I was listening to podcast Episode 121 from WEDWay Radio titled “The Old Ball Game” in which they cover various Disney related productions about baseball and learned a bit more about the classic Goofy short from 1942 titled “How To Play Baseball”. Before I talk about the review from WEDWay and add my own take on the short, take 9 minutes and watch it, or re-watch it if you haven’t seen it in awhile [discussion continues after the cut]:
Beyond the excellent history of the short covered in the WEDWay podcast mentioned above, there is also an interesting story Walt’s feelings about Goofy and the shorts.
As it turns out, Walt hated the Goofy cartoons, but realized they were necessary to generate work for some of the animators. So (according to Leonard Maltin), when the original voice of Goofy, Pinto Colving, had a falling out with Disney in 1939, thereby leaving the character silent, the “How To” series of films were born. However, there are 2 films that proceed “How To Play Baseball” which are similar in content and structure; “The Art Of Skiing” and “The Art Of Self Defense”.
In the end, there were 9 original “How To” shorts produced, even after Colving returned to voice Goofy in 1944. Although there were many more in the series produced after Walt’s death, the latest being “How To Hook Up Your Home Theater” in 2007.