Max Almost Had Some Serious Competition In A Goofy Movie

Kevin Lima's "A Goofy Movie" usually isn't listed as part of the Disney Renaissance. The film "wasn't even a B movie. It was a C movie," as Don Hahn (a producer on "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King") recalled to Vanity Fair in honor of the movie's 25th anniversary in 2020. Much of the film's animation was outsourced to Disney Animation's smaller outlets in Paris and Australia, as well as non-Disney studios in Canada and Spain. The whole thing might've been scrapped, too, had it not already been greenlit by the head of Disney's film division, Jeffrey Katzenberg, just prior to his departure in the mid-1990s.

I bring all this up not to trash "A Goofy Movie" (I would never!), but to point out how ironic it is this "C movie" would go on to develop a passionate following, rivaling those for any of the Disney Renaissance hits. Powered — check that, power-lined — by its amazing soundtrack, Lima's film is both a riotous road trip comedy as well as a touching story about a father and his son reconnecting at a point when they couldn't be further apart emotionally. It also acts as an amusing time capsule of the '90s, from the fashion trends to the parents being weirdly concerned with the idea of their kids joining a gang (I swear this was a real thing).

Another decidedly '90s aspect of the film is the presence of Joey Lawrence as the voice of Chad. The character only makes a few short appearances in "A Goofy Movie" but was once meant to play a far larger role in its story.

Not today, Chad

As a kid actor, Joey Lawrence got his start at Disney voicing Oliver in "Oliver & Company," the studio's animated "Oliver Twist" re-imagining from 1988. He'd go on to make a name for himself on the sitcom "Blossom," complete with his own catchphrase: "Whoa!" Lawrence would also star with his youger siblings Andrew and Matthew Lawrence in the 1990s sitcom "Brotherly Love," a show that later aired in syndication on the Disney Channel. Joey and Andrew Lawrence also starred in the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie "Horse Sense" in 1999, on top of lending their voices to Disney's animated series "Recess" around that same time.

Point being, it was hard for anyone even remotely into Disney in the '90s to not have an inkling of who Joey Lawrence was. He had a real himbo charm as an actor, enough so you could see why Kevin Lima would cast him to voice Chad, a teenager whom the director described on Twitter as Max's "opponent for Roxanne's affection" in an early version of the plot for "A Goofy Movie" (in the final product, Chad only briefly chats with Roxanne right before the "Stand Out" sequence).

All things considered, it's probably for the best Chad (and his magnificent crop-top) got reduced to a minor player. A love triangle between Max, Chad, and Roxanne would've only distracted from the emotional core of the film, which is Goofy and Max repairing their relationship. What's more, it wouldn't have added anything of value to Max and Roxanne's romance. The entire point of this sub-plot is Max needs to learn to let go of his insecurities and realize the people who matter in his life will like him because of his quirks (such as the distinct laugh he inherited from his father), not in spite of them.

Clearly, Kevin Lima saw eye-to-eye with me on this issue. I'll excuse myself out now.