Wednesday, January 20, 2010
ANIMATION PIONEER ART CLOKEY
I just learned that Claymation Animation Pioneer ART CLOKEY, passed on Jan 9th at the age of 88.
As soon as I read the news, I realized that I had forgotten that CLOKEY also added to my growing list of early artistic influences. in an ASSOCIATED PRESS article which can be read in it's entirety at
For you youngins who are scratchin your head wondering, "WHO DA HECK IS GUMBY??" he was a green bendable...er... thing... LOL! with a sloping head, and ran around with a red horse named pokey.
I know that doesnt sound like much of a discription, but Gumby is pretty hard to define... I do know this though. He was the "must have" toy that EVERY kid on the block and the neighborhood had, and even older kids thought he was cool. One of the reasons for GUMBY'S Coolness was that he would have these crazy avant garde type of adventures that always kept you guessing. Unlike other cartoons of that area, Gumby seemed "real" due to the claymation which was very new at the time, and unlike the flintstones, and other cartoons he could MORPH and bend into unbelievable shapes. Bumby seemed like something out of a dream. I believe he appealed to children like me because he seemed like a character a KID would think up.
Clokey was also The creaor of one of my favorite shows, Davey and Goliath. Despite the Associated press' disrespectful "nod" if you want to call it that, to the show (they made light of the show's "moralizing" and stated that it was often satirized)
I remember watching the series as a kid, and was both entertained and inspired by it.
The Show was produced by the Lutheran Church in the 1950s and 1960s and televised widely across the United States, the Caribbean and around the world. In fact,
The program has been translated into seven languages, and the show has been broadcast on every continent except Antarctica. That's actually very impressive for a series of it's kind, IMO, and as I remember the show tackled issues that effect ALL of us including predjudice and racism, respect for authority, and sharing. Certainly these are values I HOPE parents even today would WANT their children to learn and exercise, and yet there seems to be a school of thought that frowns on things like "good manners, and being tolerant of others. I believe the MAJOR criticism is that the show, was Biblically based, and the main characters were encouraged to solve problems by having faith in God a word in our present day that is practically "outlawed".