I’m not sure this is news, but it’s a good excuse to talk about how much I love John Lasseter. I saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Disney’s latest live action blockbuster, at an advance press screening tonight. The movie was entertaining, but it was completely outdone by something that came before it: A brand new, animated Disney short starring Goofy.

The short will apparently be playing before all showings of National Treasure. It’s all part of the new attitude of Disney that Lasseter is pushing. By new attitude I mean remembering that they’re Disney and getting back to doing all the things that made us love the Mouse in the first place. Awful direct-to-DVD sequels is not one of those things, but cartoon shorts starring Micky, Goofy, Donald and the gang definitely are.

It really kicked off earlier this year with the showing of a classic, old school Chip n’ Dale short before Meet the Robinsons. Lasseter’s way of giving a nod to classic Disney. But this is a brand new short starring Goofy… how long has it been since Disney made one of those?

And the short, as you’d expect, is hilarious. It’s called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”, and it’s a riff on one of those old style instructional videos, the type of parody Disney used to do so well in their animated shorts. It’s also in old fashioned, 2-D animation, and utterly entertaining. They’ve taken classic Disney style and meshed it with modern technology problems to create a genuinely funny piece of film in which Goofy struggles to navigate his way through setting up the ultimate home video system. There’s an awful lot of cables.

When it’s over and the big, grand Disney logo rolls out on screen to start Book of Secrets, suddenly seeing Goofy beforehand makes Cinderella’s castle just a little bit shinier. And we owe it all to John Lasseter, the guy who is saving Disney. Thanks John. We love you.

Even if you’re not interested in seeing National Treasure: Book of Secrets this weekend, buy a ticket or sneak in to the beginning for the big screen return of Goofy. It’s good to have Disney back.

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