He was first introduced in the animated TV series Goof Troop. Since then, Max has appeared in several features, usually alongside Goofy. He is one of the two main protagonists of the 1995 film A Goofy Movie and its 2000 sequel.
Max is unusual in that he is Goofy's son, as opposed to a nephew akin to Huey, Dewey and Louie's relationship with Donald, as well as a plethora of famous cartoon characters, Disney or otherwise. Some Goofy cartoon's during his Everyman years depicted Goofy as being a father to a red-nosed Goofy Jr.. Many fans believe that this character served as the inspiration for Max. In the poster for cartoons with Goofy Jr, Jr. would look exactly like Max in his Goof Troop era.
One notable aspect is that Max has appreciatively aged, in a fashion, during the course of his appearances, which is uncommon among most characters in the Mickey Mouse franchise. At the time of his introduction, he was around 11 years old, but is usually presented as a teenager/young-adult in his more recent appearances.
One of Max Goof's most notable traits in the Disney franchise is that not only is he the only child in a single parent family, but that parent is a single father. This is made especially obvious by the fact that Max's best friend in Goof Troop does have a mother with a noticeable presence in the show. Max's mother is mentioned only very briefly in one episode, where it is said that she 'is up there amongst the stars'. This implies that she is dead, making Goofy a widower.
As Goofy Jr.
Goofy Jr. is a character from a series of Goofy cartoons from the 1950s. He is portrayed in these cartoons as the son of Goofy, and is widely believed to be the inspiration for (or even the same character as) Max Goof.
Goofy Jr. made his debut during Goofy's "Everyman" years. Unlike Max, Goofy Jr.'s mother has been shown, though only from the neck down. He appears to be a fairly typical boy of the time period, and is usually seen spending time with his dad. He is usually referred to by his father simply as Junior.
His personality has evolved as the character has aged. As a child, he is shown to be very close to his father. He spent most of his time tagging along with Goofy during his father's shenanigans. However, as he grows, he becomes embarrassed by his father's antics. In the Goof Troop show, there were times he would get suckered in by Pete and his get-rich-quick schemes, only to come around towards the end. It seemed, personality wise, that PJ was more like Goofy at times, while Max seemed more like Pete. Max has been in love with Roxanne and Moana.
He is often told that he's very much like his father, and his response is always along the lines of "Please don't say that, Dad." In spite of the denial, Max's mannerisms echoes Goofy's at times including Goofy's laugh and clumsiness.
As a teenager and young adult, Max is portrayed as calm, cool, and struggles to keep his father's goofiness as far away from him as possible. He is often seen trying to impress a love interest, most notably Roxanne.
Goofy Jr. debuts in the cartoon, "Fathers are People". This cartoon shows Junior being born, and Goofy's attempts to cope with fatherhood. In "Father's Lion" Goofy takes his son to the woods to teach Junior the finer points of camping. Unknown to either of them, they are followed by a mountain lion.
Goofy Jr. also makes an appearance in "Father's Day Off". This cartoon has Goofy minding both his son and the household chores while his wife is in town. In "Father's Weekend" Goofy tries to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home. However, this doesn't happen as he as promised to take Goofy Jr to the beach. Goofy Jr's final appearance was in "Aquamania". After buying a boat, Goofy takes Junior onto the ocean to teach him about seamanship, and skiing. Goofy inadvertently enters a water skiing competition, while Junior drives the boat. He surprisingly made cameo appearances a few decades later in the "Mickey Mouse Works" cartoons "How to Be a Baseball Fan" where he pops up a couple of times to snatch the baseball from Goofy's hand and yell out "yoink!", "Donald's Charmed Date" where he was riding the roller coaster with Morty Fieldmouse, Sis and Melody Mouse and "Pit Crew" where he was pedaling by on his bicycle when Pete said "Ooh, I'm gonna pinch their heads off!".
Max's first appearance was in Goof Troop, where he is 11½ years old. At the beginning of the show, he moves with his father from a trailer park to Goofy's hometown of Spoonerville. He and Goofy live right next door to Pete, and his family. Despite Pete's relationship with Goofy being rather antagonistic, Max almost instantly becomes best friends with Pete's more genial son, P.J.
At school, Max is somewhere in the middle of the popularity scale, becoming something of a High School hustler, with his usual plans being for get-popular-quick schemes. He frequently uses P.J as his muscle, but is just as willing to help a stranger as he is his best friend. He often engineers plans to get things done the easy way, although this often backfires.
Almost as much of the show revolves on Max's antics as well as his relationship with his father Goofy. Though he is sometimes embarrassed by Goofy's antics, he is still very close to his father. In some ways, Max is comparable to Pete, as Max is often involved in cunning schemes to get away with things, or do something the easy way.
By the time of A Goofy Movie, Max is approximately 14 years old. As a teenager, he is very embarrassed of Goofy, and his greatest fear is that he will end up being like his father. He seems to be especially ashamed of his laugh, which is exactly like Goofy's.
The film features Max's love interest, Roxanne, and his attempts to impress her. Alongside P.J. and another friend, Bobby, he is able to put on a concert in the school auditorium, meant to be a way of shedding his "Goof" image. However, he is caught by the principal. While awaiting punishment, Roxanne comes by to talk to him, and he is able to ask her to the end of school year party. When she says yes, his excited antics lead the principal to call Goofy. The angry principal gives the false impression that Max is a juvenile delinquent. The worried Goofy decides to take Max on a father-son fishing trip, forcing Max to cancel on Roxanne. In order to impress her, he lies and says that he is going to see the rock star Powerline in California, and that he will be on stage with him for the final number.
The rest of the film revolves around Goofy's attempts to bond with Max during the trip. At one point, unknown to Goofy, a distraught Max changes the route on the map to lead to California. Coincidentally, Goofy hands over navigating duties to Max. With more freedom, Goofy and Max bond, but their relationship is stunted when Goofy discovers that Max changed the map route. Their arguing leads to their car falling into a river. However two begin to make up and have a frank discussion over recent events. Max finally tells Goofy about his crush on Roxanne, and how he lied. Goofy begins to understand that Max is growing up, and admits that it happened so fast that he missed it. Goofy offers to help Max get on stage. Max shrugs off the offer, but is unable to elaborate as the car is about to head over a waterfall. Max is able to get to safety, and is able to save Goofy from death using a fishing technique that Goofy taught him, called "The Perfect Cast".
The two somehow manage to make it to California, and are able to sneak onstage with Powerline. When they return home, Max goes to Roxanne and apologizes for lying, as he just wanted her to like him. To his shock, Roxanne reveals that she had already liked him, because of his unusual laugh. Roxanne forgives Max, and offers to go out with him that night. Max already has plans to spend time with Goofy, but arranges to go out with her the following day. Max then takes the opportunity to introduce Roxanne to Goofy, who at that moment had fallen through the roof as a result of their car exploding.
In the direct-to-video film, the traditionally animated Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Max and Goofy feature in the episode "A Very Goofy Christmas". In this segment, he is a young boy and "Have Yourself a Goofy Christmas" chronologically precedes other titles Max appears in.
The segment revolves starts out with Goofy and Max preparing to deliver Max's letter to Santa. However, Pete tells Max that there is no Santa. Goofy attempts to prove Pete wrong, by dressing up as Santa but he is discovered. Goofy decides to stay up to wait for Santa, but he grows discouraged after falling off the roof. Max then tries to cheer Goofy up, but he is unsuccessful. However, Santa eventually arrives, and presents Max with the present he had asked for: a snowboard.
In the direct-to-video sequel to A Goofy Movie, An Extremely Goofy Movie, Max, now 18, leaves for college with P.J. and Bobby Zimmeruski. Roxanne is not shown in this movie (though it is the sequel) and there is absolutely no mention of her, hinting that she and Max have either broken up or that she is at a different college and is in a long distance relationship with him. Max joins the elite X-Games champion team, the Gammas. However, because the Gammas invited Max but not his pals P.J. and Bobby, he decides to compete against the Gammas in the upcoming X games.
Meanwhile, Goofy loses his job and must go back to college and get a degree, as it's the only way to get a new job. Since Goofy is suffering from loneliness due to Max's absence, he chooses to attend the same college as his "Maxie". At one point in the movie, Max manages to distract his father with Mrs. Marpole, the librarian, while he sneaks off to practice skateboarding. When Goofy gets a date with her, he rushes off to tell Max only to interfere with Max's practice; the result is Bradley Uppercrust III, leader of the Gammas, perceiving Goofy's clumsy antics on Max's skateboard for skill and offers him membership to the Gammas.
Max encourages his father to join, viewing it as an opportunity to escape Goofy for a while. When this fails to work, Max reveals his desires to get away from his father and selfishly disowns Goofy as his father by telling him to go away and get his own life, sending Goofy into complete depression. When Goofy overhears the Gammas' plan to fix the games, Goofy tries to warn his son, who doesn't believe him. Once it becomes clear the Gammas are cheating when Bradley blasted P.J. out of the race, Max finally realizes that Bradley and the Gammas tricked him into disowning his father and Goofy was telling the truth. However, Max was able to get a chance to talk to Goofy through the blimp's screen and ask his dad to fill in for the incapacitated P.J. During the final stretch of the triathlon, Bradley detonates an explosion in the X games balloon, trapping fellow Gamma member Tank underneath. With help from Goofy, Max rescues Tank and beats Bradley to the finish line. In the end, both father and son make amends by Goofy's graduation. Max gave his father his X-Games winner's trophy as an apology gift for his selfish disownment from before.
Max features regularly in House of Mouse, where he is employed as the club's parking valet. With him still in college, dating Roxanne, and learning to drive, the show apparently takes place in the events after An Extremely Goofy Movie, making him about 18 or 19. Max is shown to be fairly level-headed, possibly the most level-headed of the group.
Most of his appearances are minor, and show him offering to park the various vehicles that pull up to the club. However, he features heavily in a few episodes. The episode Max's Embarrassing Date showed Max trying to prepare for a date with Roxanne at the club. He worries that Goofy will go overboard trying to make them happy, so he goes to Mickey and friends for help. Ironically, Mickey and the gang go overboard, so Goofy steps in and allows the couple to have some privacy.
Another episode, Max's New Car, had Max trying to convince Goofy to allow him to have his own car. Goofy initially says no, as he believes Max is too irresponsible. Max is able to show Goofy that he was once just as irresponsible with the help of Mickey. This involves Max temporarily taking over hosting duties at the club, where he shows clips from Goofy's past, namely clips from the Goofy cartoon, "Motor Mania". Right before the end of the episode, Goofy gives Max a parking space for now, until a car from a previous situation comes down and lands perfectly in Max's parking space. Max then gives his father a begging look, and Goofy lets him have the car.
Finally, the episode "Goofy for a Day" has Max assuming Goofy's waiter duties, after Goofy finds out that Max thinks that being a waiter is not as important as Mickey's hosting duties or Donald's greeter role.
In Mickey's House of Villains Max sees Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Bambi, the Hag, Big Bad Wolf, Hades and several others walk down the road, and are let inside by Max. He watches them enter as the sound of a thunder crash is heard. Max turns to see the Cave of Wonders has appeared in front of the club, having seemingly burst from the ground. Jafar enters and leaves the golden scarab with Max, wishing him a happy Halloween. Max is left dumbfounded as he eyes the scarab as a car alarm chirps.
Max's most recent appearance was in the computer animated Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. In the segment Christmas Maximus, Max is grown up, and assuming that he has continued to age, he would be 23. Max is preparing to leave college to go home, so that he can introduce his girlfriend, Mona, to Goofy. Max worries that Goofy will embarrass him, and calls to remind Goofy that Mona is coming with him. He also dislikes Goofy calling him "Maxie" and keeps telling him to call him Max.
Goofy picks them up at the train station, and brings them to Goofy's house. Goofy shows Mona baby pictures of Max and unintentionally embarrasses Max with all his fatherly love. In the end, Mona finds Goofy cool (and while she laughs, she shows that she has teeth equivalent to Max and Goofy's). Max then decides to forget his embarrassment and join in the fun. Max then appears with his father and the other characters in the last segment of the film, where they are driving a snowplow around the city to find Pluto (who previously flees after making Mickey angry). After Pluto returns everyone gets into Mickey's house to celebrate Christmas. Max doesn't speak in this segment.
Currently, Max is a supporting character in the Mickey and Friends spin-off franchise in Japan; Disney UniBEARsity. In the story, Max is one of the several major characters from the original franchise who becomes Ludwig Von Drake's pupils.
Max Goof made his theme park debut in the World According to Goofy parade in 1992. Following the premiere of Goof Troop, Max made regular appearances at the Disney parks. As of 2011, Max can be semi-commonly found at Tokyo Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Tokyo DisneySea, but he also makes very rare appearances at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Max also makes appearances aboard the ships of the Disney Cruise Line.
Mickey's Magical TV World
Among these appearances, he and Goofy co-starred in the former Disney Afternoon stage show at Mickey's Starland from 1992 through 1996. Goofy told C.J. that Max had to do his school science project about electricity. As they finished singing the Goof Troop theme song, Max did not pay attention just as Goofy shuts the door and gets trapped in the house due to his home security system.
Max made some appearances in the Disneyland version during the finale. He sometimes appears in the Walt Disney World version of the finale.
Songs performed by Max
Other characters: Figaro | Mortimer Mouse | Clara Cluck | José Carioca | Panchito Pistoles | Humphrey the Bear | J. Audubon Woodlore | The Phantom Blot | Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse | Chief O'Hara | Millie and Melody Mouse | Butch the Bulldog | Yen Sid | Magic Brooms | Willie the Giant | Beagle Boys | Oswald the Lucky Rabbit | Ortensia | Amelia Fieldmouse | Gus Goose | Salty | Launchpad McQuack | Webby Vanderquack | Cuckoo Loca | Roxanne | P.J. | Bobby Zimmeruski | Stacey | Grandma Duck | Gladstone Gander | April, May and June
Secondary Characters: Slick | Debbie | Duke | Duke's girlfriend | Dutch Spackle | Uncle Bob | Leech | Ringmaster | Giblet the Clown | Biff Fuddled | Spud and Wally | Ms. Pennypacker | Rose Deckenbloom | Myron the Bulk | Mr. Sludge | Mrs. Geef
Film/Sequel Characters: Robert Zimmeruski | Roxanne | Roxanne's father | Principal Mazur | Stacey | Lisa | Chad | Possum Park Emcee | Bigfoot | Sylvia Marpole | Beret Girl | Bradley Uppercrust III | Tank
Video games: Goof Troop