Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday, Art Clokey!

We've been framed. Never trust animated people.

I don't know, Davey...

Art Clokey was a big influence on my life when I was a little girl  although I did not know it at the time.  He was the man who created two of the most bizarre, sickly sweet children's stop-motion  animation programs of all time, Gumby and Davey and Goliath.   Gumby was broadcast on Denver's KWGN on weekday afternoons while Davey and Goliath was shown on Sunday mornings.

Gumby was a green rectangular-shaped clay boy who friends included other clay figures; a  red horse, Pokey;  a blue mermaid, Goo;  and  a yellow dinosaur, Prickle.  His main enemies were two red-clay boys known as The Blockheads.  The Gumby series came out of  Clokey's 1955 clay animation student film called Gumbasia which, thanks to YouTube, you can watch below.

Film producer Samuel G. Engel saw the film and thought Art Clokey would be the perfect person to create  a new cartoon program for children and in 1956 Gumby was born. Below is an early episode where Gumby first meets his soon to be best friend Pokey.  The Blockhead are also in this one.

In 1958 Franklin Clark Fry, president of  the United Lutheran Church in America, contacted Art Clokey about creating a new cartoon series that would  teach children religious and moral values.   Davey and Goliath, which stared a young boy named Davey and his talking dog Goliath,  went on the air in nineteen sixty-one.  Below is a 1963 episode in which Davey learns forgiveness.

I don't know, I still find both these shows endearingly awkward and goofy.  Thanks for the memories, Art.

No comments: