A beloved member of Disney’s fab-five, Goofy has proved one of Disney’s most enduring and popular characters. After 85 years, though, fans continue to wonder: What is he exactly? A dog? A cow? A wolf?
Originally appearing in 1932 Mickey’s Revue, Goofy is cited as a “tall, anthropomorphic dog” (yes, we said a “dog,” but that’s up for debate) with a Southern drawl who first came onto the animation scene under the name Dippy Dawg. Eventually, the name was shifted to Goofy after the 1939 cartoon “Goofy and Wilbur” was released.
Goofy was created with human features, walking upright and speaking, unlike another dog member of the fab five, Pluto. However, these features have caused one of the primary challenges in defining Goofy’s species. When you start giving funny animals human characteristics, including personal and romantic lives, this is only bound to confuse. In the 1940s films, for instance, he had a wife and son, who made things more complicated by looking almost entirely human themselves.
Goofy’s Secret Origins Unveiled?
There’s no official evidence to the validity of this claim, but ReelRundown claims that Goofy is actually a character by the name of Dipalwa Dawala.
“Born in Scotland, Dipalwa is the son of Egyptian immigrants and comes from a long line of hornless cattle called Aberdeen-Angus cattle. Dipalwa came from a meager beginning and was discovered by Disney talent scouts during a livestock sale in Scotland. The talent scouts noticed his raucous laugh and clumsy charm and convinced him to travel with them to America to be a part of a comedy team headed up by up and coming cartoon comic, Mickey Mouse. The Disney marketing team saw the American public thought of dogs as lovable and thought of cows as food. Looking to induce laughs and not appetites. Disney team decided they would market him as a dog and shorten his name to Dippy Dawg.”
Disney’s Naming Scheme Reveals the Truth
If you boil down the original naming scheme for all of Disney’s original characters; Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Clara Cluck, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar – and the original, Dippy Dawg, it’s pretty obvious what Disney’s intended origin for Goofy was in the beginning. While Goofy has had many names over the years, the original naming scheme seems to make the most sense.
So, What About Pluto?
The biggest argument against Goofy being a dog is the relationship between his character and Pluto, an obviously intended dog. It boils down to one, simple thing – Goofy is anthropomorphized with human features and characteristics. And Pluto, as heartwarming as he is, is not developed in that way, making him always seem more true to his dog origins and thus being written in cartoons as such. Goofy, without this character definition, would not be Goofy and could not have the hare-brained schemes, complex relationships or even the storylines to support his character.
No Official Evidence, Let Goofy Be Goofy
Even the Disney website isn’t taking a stance on what Goofy is exactly and here’s no official point-of-reference from them anywhere online or in historical archives that we could uncover. (If you happen to find one, let us know.) However, we feel strongly that the evidence presented shows that Goofy was intended to be a dog and that is going to be our official take on the matter. But, Goofy can just be Goofy at the end of the day – because horse, cow, wolf, dog, whatever – we love him all the same!
What do you think Goofy is?
Leave a comment below and let us know.