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Chosen One of the Day: Max Goof, Disney's Everyteen

By Clare McBride

While many Disney protagonists are teenagers, they tend to be mature beyond their years. Ariel might sound spoiled when she declares, “I’m sixteen, Daddy!” But she, like the rest of her cohort, are strong of mind and heart. When you’re a kid, this is inspirational stuff, but it’s not particularly relatable—Frozen’s Anna is adorkable, but she will also beat wolves to death with a stick so help her God.

This is where one Maximilian Goof steps in.

Max is Disney’s Everyteen (circa the mid to late '90s), self-conscious and awkward. Compounding matters, to quote what I assume was the single sentence pitch for Goof Troop, his dad is Goofy, so Max cannot escape the fact he was born to hyuck. Despite Goofy’s best efforts as a single parent (I pray that Lady Goofy is dead because I cannot deal with someone divorcing Goofy), Max is struggling with his dad’s overbearing parenting style and general… goofiness.

The opening number to Max’s first cinematic turn in A Goofy Movie, “After Today,” perfectly captures that teenage state where you swing wildly between debilitating insecurity and overblown confidence within the space of minutes. Max starts off strong, determined to reverse his reputation as a goof until he bumps into his crush Roxanne on the street. After she misses his little wave, he crumbles, until remembering he just needs to deliver “some positive proof that he’s not just a goof.” That proof? Crashing a school assembly in full cosplay as the pop star Powerline.

Let me rephrase that: in his quest to make Roxanne aware of his existence, Max sees his only options as “send a signal so subtextual as to not even exist” or “lipsync for your life!” This is so emblematic of the emotional extremes of adolescence that I, personally, feel dragged. So let the other Disney teens save the day and all that stuff; Max is the Disney teen who actually feels like a teen.

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