Saturday, January 09, 2010

Art Clokey: 1921 - 2010

TV Animation pioneer Art Clokey is dead at 89. A claymation filmmaker, he was best known for creating "Gumby" and "Davey & Goliath."

He was going to be a priest, but fell in love instead. He and his wife developed a passion for filmmaking, and he earned attention for an abstract claymation short called "Gumbasia."

"Gumbasia" led to a contract to do "Gumby" on TV, first in shorts for "Howdy Doody" and then as it's own series (two of them, in fact) that were staples of kids TV for decades. In between them, he did "Davey & Goliath" under contract to the Lutheran Church of America.

He re-emerged in the 1990s to independently-produce "Gumby: The Movie," which is a very special kind of amazing if you can find it these days.

For a fellow with seemingly few "official" credits to his name, his impact on culture was massive: Everyone knows Gumby, or at least nearly everyone. "Mystery Science Theater 3000" even riffed on a Gumby short once - a kind of pop-culture double-team - and "Davey" of course inspired "Moral Orel," which started out shaky but came to a close as one of the most psychologically-searing animated shows ever to run in the U.S. (If there's a darker turn for a "comedy" show than "Nature," I've never seen it.)


Brigitte said...

oh, hey, just came across your new moon review!
your words are those of wisdom
and should be taught in highschool for 9th grade girls.

I'm a future film student. Hi. (:
I had a pretty weird experience watching Twilight in theaters, that I wasn't brave enough to go through that experience AGAIN for the SECOND (argh) one.
Honestly, the ONLY single thing I am looking *twitch* forward to in New Moon
is Dakota Fanning
and I really really really like Laurent. Why isn't Laurent the friggin Protagonist? IT WOULD HAVE MADE THIS ORIGINAL!
If I were Bella, I'd take that guy.
For real.

Anyway, Loved dropping by.

Sean Gallagher said...

On a tangent...could comment a bit more on the Moral Orel thing....I tried to read about it a bit, and I can tell what you mean a bit...but not too much. you think that it was too dark a turn since all the episodes after Nature seemed to avoid dealing with its effects...

Bob said...

See, there I'd disagree - the Season 3 episodes are all about Orel (and the audience) seeing Moralton (both past and present) and it's citizens in a new light after finally allowing himself to recognize his father for what he was.

Mark said...

man i used to love gumby so much in the mid-eighties. for some reason, it was never on at an easily accessible time for me (as a 4 year old or whatever), so it was like a special treat a few times a year to watch it.