Whether they’re rooting for the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, or are just excited to see this year’s crop of commercials, millions of Americans will gather together around their flat-screen televisions next Sunday, February 1, to watch the Super Bowl. To help you get geared up for the big game, D23 is excited to share with you Goofy’s “educational” short, How to Play Football.
Released on September 15, 1944, How to Play Football was the 13th release in the Goofy series of animated shorts, many of which find our star, well, “goofily” demonstrating the finer points of sports and activities like skiing, swimming, and self-defense. Ace sports announcer Frank Bull was hired to narrate this short and provide his football language and reporting style. And unlike most Disney shorts of the era, which were usually completed within a four-to-six-month window, How to Play Football was produced over 10 months due to delays caused by the studio’s need to frequently reassign the short’s artists to work on the studio’s war training film program.
Many American servicemen were among the first audiences to see How to Play Football before its official September 15 release date so that they could, as a Studio press release stated, “inaugurate the new season of Disney shorts with the greatest campaign given an entertainment single reeler in years.”
Disney fans might not agree on whether the Seahawks or the Patriots will walk away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but we think they will be committed members of “Team Goofy” after watching How to Play Football. Enjoy!