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December 20

December 20, 1946 – The Goofy Short Film Double Dribble is Released to Theaters

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“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We’re about to witness the basketball battle of the century.”

On December 20, 1946, the Goofy short film Double Dribble was released to theaters. The players’ names that are announced by the narrator are actually names of Disney animators, such as “Kinney” for animator and director Jack Kinney. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Bill Berg and Milt Banta.

The day of the big basketball game arrives, with half of the stadium filled to capacity for the home team, University U, while the visitor side (P.U.) has a solitary fan in the seats. The teams hit the court, practicing their free throws before the game. One tiny player on the P.U. team is excited to play, but the much taller players ignore him as the game gets underway. A replay of one of the plays shows that, in slow motion, the players are much more violent than meets the eye. The game continues, with each team scoring left and right, with the U.U. fans overstepping their bounds as they “assist.” The first half ends, with U.U. leading 16 – 12.

The smallest player, Marathu, is the most enthusiastic, although not the best player on either team

The smallest player, Marathu, is the most enthusiastic, although not the best player on either team

In the second half, the P.U. coach nervously watches as his team members are repeatedly called out by fouls. Finally, the last player he can send in is the shortest member of the team, Marathu. With one minute to go, the score is in U.U.’s favor, 35 – 34. Marathu tries to be involved in the game, but he lags behind his taller teammates. Suddenly, he has the ball – only to have it taken away. He retrieves the ball by untying the string to the opposing player’s shorts, revealing the player’s polka dot boxers. Ball in hand, Marathu makes his way to the basket, with the player in boxer shorts chasing after him. As the opposing player trips and falls, he lifts a floorboard, which sends Marathu flying into the air and in through the hoop – and P.U. wins, 36 – 35.

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