Goofy and Wilbur

A Goofy Cartoon

Release Date : March 17, 1939

Running Time : 8:05


Goofy enlist the help of his friend Wilbur, a grasshopper, in a fishing expedition, but then has second thoughts when he realizes that his friend might actually get eaten by a fish.


Wilbur, the Cricket


Dick Heumer
Wolfgang Reitherman
Berny Wolf
Izzy Klein
Ed Love
John Meador
Art Babbitt


United States
On Vacation with Mickey and Friends
Mit Mir Nicht
Goofy und Pluto Total Verrückt
La Collection en Or des Studios Disney Volume 1
Disney Parade 3
Sono Io ... Pippo
Cartoons Disney 6


United States
Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 1


Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 2
On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends
Disney Cartoon Festival 3


United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Goofy
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Alle Lieben Goofy
Tout le Monde aime Goofy
The Fox and the Hound 2
Il Mio Eroe Pippo
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Goofy
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Alla Alskar Langben
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Everybody Loves Goofy


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 25: Goofy Goofs Around
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 46
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 32
Walt Disney Presents: On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : We have finally arrived at the beginning of my favorite series of Disney shorts – the Goofy series. I love Goofy’s cartoons. He’s always been my favorite of the Fab Five, right ahead of Donald. Goofy and Wilbur is the first short where Goofy is featured on his own, and to some degree, shows the difficulty that the studio would have in creating a solo series for him.

In his previous outings, Goofy has been paired with either Mickey and Donald or just Donald to produce a team up short. Although most of his screen time has been solo in those shorts, we’ve not yet seen a Goofy only short. That must have weighed heavily on the animators, because Wilbur the grasshopper is a big part of this short, suitably sharing the billing in the title.

The short focuses on Goofy’s fishing expedition, using his friend Wilbur as bait. It’s not as brutal as it sounds, since Goofy turns loose the very live Wilbur to jump over the water and lure the fish towards the boat. When they do so, Wilbur jumps up and into a net, which he easily slips through. The fish are not so lucky.

This trick is an interesting gag, but what’s nice about the short is that it does not rest on that trick alone. After displaying it once, things are mixed up. A couple of fish collide, a fat fish weighs down the net, and Goofy’s net breaks, leading Wilbur to be swallowed by a particularly deceptive fish.

This is a nice touch, because when we’ve seen good central gags in the past, sometimes there was a tendency for the animators to rest on their laurels and play it over and over again. This way, we get to see Wilbur in a variety of circumstances throughout the first half of the short.

Once we reach the second half, though, things shift over to Goofy. Wilbur gets swallowed by a frog, and Goofy has to come to the rescue. It’s in this part of the short that you see where the animators’ concerns over using the Goof as a central character might have come from.

Goofy’s role in this second part of the short is to basically chase the frog and then the bird that eats the frog. There’s just not much there for him to work with. Some funny bits come when Goofy has to imitate the running patterns of the two animals, but for the most part, it’s just not a standout piece of work.

Goofy works best when he’s confronted with a situation that has an obvious solution, but he can’t figure it out, or when the situation is a normal, everyday task that he takes a roundabout way to complete. This is not one of those situations. However, when you get into the later “How To” shorts, it fits perfectly.

Wilbur returns in the end, the true star of the short. The way he returns, being hatched out of an egg laid by the bird, is a little weird. Not sure how that works! Wilbur is the real star of this short, but it’s a big first step towards establishing Goofy as a solo cartoon star.

From Mac : This cartoon is O.K, but Goofy can be funnier. One thing I noticed is that it seem to be one of the frogs from The Old Mill that eats Wilbur. The grasshopper hatching from the egg is pretty weird - I personally would have found it funny if the stork laid two eggs and once Wilbur hatched from the first, the frog hatched from the second and ate him again!
From Justin Javerson : I didn't like this cartoon very much. The later Goofy cartoons are much better. It sure was a relief for Goofy at the end to see Wilbur hatch out of the stork egg and being okay after he had been swallowed by a frog and then the stork ate the frog, but how the hell did he end up in the egg?
From Ashley Bumble : I loved this short. I liked the way Goofy and Wilbur go fishing. It is so creative.
From E. Penrose : This first solo Goofy short is sweeter than the later ones. The friendship feels real. I can believe that the fishing deal was struck on the spur of the moment, and that Goofy honestly didn't realize that sometimes bait gets eaten. Sentimentality is countered by Wilbur's "tough 'un" pose, and by his being a grasshopper -- not a furry, naturally cute creature. Yet the design has made him a personality, not an animated machine.
From Tim : I had the opportunity to see this non-opus in the venue for which it was designed, a vintage 1940 theater. On the big, big screen the animation is truly lush and lovely... BUUUUUUUUT the story and direction represent the absolute nadir, complete bottom-of-the-barrel of the cloying-Disney saccharine sentimentality, no two-ways about it. I have never-ever in my life been so revolted by such a piece of classic animation! I'm normally a gentle person, but my gut-reaction was a wish to see Goofy tarred and feathered. I simply can't comprehend how Disney lured (and kept for a while) some of the best cartoon talent in the country while belching out such utter drivel. The rapid rise of the smart-aleck Warners and MGM school of cartoons immediately after this Disney-mess may have saved the US from a drop into a bout of mass dementia-praecox.
From Jerry Edwards : This is my favorite of the Goofy shorts. I don't care for the later "How To" shorts. The short does a nice job of showing the friendship of Goofy and Wilbur, with plenty of drama, action and humor included. The animation is very nice, also.
From Ryan : Here it is! Goofy's first solo appearance (well, actually, he's with Wilbur, but I guess that doesn't count since Wilbur isn't a regular Disney character). Goofy and his little grasshopper friend Wilbur are out fishing in a pond (in a NO FISHING area to be exact). Wilbur's job is to tease the fish while Goofy catches them in a net. I liked this cartoon quite a bit and it's better than the "How to" shorts (although I like them quite a bit too). It's one of those few Disney shorts that has several genres-- drama, suspense, humor, etc. One thing that puzzles me, however, is how Wilbur hatched out of that stork egg. He was swallowed by a frog and then the frog was eaten by the stork. Well I guess it's just a cartoon.
From Jeremy : My favorite cartoon. Seriously.
From Baruch Weiss : Goofy is out fishing in a no fishing area with his pet grasshopper Wilbur. Okay for a short but the later Goofy shorts are great, especially the "how to" films.
From Keiran Stones : A very strange short makes for Goofy's first episode in the series.
From Nick : This is perhaps the worst Goofy cartoon ever. I find it too strange to be enjoyable, the friendship is annoying, it unfunny, the directing is abysmal and so is the story. Of course, the animation is very good, but that can't save it.
From Evelin Rosenberg : I gotta say it takes me back when I was young. This happens to be my favorite one of all.
From David Adan : Despite some funny moments (part of the fishing scenes), it's nothing out of ordinary for this kind of animated short.
From Dino Cencia : This Goofy cartoon is good, but it's almost my favorites. Wilbur was swallowed by a frog, and the frog was shallower by a stork. If I had a grasshopper friend and if was friendly like Wilbur and if was swallowed by those animals, I would be sad and mad. But Wilbur came hatched out of the egg and he was back again! I so happy that he was better again. And so was Goofy! I give this cartoon 60 out 60.
From Laura Cross : What do you mean "the worst Goofy cartoon," Nick?!? I love this cartoon! I love it because this is characteristic of many Disney cartoons of the '30's. this is cute and charming as compared to Goofy's "How to" cartoons of the '40's. Those that are fans of Goofy, watch it.

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