every role. 

That’s great because it allows the audience to basically be the student of the game.  I really enjoy the x-ray shots used with the ball and the shoes and building up of the baseball field as the narrator describes the game, something I don’t usually see in the other how to shorts.  And of course there are still various gags like following the players on the diagram were the runner is “safe or out or either or nether or both.  Simple isn’t it?”. The different types of pitches are also fun to watch, but my favourite part of all is the World Series game at the end.

This part is great because it’s got tension, fun gags, and the narrator is excited!  His voice builds in excitement as the players load the bases and the final pitch is made.  The great combination of that, the sounds of the crowd, the ball literally unraveling and it’s a sprint for home plate it’s all pitch perfect.  Even the whole game devolving into a brawl at the end after umpire call works.  There’s  also a certain irony too in the ending with the narrator saying baseball will always be that great American game considering these days it’s been replaced by football.

For me this is a top notch short and one of my personal favourites.    

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