In a complete change of pace, the fourth offering in Disney’s short film collection is pure comedy. In a homage to the animated shorts of the 1950’s we are given, “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”. It is a delight, especially for those of us who remember watching the old Goofy “How To” cartoons such as “How to Sleep” and “How to Dance”. The premise of Goofy as ‘Everyman’ trying to maneuver his way through everyday life challenges remains as entertaining in this century as it was in the last.
The appeal of this short (and the ones that preceded it) is that it makes us feel both much smarter and very foolish at the same time. We see Goofy struggling through something that is fairly basic and can laugh at his antics as he makes choices that we know are wrong. We know that cutting off all the cords that hang off the back of the TV is counterproductive. But we also know we are guilty of making electronics purchases based on our emotions rather than our sense and ending up with more equipment than we need. I think that is the brilliance of these Goofy shorts. The writers take a real life situation that we can all imagine ourselves in and let that situation spiral out of control to its most extreme outcome. It’s funny because we watch Goofy making the mistakes that too easily could be ours.
We don’t like admitting that we are imperfect. We like to present the best parts of us to others whether on social media, at work, with friends, or at church. We don’t like people to know that we make mistakes, don’t always choose the right things, or don’t know how to hook up our home theater equipment. Interestingly, it is precisely those sorts of things that bring us together. Want to break the ice with a group of people? Talk about how you completely ruined a recipe. Bond with co-workers? Share about getting pulled over by a police officer. Connect with other people of faith? Talk about a time you have struggled. It is our imperfections that bring us together. Perfect people are intimidating, fortunately there aren’t very many of them.