Sunday, January 10, 2010

RIP Art Clokey

Who was Art Clokey?  If you ever watched Gumby or Davey and Goliath then American Culture
you have watched his work.
Art Clokey, the creator of the greenish clay figure Gumby, died on Friday at his home in Los Osos, Calif. He was 88 years old. Clokey and his wife Ruth were trailblazers in stop motion clay animation.

Animation has made giant leaps forward in terms of special effects since the heyday of Gumby, a figure cut from clay and stiffened with wire. And this year was a particularly thrilling time for animation, with such movies as “Up,” “Ponyo,” “Coraline,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

However, Gumby and his horse companion Pokey remind us that the true power of animation rests not in computers or gadgetry–but in stories and character. Animation is the art of bringing something to life. Gumby had character. Like The Velveteen Rabbit, that’s what made him real. He was a protean figure–springing from clay, and with the ability to change shape, which made him a kind of a superhero, the ultimate toy, and maybe a symbol to kids still firming up the outlines of their own lives. And the fact that he literally fought against squares–the Blockheads–endeared him to children who would grow up to be adult Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

Gumby was made various ways over the years; at one point Clokey said the eyes were made from ping pong balls and the pupils from black photo paper; later, he made them from white clay discs and red beads.

Read the full story here.
 For many of us Gumby, Pokie, Davie and Goliath were good stories that our parents approved us watching (what ever one's faith).

It is a shame that the message that a show like Davey and Goliath promoted should be rejected by today's Hollywood celebrities and ridiculed by them instead.

Davey & Goliath: The Winner

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