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How The Simpsons Got Disney To Approve That Adult Homer And Goofy Scene

With over 700 episodes of animated hilarity under its belt, one might think Fox's legendary primetime series "The Simpsons" might finally be running short on story ideas. Yet, series creatives continue to mine fresh narrative fodder for the titular family in the pop-culture realm and beyond. Likewise, the iconic (and at times even freakishly prophetic) show continues to find inventive ways to skewer supposed tastemakers in said realm. This includes the show itself, and often the very networks and studios who back it.

Indeed, "The Simpsons" has made great sport of hilariously roasting its own so-called "corporate overlords," doing so with the same piercing, self-effacing wit that's made it a cultural staple for 33 years and counting. The series has typically done so with a fair amount of affection too, which was very much the case with the recent short "The Simpsons in Plusaversary."

The 2021 Disney+ offering found Moe's Tavern hosting an exclusive party for the studio's biggest stars. Unfortunately for Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta), that did not include him. For a brief moment, it appeared even Goofy (Hank Azaria) would pass him by too, until Homer savvily gloms on as the character's plus-one. Soon enough, Homer and Goofy are seen in a mildly compromising state, begging many to wonder how "The Simpsons" team convinced Disney to approve presenting one of their icons in such an adult manner. 

Goofy's adult status made a bit of drunken revelry okay in Disney's eyes

Al Jean, a longtime producer of "The Simpsons" and co-writer of "The Simpsons in Plusaversary," addressed that very subject in a 2021 Variety interview promoting the release of the short. He was also very open in admitting Disney had a few stipulations regarding certain characters ahead of the short's creation. For instance, Disney's most iconic creation — Mickey Mouse — was totally off-limits, though Jean and company cleverly got around that stipulation by having Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) pose as the character himself.

As the setting for the short is a bar, Jean spoke of another one of Disney's conditions: "They said, which I completely agree with, they didn't want anyone who is a role model for young kids like Belle to be drinking." Clearly, that didn't include Goofy, who is seen pounding Duff beers and engaging in some sweet drunk talk with his new bestie Homer. Such revelry may be par for the course in Homer's case, but it's a far cry from the general state of silly, yet sober bliss Disney fans are used to seeing Goofy in.

It seems Disney bosses weren't at all worried about Goofy's inebriated state since the character has always been presented as an adult of drinking age and at times even a father. But as funny as it is in the context of "Plusaversary," one has to wonder how they felt about Goofy turning into a mopey mess in the process.