“House of Mouse” – Max’s Embarrassing Date EPISODE REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
It’s date night for Max and Roxanne at the House of Mouse, but Max fears that his dad will get in the way, and so the staff agree to keep Goofy distracted. However, Mickey and his friends do exactly what Max was afraid his dad would do! Can Max overcome to the embarrassment of all the attention?
With “House of Mouse” being a clipshow, the plot I’ve just described is only a quarter of the episode’s runtime, so don’t expect a rich detailed story. The episode’s pattern is basically this: Mickey and his friends try too hard to make the date special, Max hides under the table, and we get a cartoon screened in the theatre – rinse and repeat. Most comedy gags that are used to interfere with the date are just the one joke of “Remember that Disney movie?”.
What makes the episode important though, is that it carries on the romance between Max and Roxanne. “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (2000) completely neglected this plotline, which upset a lot of fans of the original film, and so it’s nice to see the relationship being carried on here – even if it was then later retconned once again in “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas”.
It is quite cute seeing these two stare into each other’s eyes or Max being his usually nervous self around her. However, because the main joke is that Mickey and Co. are being nuisances, their relationship isn’t explored as much as Goofy Movie fans may want. Their date is more of an excuse to setup gags than a chance to develop a fan favourite romance.
What I did like about the episode is Goofy himself. You see, we get the impression that Goofy is back to his old helicopter parenting ways, because he seems so eager to wait for his son’s date. In a great twist though, we learn that Goofy genuinely just wanted to be a good waiter, and had no intention of bothering the couple. Unlike “An Extremely Goofy Movie”, the episode demonstrates that Goofy HAS improved as a parent.
I’ll also admit that it’s cute that Roxanne ends up admitting that this is the best date she’s been on. This was clearly a complete travesty thanks to all the unnecessary fussing, but Roxanne was too into Max to care about any disasters – plus she’s mature enough to realise that these problems are outside of Max’s power.
Although, it does kind of bug me that Max doesn’t have faith in his dad, constantly believing that he’s bound to get in the way of the date. The whole point of his character arc in “A Goofy Movie” is that he comes to trust his father, and the two develop a stronger bond founded on mutual understanding.
Now, you could argue that my complaints don’t matter when the show isn’t canon, but the episode still features beloved “Goofy Movie” characters in it’s story, and a sense of responsibility is sort-of attached to using them. Not to mention, this is the closest we ever get to seeing Roxanne and Max’s romance carrying on, and that makes this a missed opportunity to fill an empty void for fans.
In terms of being a clipshow, this episode includes two cartoons. One short is a cute and funny Pluto story that ties into the episode’s theme of impressing a girl. The other cartoon is a random Goofy skit about riding a bike? Which has nothing at all to do with the episode’s story – besides featuring Max’s dad. Neither cartoon plays an important part in the plot of the date too, and you could easily replace them with ANY other Disney short without any consequences.
To Conclude, this was a passable “House of Mouse” episode about respecting people on dates. However, it’s quite the let down in terms of satisfying fans of “A Goofy Movie”, either offering nothing new or rewinding development entirely. Sometimes it understands the appeal of these characters, but most of the episode is a series of excuses to setup mediocre gags or tired slapstick.
It’s fine for Saturday morning cartoon entertainment, but not entirely meritable as a tribute to “A Goofy Movie” – using these characters I love as vessels for cheaply-animated and not-that-funny content to bridge the gaps of a clipshow. If you want to just see a cute date being frequently ruined by Disney references, then this episode will satisfy you just fine, but others will be left with wanting more.