Shed a tear for the creator of gentle Gumby.
Art Clokey was a disciple of avant-garde film theorist, Slavko Vorkapich, under whose mentorship Clokey filmed Gumbasia (above) and other experimental works. Producer Samuel G. Engel saw and admired Gumbasia’s “claymation,” which led to Clokey’s creation of The Adventures of Gumby as an antidote to the more violent animated childrens’ fare of the post-World War II era. Gumby made his first appearance on NBC’s Howdy Doody Show in 1956.
In addition to creating and animating Gumby and his pal, Pokey (for whom he also supplied the voice), Clokey created the charmingly retro Davey and Goliath series (produced by the Lutheran Church in America), and was the spiritual godfather of one of the best films – 3D or otherwise – of 2009, Henry Selick’s Coraline.
Essentially a flower child, before and after the time when being a flower child was fashionable, the best introduction to Art Clokey and his work is the documentary, Gumby Dharma.