How to Be a Sailor
Studio: Disney Release Date : January 28, 1944 Series: Goofy Cartoon
  1. General Info

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted     

Synopsis

A history of sailing through the ages; from a prehistoric Goofy using a log, through the Age of Sail ("iron men, wooden ships") and on to modern times.

Characters

Goofy

Credits

Director

Jack Kinney

Animator

John Sibley

Narration

John MacLeish

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Television

The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 3, Episode 11)

Video Information

VHS

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : The World According to Goofy

Germany

Lachkonzert in Entenhausen

France

Si Disney m'etait Conte

Italy

Paperino Marmittone
Pippo Pluto Paperino Supershow

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : The World According to Goofy
Cartoon Classics : More Sport Goofy

Japan

Make Mine Music
Disney's Cartoon Jubilee

DVD

United States

The Complete Goofy
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines

Germany

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

Sweden

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

Technical Specifications

Running time: 7:07
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Type: Spherical
Original Language: English

Reviews and Comments

From J. D. Weil :

I don't know of this qualifies as a blooper or a gag that simply doesn't work due to poor planning, but I feel that I have to comment on it. The closing sequence of How To Be a Sailor shows Goofy trying to launch a torpedo at the enemy but gets himself stuffed into the torpedo tube and gets sent out instead. The problem with sequence is that in the process of launching the torpedo collides head on with the bulkhead and falls to the floor. Even with the logic contained in the cartoon, this action should have sunk the submarine and Goofy would be launched clear to Valhalla instead his intended target. This is one gag that should have more carefully thought out.

From Jerry Edwards :

Goofy takes an historical voyage through nautical navigation. The last part of the cartoon has Goofy accidentally loading himself, instead of a torpedo, into the torpedo bay and being shot out at Japanese warships, sinking every one of them - including shattering the symbol of the Japanese Rising Sun.

The cartoon is usually censored in the ending scene. The original scene shows each Japanese warship with a caricatured Japanese face on each.

The uncensored ending is the only interest in this cartoon for me - I'm not a fan of Goofy's "How To..." series.


From Ryan :

This short was okay, but it wasn't one of my favorites. For some reason, it didn't interest me in the way that most Goofy shorts do. I enjoyed the way in which the narrator talks about the history of sailors. I do not, however, enjoy the fact that the following scene at the end is censored: Goofy uses himself as a torpedo to blow up a Japanese ship, which contains a Japanese caricature. The caricature scene was the censored part while the torpedo scene was left in.

From Nikki :

This would have to be one of my more favorites. The best parts would definitely have to be the sea legs, the flags, and the knots part. All of them were well made.

From Christian :

Positively wonderful! I always get a good laugh in the scene where the boat goes right off the edge of the earth, and a surprised King Neptune pokes his head out of the water (with an open mouth and his head over his crown) as Goofy falls (in the boat.)

From Baruch Weiss :

This happens to be one of my favorite Goofy cartoons! I loved the scene where the Goofy look alikes are sleeping and they are shown dreaming of women!

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

I’ve made no secret of my intense love for the Goofy “How To” shorts. The creativity of the Disney artists to make Goofy over from a side character in the Mickey series into a star of this series is unmatched. Translating that into wartime could have been a difficult task, but it ended up working well in How To Be A Sailor.

Just like in other shorts, such as The Art of Self Defense, the story of that art is traced from the beginning of time forward. Here, we get to see man’s first trip on the open water, in the form of Caveman Goofy stumbling onto a log in a river.

From there, things progress quickly through the ages. One of my personal favorite scenes in any Disney short is when Goofy lashes himself to the mast of the ship, as was customary during the old maritime days. Watching Goofy’s face as he gets constantly splashed and nearly drowned with water is just priceless. The comedy is amazing in this short, as it is in nearly all the Goofy “How To” shorts.

That’s one of the things I love about these shorts, is the seamless blend of animation acting and comedy that takes place. As each one progresses, we get a new and better acting performance from Goofy as the animators start carving out different personalities for the multiple Goofs. Caveman Goofy is not the exact same as the sailing ship Goofy, but you can still tell that each one is Goofy.

The natural end point for this is for Goofy to join the new US Navy that is part of the World War II fleet. We get to see the Goof in his bed below decks, not only as the sailors but decked out in the most ridiculous commanding officer outfit you have ever seen.

In a hilarious final sequence, Goofy drops the torpedo and ends up in the torpedo tube himself, and is shot across the ocean, downing Japanese ships by the dozens. It’s a great climax to the film because it incorporates the war propaganda message as well as staying true to the spirit of the “How To” shorts. How To Be A Sailor accomplishes both of those goals with ease, and that makes it worth a watch.


Click on thumbnail for full size image


Click on thumbnail for full size image

Animation drawing by John Sibley
Submitted by ToonStar95


Screenshots

Submitted by eutychus


History

5/10/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

10/2/2012

  • Screenshots added by eutychus

8/29/2014

  • Animation type added by eutychus
  • Color type added by eutychus
  • Sound type added by eutychus

1/29/2015

  • Credits added by ToonStar95

6/14/2017

  • Credits added by kintutoons32

6/23/2017

  • Television info added by eutychus

3/5/2018

  • Gallery items added
  • ToonStar95

Sources

Jack Kinney: Director
  • Unverified

John MacLeish: Narration
  • Unverified

John Sibley: Animator
  • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney: Producer
  • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)