Season 5, Episode 8: “Outta Time” 2/23/19
Starring: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy
Costarring: Ludwig Von Drake
Setting: Hall of Science and Primeval World
Plot: After Goofy accidentally travels back in time and manipulates the course of history, Mickey and Donald are tasked with rescuing him and the world.
This is the series’ seventh, seven-minute extended episode.
Among the inventions in the Hall of Science are the Atomic Sandwich Splitter, the Seismic Agitator, the Liquefier 9,000, and the Time Machine.
“Everytime we come here, something bad happens to me...” This is in reference to Donald’s many mishaps during his visits to the Hall of Science. The first occurence, in “Down the Hatch” (S2, E5), Mickey and Goofy get shrunken down and travel through Donald’s innards. The second instance has Ludwig Von Drake accidentally splitting Donald into two diametrically opposed personalities in “Split Decision” (S3, E9).
This episode also uses the same intro music from the aforementioned HoS shorts.
Donald getting his posterior lasered off isn’t the greatest gag in the world. However, having it serve as the episode’s ultimate punchline does provide a sort of meta commentary on Donald’s recurring role as the “butt of the joke.”
Ludwig using a chalkboard to explain the complications of time travel to Mickey and Donald is evocative of Doc Brown giving a similar, manic lecture in Back to the Future Part II (1989).
The images in Ludwig’s history book, as well as the ensuing trip to prehistoric times, undoubtedly draws inspiration from Disneyland’s The World According to Goofy Parade (1992). As a celebration of his 60th birthday, the parade featured Goofy as various different historical creatures and figures - most notably, a caveman, a dinosaur, and a sphinx. Even more fitting, Ludwig himself kicks off the parade standing upon a float fashioned after a stack of books.
Taking a closer look at the page accompanying the picture of Goofacles reveals a similar story to that of the Battle of Thermopylae. Except, instead of the 300 Spartans fighting to their ultimate death, Goofacles unites the warring factions through the goodwill of inventing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
The idea of Goofy cavemen isn’t new. A similar clan, albeit less hostile and chimplike, cameoed in “Good Sports” (S3, E20). If you want to go back even further, “cavegoofs” also appeared in classic shorts The Art of Self Defense (1941) and How to be a Sailor (1944).
Final Grade: A
Personally, I love it when a short takes its cues from Disneyland history - especially when it’s a deeper cut from an otherwise marginal and oft forgotten piece like the World According to Goofy Parade. That’s one of my favourite things about these shorts. They are all surface level enough to provide laughs and entertainment value to the most casual of Disney fans while still offering bread crumbs to depths of history that only weirdos and obsessive freaks (like myself) would catch onto.
However, at the heart of the whimsy of imprinting himself on history lies the darkness of Goofy’s Kurtz-like dissent into going native and forgetting one’s self. Luckily, a cocksure Mickey and a reluctant Donald are more-or-less up to the task of saving their friend. A highlight of this is when Donald, in a rare standout moment, disregards Mickey’s elaborate planning and boldly and decisively takes matters into his own hands by grabbing Goofy and carrying him up and out of the Primeval World. This caps a climactic sequence of volcanoes erupting with the cavegoofs giving chase before ultimately getting back to the time machine and traveling back to present day.