When it comes to Disney’s animal characters, it’s usually very clear what animal they were meant to be. Goofy seems to be the only one that Disney fans just can’t agree on. Some believe that Goofy is a cow; others say he’s obviously a dog. So, is Goofy a cow or a dog?
It seems that not many questioned the species of the beloved character for many years, but it’s recently become a prevalent debate.
Goofy is a Dog vs. Goofy is a Cow
You may be wondering how the species of the Goofy character could be questioned. Many believe that Goofy is a dog that has human features, while others believe that the inspiration for this Disney character was a particular breed of Scottish Cow.
Both have convincing arguments to support their theory on what species Walt Disney intended for Goofy to be.
The Argument Supporting Goofy is a Dog
The main argument behind Goofy being a dog is that he has many features of the canine family and is drawn similarly to Pluto. For example, he has the same ears, nose, and snout as Pluto, meaning Goofy is simply an anthropomorphic dog.
An anthropomorphic dog is a dog that has human traits and emotions, which seems to clarify why Goofy isn’t the same as Pluto. This theory could also explain why he would have those big buck teeth instead of canine teeth.
The Argument Supporting Goofy is a Cow
One of the most common arguments that suggest Goofy is a cow is that Disney always creates same species couples, and Goofy has always been infatuated with Clarabelle Cow. Since you can easily tell that Clarabelle Cow is a cow. So, if Goofy and Clarabelle Cow are a couple, it makes Goofy a cow, not a dog.
It’s also commonly pointed out that Goofy’s pet is Pluto, who is unmistakably a dog. So, if Goofy is a dog, it would be as absurd as a human keeping another human being as a pet for Goofy to have a fellow member of the canine family as a pet.
Much like the comparison of Goofy and Clarabelle, the physical differences between Pluto and Goofy are also very noticeable. It’s clear that Pluto is a dog, so if Goofy is a dog, why does he look so much different from Pluto?
Analyzing the Evidence Throughout Goofy’s History
You can also find evidence to support both sides as you look back over the years as the Goofy character evolves into the Goofy that we know today.
When the popular character first appeared in 1932, he was a side character known as Dippy Dawg in Mickey’s Revue. In this cartoon, he was simply depicted as a dog with human features. While he looked like a dog, he walked upright and had a speaking voice.
This version of Goofy also shows him having a tail.
The name Dippy Dawg on its own seems to imply that Goofy is a dog. Aside from that, his features look much more like that of the canine family than modern Goofy.
George g. Geef
In the ’50s, Goofy was portrayed as a human character named George E. Geef, who was your average husband and father. This instance also gives him an official name and suggests that Goofy is only his nickname.
This cartoon was also a significant milestone for Goofy, making him the first Disney character to have a child.
This version of Goofy clarifies that he is an anthropomorphic dog.
Goofy’s Awkward Years
After starting as Mr. Geef, Goofy’s career in feature films seemed to go downhill. He was no longer starring in big pictures and mostly appeared in short Goofy cartoons—the most popular being his how-to films.
However, Disney fans kept him close to their hearts and continued buying his merchandise. This could be what convinced the Disney Establishment to give him another shot, which wasn’t a mistake.
He quickly regained his popularity and went on to star in many other Walt Disney films, including “Goof Troop,” “A Goofy Movie,” and “An Extremely Goofy Movie.”
In these films, it still seems clear that he belongs to the canine family and is not a cow.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
All of the changes to the original Goofy from Dippy Dawg brought us the Goofy currently on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with his friends Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse also stars Goofy’s love interest, Clarabelle Cow. The relationship between Goofy and Clarabelle is where many really started to suggest that Goofy could be a cow.
However, the argument that Disney characters don’t have love interests outside of their species isn’t always valid. In “Who Framed Roger Rabbit, we see a cartoon human (Jessica Rabbit) have a rabbit husband. We’ve also witnessed the complicated relationship between Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog in the Muppet cartoon.
So, if other Disney characters have on-screen chemistry with a character that wasn’t their species, Goofy and Clarabelle doesn’t really indicate that Goofy is not a dog. It more so brings us to the conclusion that Goofy is not a cow.
If not a cow, you’d think it would be safe to assume Goofy is a dog. Surprisingly, that isn’t exactly the case, either. If not a dog or a cow, then what is Goofy?
Goofy’s Species Confirmed (By an Official Source)
Since the debate had gone on for so long without an official answer, Yahoo Entertainment interviewed the voice actor that’s voiced Goofy since 1987. The truth they discovered in this interview with Bill Farmer was a shock to those on both sides of the debate.
He clears the air by voiding the assumption that Goofy is a dog and elaborates by stating, “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.”