December 20, 1961 – The Goofy Short Film Aquamania Premieres in Theaters
“This could be any town, anywhere, anytime, because here, just as everywhere else, one-third of the population are…aquamaniacs.”
On December 20, 1961, the Goofy short film Aquamania premiered in theaters. It was nominated for an Academy Award at the 34th Academy Awards, but lost the Yugoslavian short film Surrogat. It was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman with story by Vance Gerry and Ralph Wright.
The story begins with the explanation of the term Aquamaniac, complete with diagrams and case-study file. The study is of Goofy, although called by the narrator “Mr. X.” They show his dilapidated home and pristine motor boat. Before he became an aquamaniac, his home was well-kept, and he would walk to work; however, the earliest warning signs showed during his walk, as he loved to walk past a store that sold boats. Although he tries to convince himself that he doesn’t need a boat, he finally gives in and buys one. After purchasing his boat, he takes his son Junior out to the ocean, not noticing that there is a long line of boats and cars waiting to get in for the jet-skiing race. He struggles with getting the boat in the water, and ends up with his car at the bottom of the ocean, completely destroying it thanks to the salt water.
Mr. X then puts on his water skis, and Junior excitedly enters his dad in the water skiing race. Mr. X tries to tell his son to stop, but Junior takes this as a sign to go faster. Mr. X ends up flying over the competitors after going over the first jump, but when he lands in the water, he picks up an octopus on his head, who helps him water ski through the slalom. Heading around a turn, Mr. X heads out too far and ends up landing on a cart on a ramp, and flies through the beach. The octopus grabs on to some beach umbrellas, sending the pair high in the sky like a kite, where a bolt of lightning strikes them. They land on the tracks of a roller coaster and, after colliding with the roller coaster carts, end up flying back through the finish line, winning the race.