Is Goofy a Dog?
The Cover Up: Goofy Is Not a Dog
If you are a fan of Disney, then you have probably seen Goofy—the lovable but clumsy comic relief in Disney's cast of characters. But what is Goofy? Is Goofy a real dog?
The beloved, clumsy character was born in 1932. His original name was Dippy Dawg, and in 1938 he appeared in a book titled The Story of Dippy the Goof. In 1939, he officially changed his name to "Goofy" after starring in the animated film "Goofy and Wilbur."
The name change was a genius marketing move for Goofy as he has become one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time and a member of Mickey Mouse's inner circle.
But What Animal Is Goofy?
Goofy has always been thought of as an anthropomorphic dog or a "dog with human features"—according to Disney's Mouselinks. However, what the Disney establishment isn't telling you is that goofy is really a cow. To be specific, an Aberdeen Angus cow, a fact that Disney would love to cover-up considering that Goofy's national origin is anything but American.
In 1939, with American nationalism at a historic high, Goofy's true heritage could have created a huge scandal for Disney—a scandal that would have finished Goofy's career just as it was starting to take off.
The Origin of Goofy
What Species Is He? The Physical Evidence
The physical evidence of Goofy's bovine heritage is obvious. His buck teeth are flat—a characteristic of a herbivore. His cow nose and flaring nostrils are larger than that of a dog (and more like that of a cow). And remember: He comes from a hornless breed of cattle, so it is not unusual that he does not horns.
Goofy's Cow Heritage Revealed
Goofy's full name is 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 by up-and-coming cartoon comic, Mickey Mouse.
Once back at Disney headquarters, Dipalwa underwent extensive training. The Disney team worked with Goofy on English but could not entirely eliminate his accent. To solve the "problem," Disney trained him to adopt his trademark voice to cover up hints of his heritage.
The Days of Dippy Dawg
The Disney marketing team saw that the American public thought of dogs as lovable and thought of cows as food. Looking to induce laughs and not appetites, the Disney team decided that they would market him as a dog and shorten his name to Dippy Dawg.
Although Dippy gained some fans with his debut book The Story of Dippy the Goof, the response was underwhelming. The lack of interest left the Disney team split on Goofy's future.
They decided to try one last time by changing Dippy's name to Goofy and gave him a starring role in the 1939 film "Goofy and Wilbur." Goofy was a hit. After starring in his own series of "how to" films such as "How to Be a Rock Star" and "The Art of Skiing," this star seemed to be on the rise.
The Dark Years: Goofy's True Identity Concealed
Goofy's career hung in the balance in the 1950s with the birth of his son, Max. While Goofy's screen persona was that of a dog, he could not deny his bovine heritage. One day after filming, he met his true love, Clarabelle Cow. Clarabelle was an actress on the rise at Disney but saw Goofy for what he was: a handsome Angus bull stud. Goofy was enamored with his new girlfriend, and at the height of their romance, their son Max was born.
The Disney team was outraged. The Walt Disney company was on a roll producing hit movies and planning to open a theme park in the 60s. They could ill afford to have a scandal that not only revealed that Goofy had a calf out of wedlock, but one that also revealed his true identity. If the truth was exposed, the public's trust would be violated and the lines to buy tickets to the Disney blockbusters would dwindle.
Goofy was quickly cast with his son and a dog-wife in the short series, "Mr. Geef." After the failure of "Mr. Geef," Goofy was taken out of feature films and reduced to an actor in film shorts. Once a headliner, Goofy films were now only being seen during previews and intermissions. Although his merchandise sales remained strong, Goofy decided to take more of a production role with the Disney team and spend time with his young family.
In the 1990s, Goofy was back on the small screen with the introduction of "The Goof Troop" TV series. Goofy was delighted. He was able to spend time with his son and co-star, Max, and did not have to hide their relationship. Goofy, Max, and Clarabelle were allowed to be together on set. Things finally seemed to be getting easier for the Angus cow family. There was even talk of giving Clarabelle the role of Goofy's dog-wife, Cuddles.
The entire family was going to be on screen again until Clarabelle was suddenly stricken with mad cow disease. Clarabelle's illness forced the cancellation of "Goof Troop" so that Goofy could spend time with his ailing companion. Despite great risk to his own health, Goofy spent day and night with his love, Clarabelle. It was said that Goofy was often up at all hours of the night chewing cud and waiting for Clarabelle's fever to break.
Miraculously, after weeks in bed, Clarabelle recovered but not before their son Max was stricken with the terrible disease. In 2000, Max lost his battle with mad cow disease on a farm in Northern Scotland. Goofy was devastated and most feared he would never return to acting again.
Goofy and Clarabelle: Chains of Love Fandub
In 2006, Goofy and Clarabelle were offered roles on the new series "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." Clarabelle was cast as a cow, but Goofy was still playing the half-dog half-human character he made famous over a 70-year career.
Goofy and Clarabelle live happily in the Florida panhandle during shooting but return home to Scotland in the off season. You can see Goofy and Clarabelle in the mornings on Disney Junior. The Disney channel also re-runs his classic "How to" shorts between episodes of the Disney Junior programs.
One Giant Conspiracy?
Goofy's love interest in the Mickey Mouse clubhouse is Clarabelle Cow. The on-screen chemistry is obvious. Disney often couples characters of the opposite sex with the same species: both Mickey and Mini Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck follow this pattern. So why would the writers at Disney have Goofy and Clarabelle Cow coupled up? Could it be an attempt to reward the cattle couple for their years of loyalty to the Disney brand?
Is this just a conspiracy theory or an extensive cover-up in the Disney corporation reaching all the way to the top? Has the lovable mouse been the mastermind behind the cattle controversy? Is Goofy a dog? You be the judge.