Thursday, February 4, 2016

Short Subject: How to Hook up Your Home Theater (2007)

*hugs the short*

I love you.

Seriously I do, right from the opening with the traditional Goofy theme and credits.  After the late 90s and early 2000s shorts stopped using it, it is so nice to hear again.  It so nice to see a full title card and not just a name stuck on a one colour backdrop with an outer glow attached.  It is clear how much love the creative team had for the classic Goofy shorts as it just shines through here.  Not just in fun shout-outs like using backgrounds from the old shorts, ‘How to Play Football’ is the only one I’ve spotted so far although there may be more.  Also seeing Walt Disney’s photo along with Clarabelle cow, Dippy Dawg, and a cartoon version of John Lasseter on Goofy’s shelf is terrific, but also in how the narrator is used.  He gets his classic tone and that dry wit and it’s just so perfect.

That’s not to say it’s all about paying homage to the classics though.  Since it is about Goofy getting a modern home theatre set up I love seeing all that animated, and how Goofy’s personality still fits in perfectly with a more modern world.  He struggles to open the cable packages, and cuts on a hole in his house behind the TV so they’ll fit.  Him throwing the speakers everywhere he can like Cleo’s goldfish bowl and under a couch the immediately breaks.  He wears a sports sweater and hat and yet his house would look perfectly normal next to any of the designs from the old shorts and that contrast is great.      

Really there is nothing I don’t like here.  From the glorious sight of the backgrounds having shading again to the fact that the electronics store is called Shiny Stuff.  From the narrator’s delivery of “any moment now” as Goofy goes from excited to falling asleep using the foam finger as a pillow waiting for the delivery truck, to the explosion of packing peanuts when all the shiny stuff finally arrives.  Then it all ends with an update of the melody and the animators and everyone else all credited in the old 40’s/50’s style.  

For me this how to short is a wonderful return to form, a great combination of love for what came before and still bringing a new modern concept to the work.  I really hope to see this continue for Goofy as the short subject combined with a feature film release is now standard.

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