In this short it's already clear that the fresh director tries to
keep up with the zaniness of the competing Warner Bros. and MGM studio's.
Unfortunately, he's still hampered by the slow, extended character animation
that characterized Goofy in the late thirties. Furthermore, the impossible
still has to be explained by 'magic', as was the case in
Notice that Warner Bros. and MGM characters, like the magician's box,
could materialize objects from nowhere without obvious reference
to magic. Jack Kinney would soon adopt part of the WB/MGM style, producing
the fastest and zaniest cartoons released by Disney in the forties and
fifties. Unfortunately, Baggage Buster
is not one of them.
It would be the first one, in a short that reminded me a great deal of Donald’s Ostrich. Just like in that short, this one takes place on a train platform. In fact, many of the Disney shorts take place on a train platform, now that I think about it. One or two of the Alice shorts did, and one of the first talking Mickey shorts did. But I digress.
Just like Donald’s Ostrich, where Donald was confronted by an unexpected situation at the platform, here Goofy meets his match with a magician’s trunk. The trunk is supposed to be loaded onto the next train, but Goofy, in classic form, accidentally drops it, and the trunk opens.
This short is one that takes the device of the magician’s trunk and uses it to its fullest. The idea is established early on that pretty much anything we can think of will and can come out of the trunk, and from there, it’s open season on Goofy. It starts with a traditional rabbit popping out of a hat, which is fun enough, but goes way further.
That’s something I respect about the animators here, is that this could have been a simple case of taking the rabbit and mixing it up with Goofy. Instead, they worked this short a little more, and took the character to heart. Goofy is not someone who’s going to work well with one thing bothering him and causing frustration, like Donald. He is a character that is easily distracted, so you have to provide him with those distractions to keep him funny.
There are so many gags that come one after the other in this short. A bull pops up out of a handkerchief, a kangaroo appears to start punching Goofy, and a menagerie shows up out of nowhere, disappears back into the trunk then reappears. It all moves quickly, but is very, very funny.
Goofy’s shorts are my favorite of the main Disney characters, and the reason is that I think they are the funniest. Donald’s are quite good, and Mickey’s may be better artistically, but Goofy shorts are just fun. Baggage Busters is a good example of how to use the character without the “How To…” set up. It’s a fun, quickly paced romp that leaves you wanting more.
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Submitted by eutychus