The Disney voice actor behind the beloved Goofy has confirmed that the character is not a dog – despite popular belief.
First appearing in 1932 as ‘Dippy Dawg’ and known as one of Mickey Mouse’s closest friends, the iconic character is recognisable for his signature look: a turtle neck, vest, white gloves, and hat.
In his near-100-year history, most people have thought of Goofy as a dog.
But someone who knows the character very well has dismissed this claim.
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Previously, it has been speculated that Goofy is a cow – due to his on/off-again romance with the similarly-proportioned Clarabelle Cow.
But this was proven false. Many famous cartoon couples – including Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog – are inter-species couples, as per Snopes.
But, in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Bill Farmer – who has been the voice of Goofy since 1987 – dismissed this.
When asked by the outlet if Goofy was a dog, he immediately responded: “He is not a dog.”
He then refers to Mickey’s pet, Pluto – who is a dog – and doesn’t have any of the human-like qualities that Goofy does.
Farmer continues: “Pluto is a dog, but Goofy seems to be in the canine family in the same way that a wolf is not a dog, but they also are in the canine family. I think Canis Goofus is the technical Latin term for what Goofy is. He’s just Goofy.”
In his interview with the outlet, he revealed that Goofy was always his favourite character growing up and that his affection with Disney helped shape his career.
“I grew up doing voices,” Famer shares. “And I loved cartoons. I always practised the voices and became a stand-up comic impressionist for about five years before moving to LA.”
For his first audition for Disney, he actually went for the role of Mickey Mouse – a role he thought he did pretty well.
“I can’t do Donald Duck very well. But Goofy was right in the wheelhouse. They liked that one, and since 1987 I’ve been the official voice,” he adds.
He got his big break as Goofy in the TV special, Doggone Valentine, but he really got to put his own spin on the character on the show Goof Troop.
The series re-introduced the iconic character as the well-meaning, but decidedly awkward single father of a son named Max.
Goof Troop was well received among fans that it spawned the 1995 spin-off film A Goofy Movie – where Farmer got to show off his musical chops as he sang the film’s two biggest songs ‘On the Open Road’ and ‘Nobody Else but You’.
In his interview with Yahoo, Farmer shared that his son was only five years old when he started recording his lines for the film and he drew from his own experiences of being a father for the movie.
He also shared that, to this day, he gets approached by viewers who share their own connection with Goofy and Max’s relationship.
He explained: “So many people have told me that they didn’t get along with my dad, but could understand their dad because of the way Max understood Goofy.
“They don’t have to see eye to eye all the time, but they still love each other. I’m really grateful that people have kept it as one of their favourites and it still is after all this time.”
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“I got the sense that this is a little more heart, a little bit more of an intimate portrayal of what Goofy is like inside than we’d ever done before.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Farmer also shared his thoughts on another long-running conspiracy theory surrounding who exactly the mother of his child was.
“We don’t know who [Max’s] mother was,” Farmer jokes.
“I have my own theories: I think Goofy was married to Jessica Rabbit before Roger.”