How to Play Football

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How to Play Football is a short film by Disney starring Goofy,[1] released on September 15, 1944.[2] The seven and a half minute film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.


The short was directed by Jack Kinney.[3]

It was animated by George Nicholas, Norman Tate, Marvin Woodward, and Andy Engman. The story was by Harry Reeves and Rex Cox, while the music was by Oliver Wallace.[4]

The surnames of the football players were based upon the short's creative team.[5]


The plot concerns The Goofies of Taxidermy Tech versing the Goofies of Anthropology A&M in a football match. Like many of the shorts which featured Goofy, this film was a mock "how to" instructional video - a "tongue in cheek look at the game".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

MoviePilot notes it strange that during the short, the Goofy clones are sometimes shown to lose their anthropomorphic traits and even bark instead of using human speech.[6] This "famous" short "has long been a favorite of Goofy fans."[7] CelebrationPress wrote "I marvel every time I watch this short; the animators not only successfully poked fun at college football, but they did it using multiple incarnations of essentially the same character. "[7] Even today, in Disney Stores memorabilia related to this short can be bought; in particular one of the ornaments in the Goofy Sketchbook Ornament series are from this film.[7] The "original football stadium background" was reused for the 2007 short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.[8] WDW Radio deemed it "a jaunty revue of all things pigskin and gridiron".[9] said "I would place How to Play Football (1944) near the top of the pile of Kinney's sports cartoons".[10]

Disney Film Project notes how effective the short's use of satire is to comment on football.

It mocks the “chaos” of the game and even has a joke where the narrator’s explanation of the rules is muffled by the cheers of the crowd, implying that the rules are less than important ... In the end, the short manages to tell the story of a full game, mixed with gags while also highlighting some of the intricacies of football. That’s not easy to do.

— Disney Film Project[11]

Home video[edit]

The short can be found on Disc 1 of the Walt Disney Treasures set "The Complete Goofy" and on Volume 5 of the "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites Extreme Sports Fun" series.


  1. ^ "How Well Do You Know… Disney Sports Movies?". Disney Blogs.
  2. ^ " - How to Play Football is Released".
  3. ^ Lenburg (2006), pp. 180
  4. ^ "How to Play Football". Archived from the original on 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  5. ^ "Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Goofy DVD Review - Page 1 of 2".
  6. ^ a b Chris Lucas (1 February 2015). "Disney's many surprising connections to Football".
  7. ^ a b c "This Week in Disney History...Goofy Demonstrates "How to Play Football" - Celebrations Press". Celebrations Press. Archived from the original on 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  8. ^ "How to Hook Up Your Animated Short at Disney". Animation World Network.
  9. ^ "The Displaced Disney Dad: "Walt Disney World Bus Queue X's and O's"".
  10. ^ " -- Walt Disney Treasures DVDs".
  11. ^ Ryan. "How To Play Football".


External links[edit]