P.J. Pete is the son of longtime Disney antagonist Pete. He originated in the 1942 Donald Duck short "Bellboy Donald" as Pete Junior, and was later reinvented as his modern incarnation in the 1992 animated TV series Goof Troop, in which he featured prominently along with his mother Peg and younger sister Pistol. He also appears as a supporting character in the 1995 feature film A Goofy Movie and its 2000 direct-to-video sequel An Extremely Goofy Movie.
In all of his appearances from Goof Troop onward, P.J. is Max Goof's best friend. Like Max, P.J. ages throughout each of his appearances, going from middle school to high school and finally to college. P.J. is shown to be nervous, insecure, shy, and often fears punishment from his abusive and cruel father Pete. His relationship with his father is consistently shown to be based on fear and control as a stark contrast to the much more loving relationship between Max and Goofy, with him often calling his father "Sir".
Though he is not usually the one to come up with ideas, P.J. is also shown to be helpful, polite, sensitive, honest, and hard-working, and is usually the one to consider potential consequences. Physically, he is strong and tough, capable of performing a lot of manual labor - a fact regularly exploited by his lazier father. He has also been shown to possess a pocketknife in Goof Troop. He enjoys casual sports like bike-riding and skateboarding, as well as playing video games and watching television, but holds a disinterest in certain contact sports like football and, on at least one occasion, baseball. He often endures various abuses from his father, who forces him into activities that are much more stereotypically 'manly' compared to some of the less macho activities he enjoys like reading/writing poetry.
He is physically built very similar to his father, though less bulky. Due to the contrast between their personalities, he also has a far more genial appearance to his face. Throughout the series and movies he becomes increasingly larger in size, but does not actually become fatter.
P.J. is the complete opposite of his father behavior-wise. He often displays fears of his father, of spending time with him, and of disobeying or disappointing him. Sadly, Pete seems to interpret these fears instead as signs of respect and admiration, oblivious to the actual displeasure that said fears often bring P.J. With this thrown into even starker relief when compared to the much healthier relationship between Max and Goofy, it is evident that Pete is rather emotionally abusive towards P.J.:
- “Max: "Awww, Peej, fishin' with your daaad. What could be more fun?"
P.J.: "Eating glass. You got any idea what fishin' with him is like?"”
- ―P.J. and Max[src]
- “Oh man, my dad is going to smash me like a bug.”
Nevertheless, P.J. does have enough wits to see through many of his father's schemes and often aids those (particularly his mother, Peg) who try to teach Pete a lesson about exploiting and using others for his own gain. And despite all of their differences, P.J. and Pete do love each other deep down and have been there for each other in their times of need.
Pete Junior first appears as the main antagonist in the Donald Duck cartoon short "Bellboy Donald". Junior has a much more similar personality to Pete than his modern incarnation and is bratty, provocative, and conniving. His appearance is different, however, as he is much smaller and has larger ears. He continuously harasses Donald and his father does not at all know this, but at the end after pushing the duck too far, Donald gets his revenge by spanking him really hard.
In Goof Troop, P.J. is 11 years old and lives next door to Goofy and Max. Throughout the series, P.J.'s relationship with his father Pete is clearly based on authoritarian control, with P.J. often being bullied into doing thankless chores, manipulated, insulted, and punished over minor failings. It is far more frequent for P.J. to be shown to fear his father than to love him, mainly due to the abuse he gets from Pete. On the other hand, P.J. frequently plays a supporting role in seeing that his father receives his righteous comeuppance (usually carried out by his mother) for many of his schemes.
In the first episode, P.J. gloomily tells Max that he is not allowed to play with anything in his room because they are all collector's items bought by Pete. In the second, Pete forbids him from playing with Max. In one episode, P.J. is shown counting down the days until he can leave home. In another, Pete actually pretends he is seriously ill to manipulate P.J. into doing his job just to get a few days off work. In all of these cases, however, things turn out for the better for P.J. in the end as either his father relents on his strictness or circumstances orchestrated by others end up freeing P.J. from these absurd conditions.
Conversely, in a rare case of Pete being both a supportive and proud father, "From Air to Eternity" reveals that P.J. and Pete both share a fear of heights. Both father and son at first try to hide their respective fears from one another, so as to not disappoint each other. Pete even pretends that he, his father, and his grandfather all partook in extraordinary feats at high heights just to impress P.J., when these exploits were actually exaggerations as all three men were equally scared of heights. Nevertheless, P.J. admires his dad so much that he decides to impress him with his own death-defying acts of heroism. In actuality, P.J.'s heroics are virtual stunts he performs in a video game tournament, which Pete initially mistakes for real stunts and thus expresses genuine pride in his son. But when the two eventually come clean of their respective fears, they are at first disappointed in each another's half-truths, but after P.J. is swept into danger by a real airborne stunt, Pete risks his life to save his son and the two reconcile, accepting each other for their shared fear of heights.
P.J. is usually seen hanging out with Max, and at one point, P.J. states that Max is the only friend that he has ever had. P.J. is usually talked into assisting with Max's own schemes, but does prove himself to be brave whenever Max or even his father really need him.
A Goofy Movie
In A Goofy Movie, P.J. is now in high school, and helps Max to try and impress a girl named Roxanne by videotaping Max dance to "Stand Out", a new song by the rockstar known as Powerline. Though, P.J. is nervous throughout, since the thought of his dad finding out that he took his dad's video camera without permission terrifies him. While leaving the principal's office after they are caught, he drones, "My dad is going to smash me like a bug."
After school is let out, he is seen more confidently jumping onto Max's shoulders, congratulating him on earning a date with Roxanne and inciting all the students to chant Max's name. Later, he briefly reappears when Max and Goofy are camping in the woods. He is cleaning the floor of Pete's RV with a floor-buffer, singing and dancing to Powerline's song. Max is shown to envy P.J. as he gets to travel in Pete's luxurious RV, but P.J. tells Max that he is the lucky one since everyone in town has heard that Max will be on stage with Powerline. Max reveals to P.J. that it was a lie he told to impress Roxanne and has not yet told Goofy about it.
Pete and P.J. meet up with Goofy and Max once again when they later stop off at a motel. During this time, Max confides in P.J. that he has changed Goofy's road map to guide them to Los Angeles. Their discussion is overheard by Pete, who tells Goofy. P.J. later makes a final, very brief appearance when Max is on stage at the concert, cleaning the RV again while watching Max on TV.
An Extremely Goofy Movie
In An Extremely Goofy Movie, P.J. is a high school graduate bound for college. He gains more size, being almost as big as Pete and almost as tall as Goofy. P.J. is seen prominently throughout the movie, sharing a dorm with Max and Bobby, as well as being on their team for the College X-Games. He, Max and Bobby travel to college in Bobby's van. When they arrive, they are followed by Bradley Uppercrust III--leader of the Gamma Mu Mu fraternity and reigning College X-Games 'king'--to a cafe called the Bean Scene, with an offer for Max to join the Gammas, but not P.J. and Bobby, which Max declines. When Tank, Bradley's right-hand-man, threatens Bobby, P.J. defends him with a biscotti. When he hears the full name of Bradley's fraternity, he remarks 'Moo, Moo?! Who'd want to join a heard of cows?!' As punishment for this remark, he is given a wedgie by Tank. The confrontation is soon put to an end by a girl in a beret.
Later, P.J. meets the Beret Girl again at a disco, at which point his personality takes on a whole new level. After speaking poetically to her about how fat people are looked down upon (to the surprise of both Max and Bobby) she asks him to dance. After this, he and the Beret Girl become closer, with P.J. gaining newfound confidence and taking on the role of a beatnik, his casual clothes even changing from a blue T-shirt and green shorts to a black turtle neck, black trousers and a beret.
He and his team try out and compete in the College X-Games against the Gammas, in which his best event is shown to be bike riding. When his team makes it to the finals, however, P.J. is abruptly removed from participating in the last race by Bradley, who had secretly strapped rockets to P.J. boots that Bradley activates to blast P.J. out of the arena before the race can begin. As a result, Goofy ends up taking P.J.'s place in the race. P.J. is last seen at the very end of the film reading poetry to the Beret Girl, the two having presumably become a couple.
- In the 1953 Goofy cartoon short "Father's Weekend", there is a brief cameo of a visiting family consisting of a father, a mother, and a son. Due to the father having a hefty physique and a rather large jawline, this man is often mistaken for Pete and, in turn, the son mistaken for Pete Junior. However, a closer inspection of this man reveals him to be an anthropomorphic dog person with a snout just like Goofy's, which Pete traditionally does not have. As a result, this would make the son not be Pete Junior just as the father isn't Pete.
- In the Bonkers episode "The 29th Page" a drummer whose drum set Bonkers crashes into is seen dressed in the same pink turtleneck sweater with blue long-sleeved shirt outfit P.J. wears in Goof Troop.
- ↑ In the Goof Troop episode "You Camp Take It With You", Max playfully said "Wakey, wakey, Peejey-Weejey!" in his attempt to wake up the stubbornly sleeping P.J. so that the two could begin their plans for their summer vacation.
- ↑ P.J. got this pet goldfish in the June 1996 Disney Adventures magazine issue's Goof Troop comic strip titled "A Fishy Tale". Coincidentally, a goldfish in a fishbowl was seen inside Pete's luxurious RV in the Goof Troop episode "O, R-V, I N-V U", and in the Petes' house in the episode "Goofin' Up the Social Ladder".
- ↑ "Tub Be or Not Tub Be"
- ↑ In the Goof Troop episode "Pistolgeist", Pete claims that P.J. "hates football."
- ↑ The Goof Troop episode "Take Me Out of the Ball Game" was all about how much P.J. and Max have absolutely zero interest in baseball, with P.J. claiming to be "no good at sports", while other episodes such as "Good Neighbor Goof", "Max-imum Protection", "Goodbye Mr. Goofy", and "Clan of the Cave Goof" featured P.J. as either willing/wanting to play baseball or at least in possession of baseball equipment that he did use.
- ↑ Examples:
"Axed by Addition" - Pete is overcome with grief when he believes P.J. to be terminally ill and goes out of his way to do whatever he can for his son in what he believes to be P.J.'s final moments.
"From Air to Eternity" - P.J. openly tells his father that his loves him whilst he is attached to a large balloon, and when he's swept away into the air by said balloon, Pete becomes desperate to save his son's life despite his own chronic fear of heights.
- ↑ "And Baby Makes Three"