Gumby World

gumbasia.jpg

It’s easy to knock Gumby

He’s been mocked by Saturday Night Live, trivialized in junk merchandise, and mostly ignored by the younger generation. The thing is, the early Gumby cartoons are pretty cool and quite trippy. And, though recently displaced by Wallace and Gromit, Gumby and Pokey were the most famous clay animated characters ever created.

Gumby recently celebrated his 50th anniversary and Clokey Productions and Premavision Animation Studios (still producing Gumby and Davey & Goliath segments) have updated their websites. It’s worth a visit to Gumby World to check out its funky video section with several Gumby episodes and Art Clokey’s pioneering abstract GUMBASIA shorts from the 1950s.


  • http://www.thefamilycollective.com Tim Rauch

    I had actually gotten “Gumbasia” on a $1 compilation disc of “classic cartoons” at the grocery store checkout line. It was a surprise to find sandwiched between Betty Boops and Tom and Jerrys, but a real treat as well. It’s one worth seeing in better resolution than you’ll find at the Clokey Studios site; I had no idea Art Clokey was at that level. Really great stuff.

  • http://hannywanny.blogspot.com/ Hannah S.

    I have to second what Tim said. Years ago I purchased a Gumby DVD at a dollar store. And I also saw many Betty Boop and Felix discs too. I was excited to find a disc of a show I fondly watched as a kid on its’ short run on Nickelodeon, but it’s also rather disappointing to think classics like Gumby and Betty have been reduced to dollar store shelves. The link to this site will no doubt certainly be a treat! Thanks!

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com GagaMan

    Back in October 2005 I was on holiday in New York, and while we were watching one of those tourist channels in the hotel, they advertised a expedition of Gumby in a Museum of Moving Image in the Queens area. I had never seen or known of Gumby much, other than what I read in books (as far as I know it never aired in the UK, at least not at any point I’ve been alive. Besides, we had a British equivalent with Morph) so I went to check it out.

    It was nice seeing all the many sets, original models, old merchandise, a screening of about 10 of the Gumby shorts, and a demonstration of how stop-motion animation is done. I still prefer Morph, but the early shorts of Gumby were surreal and fun. Not too keen on those 80′s episodes though. Talk about trying too hard to relate with modern kids: they had him playing a guitar and skateboarding at the same time!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    - I have to second what Tim said. Years ago I purchased a Gumby DVD at a dollar store. And I also saw many Betty Boop and Felix discs too. I was excited to find a disc of a show I fondly watched as a kid on its’ short run on Nickelodeon, but it’s also rather disappointing to think classics like Gumby and Betty have been reduced to dollar store shelves. The link to this site will no doubt certainly be a treat! Thanks!

    Of course the only thing I could say about seeing Gumbasia on the webpage is that it’s coming directly from Clokey, and not some copy of a copy from a copy that the cheap dollar DVDs are using.

    Of course it would be nice to have the orignal classics in a DVD box set of sorts that would use the original Hi-Q library tracks and all that, but no, we’re stuck with the Rhino releases of a few years ago derived from the “Gumby Adventures” ’88 syndicated/re-scored editions. So yeah, we’re stuck with these cheapo DVDs for now if we’re ever going to get to see Gumby the way I originally saw ‘em back in the early 80′s when ZIV used to distribute them.

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com John Paul Cassidy

    Chris, I feel for you. I, too, long for the original ZIV Gumby shows without the synthesizer dubbed audio from 1988. Some people dismiss the original soundtrack as “creepy,” but I like creepy! It gave cartoons more “edge!”

  • http://www.mutaminx.com mutaminx

    A new documentary on Art Clokey – GUMBY DHARMA – is airing on KQED
    Sun, Mar 25, 2007 — 6:00pm
    Wed, Mar 28, 2007 — 4:00am
    Thu, Mar 29, 2007 — 11:00pm

  • Kevin Wollenweber

    Oh, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy GUMBY. Those original tracks from the late ’50′s to mid ’60′s were so warm and interesting, even as the voice of GUMBY changed at least three times, my favorite of course being the “child” GUMBY of the earliest shorts. What I did like about the Rhino set is that the shorts that were chosen seem to be put in proper chronological order. it was something that I totally wished would have happened on the Family Home Entertainment collections; yet, on the Rhino box, the shorts were altered to the point that the audio magic was gone. On the VHS tapes from FHE, the shorts were tossed onto each volume in random order, , but at least the shorts were there, and we even got HANK & RAJI (sp), and I’d never seen these before–very surreal with piles of clay coming to life and startling the creator, much like Fleischer silents with Koko the Clown.

    What works for me regarding the original tracks are the original sound effects, how they don’t sound so mechanized and sampled but recorded live in a studio to fit the picture. Sure, the music tracks are samples, but the samples neatly fit each moment. On a budget, Clokey was able to convey so much so perfectly.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    - Chris, I feel for you. I, too, long for the original ZIV Gumby shows without the synthesizer dubbed audio from 1988. Some people dismiss the original soundtrack as “creepy,� but I like creepy! It gave cartoons more “edge!�

    Thanks for the same admiration I had. The sad thing is wanting to track down any of those recordings on the net. I missed out on bidding for a couple of those Hi-Q discs that were sold on eBay a couple days ago. Would’ve loved just having those records whenever I’m in that mood!

  • http://www.silverspoonmurals.com Teresa

    I have honestly never seen a Gumby episode but I recently had the pleasure of creating some original Gumby cartoons for Gumby’s Pizza and Wings. I read everything I could about the Gumby cartoon characters and the artist before I drew any sketches or painted anything. I found it really quite interesting. If you want to see the cartoons please feel free to check them out at http://silverspoonmurals.com/gallery/thumb_8_Custom_Wall_Murals.php

  • Steve Carras

    Hey, didn’t know this had been up or forgot this was posted, this topic, but I will only watch the 1950s-60s ones with the original soundtracks. Not just the issue of that—-but what GagaMan said about the clayboy himself also being more modernized ws just as significant!

  • http://www.examiner.com/tv-in-mobile Mario500

    I would appreciate a release of all of the Gumby movies with both soundtracks for each movie produced during the 1950s and the 1960s. I never did mind the alternate audio for the movies produced during those time periods, even after hearing the original audio for “Robot Rumpus” (through Mystery Science Theater 3000) years after hearing the alternate audio during the version broadcast by Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network.