Sunday, January 30, 2022

Do You Remember Gumby? A Little History Of The Green Clay Boy With A Different Spend On Animation

The legendary creator of Gumby, Art Clokey was a USC film school graduate in the 1950s. He was playing with colored clay for a short film that was a musical stop-motion. Clokey molded a clay creature that was 

Gingerbread man like in form. The character of Gumby was born. Gumby first appeared in a series of shorts on Howdy Doody starting in 1955. He became popular over the following decades, and he was eventually given his own series, The Adventures of Gumby, which ran from 1957 throughout the 1960s. Here is a brief timeline of the highlights.

 1950s- Art Clokey makes a stop motion-live action commercial for Andersen’s Pea Soup. Coca Cola and Budweiser then hired Art to produce commercials with stop motion animation and slapstick movement. 

 1953- Art makes an art film: Gumbasia, and the producer suggested to him to create clay characters and stories lines around children.

 1955- Gumby is created. Art makes the first Gumby pilot and gets the green light from NBC to do an animated series.

 1956-1957- Gumby stars in his own Saturday morning TV series, The Gumby Show. 22 episodes produced.

 1960s 1960- Clokey Productions moves to a large studio in Glendora, California 

 1962-1968- A busy 6 years of work. Art and wife Ruth create 85 additional Gumby Adventure episodes, which goes worldwide. Gumby and Pokey bendable toys are manufactured and break all sales records.

 1969-mid 1970’s- Gumby is no longer in production, but ex-wife now, Ruth Goodell (Clokey) continues to run the studio and complete the Davey episodes (not Gumpy) into the Early 1970’s Under Ruth’s direction. End of 1970’s Ruth closes the Glendora studio.

 1974-1977- Art and his new wife Gloria made 2 the art films, The Clay Peacock and Mandala, in their basement. Art and Gloria, hounded by encouraging fans of Gumpy to bring it back, they looked forward to getting Gumby back on the air. 

 1980s- The comeback of Gumpy is well welcomed. Gumby is on the air in national syndication and quickly becomes the top animated show of all time. Art and Gloria produce 99 new Gumby episodes in their new studio in Sausalito, CA.

 1990s- Warner Vision releases the video of The Gumby Movie, and it quickly sells nearly a million copies on VHS. 

2005- The Clokey's celebrate Gumby’s 50th anniversary with a huge birthday bash in San Francisco with animators from five decades.

This is just some small history of Gumpy and I just wanted to bring the beginning of and the rise of Gumpy on this blog post. Gumpy's history goes well into the future of 2015. I have an episode of Gumpy below this post. BJ / 🙈🙉🙊

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