Gandy Goose is a Terrytoons cartoon character created by Paul Terry, he is a wide-eyed and kind character, however, he is also not too bright, in fact sometimes he could be very stupid, and so, of course, this would often lead to him from getting into a jam after jam.
His first appearance was in 1938, with the cartoon "Gandy The Goose", however despite the title, he was actually named Willie, one common theory as to why it is this way is that it was originally going to be a one-shot, however, they saw potential in Willie as a recurring character for the studio and decided to use him more, they also re-branded him "Gandy Goose" even though the cartoon was already finished. His first cartoon showed him to be a child who very easily annoys those around him, he enjoys fun and games, and will laugh at just about anything, he's also very trusting and easily tricked, yet no harm ever seems to fall upon him as things often work out for him. Also appearing in this cartoon was Gandy's parents (The father being someone who really hated Gandy), a grumpy dog, and the villain of the short, an Italian Wolf by the name of Nick Papagaloopis, who tried to trick Gandy into becoming a meal.
Voiced by composer and orchestral arranger Arthur Kay (1881-1969), Gandy's voice was an imitation of comedian Ed Wynn, in 1941, Kay left the role of the character, and so for the remainder of Gandy's time in theaters, he was voiced instead by writer Tom Morrison, no matter who played him Gandy always had his trademark jolliness and wild laughter. Gandy would sometimes be portrayed as a child and other times as an adult, they eventually settled on him being a grown-up, albeit one who still acted like a kid most of the time.
And so his shorts went on, they put him alongside other characters to interact with, however, none of them lasted very long, at first they tried pairing him against Nick, who now had the Dog as a partner of sorts. The two would try to kill, eat, or otherwise duke Gandy into trouble, but he'd always come out on top due to his luck. They also did one more cartoon with Gandy's father in "G-Man Jitters". Another character they tried was a black duck who talked like actor Stepin Fetchit, a none too bright friend of Gandy's. They tried giving him a Goose girlfriend as well, who would either support him or give him motivation, her name always changed from short to short, and also a rival, in the form of a Rooster who was also in love with Gandy's girl and was usually a general, making him Gandy's boss.
All these characters and yet none of them seemed to work out as they had hoped, that is to say, until they tried pairing him up a character who had recently made his debut in the cartoon "The Owl and the Pussycat", a grouchy cat named George, who'd soon be renamed, Sourpuss. Beginning with the 1939 short "Hook, Line and Sinker" he started to frequently appear alongside Sourpuss as a comedic duo always getting into of the wall shenanigans, with Gandy's carefree and thick-headed nature bouncing well off of Sourpuss' slick schemes and short temper. An odd thing of note about most of their career is that a large majority of their cartoons took place within the surreal world of dreams, even when there wasn't any need for it to, often with the two of them share the exact same dream. Most of these end with the two of them waking up and an annoyed Sourpuss beating some sense into Gandy.
In 1941, America had entered World War II, and almost every major animation studio in Hollywood was doing war films, and TerryToons was no different, during this time Gandy (who had actually done a few army/war-themed shorts in the past) became a Private working for the U.S military and Sourpuss did the same becoming a Sergeant, beginning with 1942's "Sham Battle Shenanigans". Within this new setting, there were still the typical adventures expected of the duo, however, there were also several propaganda shorts, the most major of which being "The Last Round Up", where Gandy and Sourpuss end up in Germany, where they find and fight Hitler (A pig) and Mussolini (A monkey), ending with them literally falling to their graves as Gandy and Sourpuss escape back home. After the war ended they went back to their normal surroundings.
Gandy and Sourpuss's partnership lasted for years, however, for an unknown reason, Sourpuss stopped appearing in cartoons, his last being the 1950 cartoon "Dream Walking". Perhaps the reason for this was a desire to put more focus on Gandy, after all, some of their later cartoons gave Sourpuss the top billing as opposed to the Goose. His last few films were spread out across 1950 to 1955, two of these shorts being color remakes of his black and white cartoons (Nick Papagaloopis appeared one last time thanks to this, though he was changed into a fox).
Gandy Goose appeared in a total of 48 cartoons, the last being "Barnyard Actor" in 1955. This short paired Gandy with a Rooster who had a very similar personality to Sourpuss named Rudy, he was likely going to become Gandy's new partner if not for one thing, in 1955 the retiring Paul Terry decided to sell the studio along with their characters to CBS and 20th Century Fox, The new owner installed Gene Deitch in charge of things, under his direction characters like Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, and even Gandy Goose were phased out in favor of new creations.
- Gandy The Goose (March 4, 1938)
- Goose Flies High (September 9, 1938)
- Doomsday (December 16, 1938)
- The Frame-Up (December 30, 1938)
- G-Man Jitters (March 10, 1939)
- A Bully Romance (June 16, 1939)
- Barnyard Baseball (July 14, 1939)
- Hook, Line And Sinker (September 9, 1939)
- The Hitchhiker (December 1, 1939)
- The Home Guard (March 7, 1941)
- Good Old Irish Tunes (June 27, 1941) (Lost)
- The One Man Navy (September 5, 1941)
- Slap Happy Hunters (October 31, 1941)
- Flying Fever (December 26, 1941)
- Sham Battle Shenanigans (March 20, 1942)
- The Night (April 17, 1942)
- Lights Out (April 17, 1942)
- Tricky Business (May 1, 1942)
- The Outpost (July 10, 1942)
- Tire Trouble (July 24, 1942)
- Night Life In The Army (October 12, 1942)
- Scrap for Victory (January 22, 1943)
- Barnyard Blackout (March 5, 1943)
- The Last Round Up (May 14, 1943)
- Camouflage (August 27, 1943)
- Somewhere In Egypt (September 17, 1943)
- Aladdin's Lamp (October 22, 1943)
- The Frog And The Princess (April 7, 1944)
- My Boy Johnny (May 12, 1944)
- Carmen's Veranda (July 28, 1944)
- The Ghost Town (September 22, 1944)
- Gandy's Dream Girl (December 8, 1944)
- Post War Inventions (March 23, 1945)
- Fishermen's Luck (March 23, 1945)
- Mother Goose Nightmare (May 4, 1945)
- Aesops Fables: The Mosquito (June 29, 1945)
- Who's Who In The Jungle (October 19, 1945)
- The Exterminator (November 23, 1945)
- Fortune Hunters (February 8, 1946)
- It's All In The Stars (April 12, 1946)
- The Golden Hen (May 24, 1946)
- Peace-Time Football (July 19, 1946)
- Mexican Baseball (March 14, 1947)
- The Chipper Chipmunk (March 9, 1948)
- Dingbat Land (February 1, 1949) (With Dingbat)
- The Covered Pushcart (August 26, 1949)
- Comic Book Land (December 23, 1949) (With Mighty Mouse)
- Songs Of Erin (February 25, 1951) (Color remake of Good Old Irish Tunes)
- Spring Fever (March 18, 1951) (Color remake of Gandy The Goose)
- Barnyard Actor (January 25, 1955)
Gandy Goose and Sourpuss also appeared in comic books, beginning in 1942 and lasting until 1964. Starting out published by Timely Comics, Gandy Goose was a regular feature in such titles as Terry-Toons Comics and Mighty Mouse, as well as the superhero titles Young Allies and Captain America Comics. In 1947, St. John Publications took over the licensing of Terrytoons characters; Gandy Goose continued to appear in Terry-Toons Comics and Mighty Mouse as well as Dinky Duck, Heckle and Jeckle, and his own self-titled series, which ran four issues from Mar. 1953 to Nov. 1953. Gandy Goose appeared in issues of Dell Comics' New Terrytoons title in the early 1960s and then in Mighty Mouse when it was being published by Western Publishing.
His latest appearance was in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. In the series, he was thawed out of ice after 43 years and had to adjust to living in the 1980s. He starts looking for Sourpuss and eventually reunite with him as orchestrated by Mighty Mouse. Gandy and Sourpuss are also implied to be in a romantic relationship. In their second appearance Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy, Gandy and Sourpuss are shown to be showering together. They also both play cupid for Mighty and Pearl Pureheart.
Gandy Goose is one of the longest-running characters TerryToons created, while other characters had been created before him, very few actually stuck around nearly as long, as he had an 18-year career.
And with some of his shorts being considered classics among animation fans, it is quite clear that while he may not be as well known as Mighty Mouse or Heckle and Jeckle, he has left his mark on animated history, just goes to show that what's good for the goose is good for a gander.
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- Some people had said Gandy Goose appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), but that's not the case, as no one has ever found him, even animation expert Trevor Thompson said "People say he's in the movie, but I don't think that's the case because if he was, someone somewhere would've posted a screengrab. What I think is actually happening is that people are confusing him with Gus Goose. I'm fairly certain that there weren't any Terrytoons in WFRR".
- Gandy Goose is the third Terrytoon character to be created by Paul Terry, the first being Farmer Al Falfa in 1915, and the second being Kiko the Kangaroo in 1936.
- Gandy Goose made two-episode appearances in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (1987 - 1988), the first being "The Ice Goose Cometh", and the second being "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy".
- Gandy Goose is one of the only characters who never appeared in the 1999 pilot Curbside. This was presumably done to avoid comparisons to Ren and Stimpy.