George Geef returns to the screen in Cold War, wherein Goofy takes on the common cold. In case you’ve forgotten, George Geef is Goofy’s “human” persona, where he takes on the characteristics of a typical suburbanite to show the humor inherent in every day situations. It’s Goofy’s latest evolution to being the “common man” that can demonstrate this kind of humor. What’s more relatable than the common cold?
There is a ton of truth in this short, to the point that it makes it less funny than a normal Goofy short. That is not a criticism, as it’s a more subtle humor than we are used to from Goofy. If you watched his last short, Home Made Home, which was full of slapstick gags, then went to this one, you’d be in for a surprise. It’s almost a completely different character. George Geef is us, whereas Goofy is the guy we always laugh at when he messes up. It’s a small but important difference.
This short focuses on the immense discomfort that a cold causes in all of us when it comes on suddenly. We get to see the trial of trying to swallow a cold pill when your throat is swollen shut from a cold. We see the inability to get warm, stay cool or either when you suffer from a horrid fever. And we see the lack of concern from Geef’s wife transfer immediately into overdrive to help, becoming an annoyance in the process. We have all been there before.
It’s the exaggeration of these every day moments that makes the short so entertaining. The pill gag is not my favorite, but it’s definitely something I can relate to. I’ve definitely been sick before and tried to get others to understand that to no avail. Not my wife, mind you, who’s a delightful woman and lets me sleep when I’m sick, but co-workers and others. It’s one of those shorts that cuts close to home and touches the viewer in a different place.
In the end, Cold War comes off well, but it’s not the uproariously funny Goofy short that the “How To” shorts provided. It’s a more mature short, that relies on the viewer being a grown up. This one is not one we will see replayed on Disney Channel or online, because it’s not relatable for kids, since they don’t go to work or deal with wives. For the rest of us, though, it’s a fun distraction from the daily grind that George Geef deals with, just like we do.