Author Archives: Gumby World
Gumby, the unforgettable stop motion character, has entertained generations of fans since his introduction in the early 1950s. Now, Dynamite will release the essential compendium to his 60-year history in 2017, featuring an incredible retrospective on not only the characters themselves, but a look into the life of their creator: Art Clokey.
New Deluxe Collection to Pay Tribute to The Art and History of the Creations of Art Clokey
“The most fascinating life story I’ve ever known just happens to be about my dad, mom and the world famous characters they created. Art Clokey’s journey intersects and influences major touchstones of our American life. The sixty-year, behind-the-scenes story of Gumby and Davey & Goliath, interwoven with a rich tapestry of photos and rare anecdotes, weds perfectly with Art Clokey and his amazing life,” says Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creator, Art Clokey.
“This book will be a fascinating ‘page-turner’ with never-before-told stories about this clay animation pioneer. You’ll see Art’s friendship with East-West philosopher Alan Watts. His love and partnership with his wife Ruth Clokey and later with Gloria Clokey. Explore Art’s fascination with the counter cultural creative winds of the late 60s and 70s, infused with his spiritual learning from Christianity, Zen Buddhism and Eastern Avatars,” states Joe Clokey.
Joe continues, “Discover Art’s groundbreaking stop motion TV commercials in the early 50s (including his work with fellow stop motion legend Ray Harryhausen), along with over 40 hours of Gumby and Davey adventures, and art films, which opened up new avenues for all of us, the texture of which will inspire. See how stop motion super stars got their start with Clokey Productions, and then went on to work on iconic films from Star Wars, Terminator and Beetlejuice to Nightmare Before Christmas, Toy Story and Kubo. It’s truly an honor to work with Dynamite Entertainment on this very special book.”
“Art Clokey and Gumby are as important to the history of American animation as the creations of Walt Disney,” says Dynamite CEO and publisher, Nick Barrucci, “To be able to tell the story of this man and his incredible cast of characters is a high watermark, both as a publisher, and for me as a fan. Looking through these incredible photos and reading such rich history is guaranteed to make each and every one of us feel like a kid again.”
Dynamite Entertainment’s beautiful Gumby retrospective will be released in 2017. Look for details on pricing, format, and release in the coming weeks, along with news of other future Dynamite Gumby products!
About Dynamite Entertainment:
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
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About Premavision, Inc. / Clokey Productions, Inc.
Founded by Art and Ruth Clokey, Premavision/Clokey Productions stop motion animation studio is best known for creating the iconic character Gumby—the world’s original clayboy. The studio has produced over 200 Gumby TV episodes and The Gumby Movie, as well as the popular Davey and Goliath show. The company’s productions have aired worldwide for 60 years, and the legacy continues under the direction of Joe and Joan Clokey.
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Mark your calendars!
- Live parade, Sunday, November 27.
- TV airings throughout the season: listings available here.
Gumby will make his way down the red carpet of the Hollywood Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 27. A 60-foot inflatable Gumby joins the Gumby mascot and the Clokey family who will be presenting Gumby DVDs (compliments of NCircle Entertainment) and Gumby bendable toys (donated by N.J. Croce) to Toys for Tots.
The televised parade premieres on the CW channel in early December and will air throughout the holiday season on the CW, the Hallmark Channel, American Forces Network, KTLA and other affiliates. Check here for air times and channels in your area.
Television travel expert Laura McKenszie and household name Erik Estrada are slated to host the parade. Olivia Newton John is Grand Marshal. The parade kicks off with a concert in the grandstand area with favorites: Olivia Newton John, Kenny G, Scotty McCreery, War, Masters of Illusion, Band of Merrymakers, Julia Ara, Eric Benet, Empty Hearts and Cyndi Lauper performing!
Bands, TV/film/radio/book celebrities, floats, giant inflatable characters, equestrian teams, dancers and more… will march the two-mile route down Hollywood, Vine and Sunset Avenues.
See you there!Read More »
Gumby Central spent some quality time with Tom Sarnoff, Gumby’s Godfather. Tom, a young executive at NBC studios in the 1950s and ‘60s, greenlit the very first Gumby Show, and he’s been involved with Gumby ever since. He has made tremendous contributions to the television industry. Here’s the interview:
GC: When did you first meet Gumby creator Art Clokey?
TS: I first met Art Clokey in 1955. He had been referred to me by a producer named Sam Engel. At the time I was Director of Production and Business Affairs of NBC, West Coast. Art showed me his Gumbasia film and some film of the Gumby character. I was very intrigued by what I saw, and recommended to the Program Department, headquartered in New York, that we make a deal with Art to develop the Gumby concept. Gumby was first tested on the Howdy Doody Show, and he came across as a winner. As a result, I made a deal with Art for a series.
GC: Why are you called Gumby’s Godfather?
TS: I guess… because I recommended and made the first deal for the series, and because I have been with and have been making deals for Gumby for his whole 61 years. Also, even though Gumby was the creation of Art Clokey, I have always felt something special for him and that he was “a part of me,” too.
GC: You knew Art Clokey for more than 50 years. What was Art Clokey like?
TS: Art was completely dedicated to his creations and very serious about whatever was done with Gumby. On the other hand, he fortunately also had a very good sense of humor, which he used with great success in his Gumby episodes.
I very much enjoyed working with Art. I thought that he was extremely creative, so I gave him pretty free rein in his TV series deal; and, I think it worked out well. I was also very pleased and flattered that Art came to me after we were no longer with NBC and asked me to help him get Gumby restarted. Although we tried to get a movie made, we wound up making a deal with Lorimar for a new TV series.
GC: Tom Sarnoff has worked closely with other TV, Film and Music icons.
He negotiated all of the contracts with Bob Hope for his NBC TV specials and series and all of Elvis’ NBC deals. He worked at NBC for 25 years, and in addition to his television accomplishments, he was instrumental in producing NBC’s Disney on Parade and Peter Pan arena shows. He served as an executive producer for the Bonanza TV movies and a number of Broadway productions. After founding his own company, Tom produced his own world-touring arena shows, such as Yabba Dabba Doo, featuring Hanna-Barbera characters.
Sarnoff has been a keen participant in many activities within the television Industry—he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and was instrumental in establishing the Television Academy Foundation, among other key roles. He has also played an active leadership role in many civic and community affairs, including the Special Olympics, for which he assisted his wife Jan (President of the California chapter, 1971-85).
GC: Your father David Sarnoff is a legend in the television industry, and he’s credited with founding NBC. He’s mentioned in all the film history books. I’m sure that he influenced your choice of career. Could you speak a bit about him?
TS: My father, who was responsible for the formation of NBC, was also the visionary who envisioned television, brought it to life, and established the television industry.
During the early years of TV development, NBC experimented with showing cartoons such as Felix the Cat. In 1931 they built a studio to experiment with live broadcasting. When they were ready to expose their accomplishment, my father gathered together a group of distinguished citizens including bankers, politicians, etc. and told them what they were going to see. He pulled off a black cloth that was covering the TV monitor and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the first broadcast of live television.” Unbeknownst to him, however, but with the collusion of my mother, I had been sneaked over to the studio. When the black cloth was removed, out popped on the screen a little four-year old boy who waved and said, “Hello, Daddy.” I’m sure that it took a while for my father to recover from that shock when he had expected some dancing girls.
I still can feel the extreme heat of the klieg lights that they used in the studio those days, and that experience will be etched in my memory forever. Unfortunately, they did not pick up my option so I never really became a TV star.
GC: You’re a star in our book. You have an amazing list of accomplishments, too numerous to mention here. We’ve heard you say that Gumby’s strength is his character, and that “he always leaves a place better than how he found it.” You’re definitely a Gumby kindred spirit.
Thank you for joining us Tom. It has been an honor to meet with you.Read More »
The iconic Canadian band RUSH has a new documentary, RUSH / Time Stand Still, which debuted in select theaters on November 3 and 17, 2016 in the U.S. and Canada. This fascinating documentary chronicles the final major tour of the legendary rock band.
Gumby – RUSH connection
RUSH members love Gumby! So much so, that they featured cuts to Gumby and pals jamming to their first big hit “Working Man” at their theater showings and in their promotions. Check out the Rush Facebook page to see the official jam.
The DVD/BluRay released on November 18. Best Buy has a special edition of the DVD that includes a Gumby keychain with Gumby wearing a RUSH t-shirt. Click here for a sneak peek.
About Time Stand Still
The RUSH Time Stand Still website explains:
“It is an intimate view “under the hood” of a historic moment from the perspective of the band, their fans, crew, and management. Featuring interviews with the band throughout their sold-out 2015 40th Anniversary Tour, the film also shows rarely seen backstage footage capturing the final moments of life on the road. Highlighted as well is the impact on the band’s fans and the world that has been built around the beloved Canadian trio.”
“Time Stand Still is not only a good story, but it helps to explain why this band has mattered to so many people, in so many countries, for so many decades. – Huffington Post
“It’s true that RUSH doesn’t mean today what it did in ’76 or even ’96. It may mean more.” – Rolling Stone
You can read more about the documentary here.
Gumby has many fans in the music world. We’re thrilled to include RUSH.Read More »
Gumby and Pokey are touring the U.S. Our dynamic duo (6” bendable toys from the ‘60s) are on display in the new exhibit: Toys of the ‘50s, 60s and 70s. Now appearing in its fifth U.S. city, the exhibit is drawing large crowds. This fun exhibit chronicles toys through three decades. And you guessed it… Gumby made the cut.
Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels.
The names of popular toys from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s capture the craziness, the joy, and the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life.
The exhibit, organized by the Minnesota History Center, has shown at the Colorado History Center and the Heinz History Center in Pittsburg, PA in association with the Smithsonian, and Museum of History and Science in Seattle.
Get a sneak peek of the exhibit in this video produced by the Heinz History Center: >>Watch now.
It’s fun for the entire family! Be sure to check it out if it appears in a city near you.Read More »
Iconic Remastered Gumby Episodes–Always in Style
Here come Gumby and Pokey in a new DVD gift set of wild and inventive late 60’s episodes! The Adventures of Gumby, 1960s, Volume 2 was just released on September 13, 2016. It contains over 40 clay-animated episodes, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. A great bonus—two Blockheads bendable toys are included. Get yours here.
All of the episodes featuring Nopey, the dog who only says “no,” can be found this set. Also appearing are Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, and other characters with whom Gumby and Pokey have creative, fun adventures. These cleverly written stories engage both children and adults with enduring themes that captivate today’s audiences as they did when first released.
Some great special features are included: the art film “The Clay Peacock;” a behind the scenes photo gallery; the re-mastered “Have a Heart” animated theme song; and super fun clay animated bumpers. You’ll also get to see some of the animators who worked on these episodes talk about their experiences at Clokey Productions. These same animators went on to animate hundreds of iconic films from Star Wars and beyond.
The set is now available at Gumby.com, and will be on shelves at major retailers such as Target, WalMart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Barnes and Noble, groceries and other stores in October-December, just in time for the holiday season.
And wait, there’s more…
Don’t forget Vol. 1 of the 1960s and the ‘50’s collection DVD sets. Each set is a great value with over 200 minutes of programming and unique bendable toys. Collect them all!
More Gumby fun is on the way! NCircle Entertainment will be releasing The Gumby Movie (1990s), re-mastered in its full length in early 2017. The 80’s series will hit stores later in 2017. Stay tuned…
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Claremont Heritage Home Tour and Fall Festival Welcome Gumby
Come see the childhood home of Gumby creator Art Clokey, which will be open during the Claremont Heritage Home Tour and Fall Festival on October 9, 2016. An exhibit about Art Clokey will be on display in the home, and children will enjoy Gumby-inspired activities.
Five unique homes, including those designed by Millard Sheets and Theodore Criley, Jr. will be open for docent-led tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on October 9. The homes are located in the Via Zurita neighborhood, which is one of Claremont’s hidden treasures (Via Zurita, two blocks north of Foothill Blvd. and one Block East of Indian Hill Blvd in Claremont, California.)
The Clokey home is only open to those who have purchased a Home Tour ticket. Get your tickets in advance here or at the event.
Meet special guests Joe (Art Clokey’s son) and Joan Clokey at the Sunset Reception on Friday, October 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the former Clokey residence. As the owners of Gumby’s stop motion animation studio, Premavision/Clokey Productions, they carry on the family legacy, bringing Gumby to the next generation. Join us for refreshments and jazz at the reception. Reservations are required. Purchase tickets before September 30. See the Claremont Heritage website for more details.
The festival, a free event, held the same day and time and in the same location as the Home Tour, is a celebration of art, architecture and sustainability. The festival features arts and crafts, heritage flea market, live music, food trucks and experts in renovations, gardens and sustainability.
Purchase advance tickets for the Home Tour at participating local businesses or online at: http://claremontheritage.org/hometour.html
Read more about the Home Tour, Fall Festival and other events in Claremont in the Vil Clare online magazine.
See you there!
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Magic, mystery and art are woven into a heroic Samurai tale in the new film, Kubo and the Two Strings. This action adventure story takes us on a dreamlike journey through ancient Japan. It’s visually stunning with a blend of stop motion animation and CG techniques. The film’s heartfelt messages about kindness, compassion and finding one’s own path in life add emotion and drama. Kubo’s serious quest is punctuated by some laugh-out-loud moments. Here’s the official trailer.
Produced by Laika stop motion studios, directed by Travis Knight, written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, it debuted on August 19, 2016. Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara and George Takei lend their voices to the film.
Kubo’s Gumby Connection
A number of former Gumby animators and creatives worked on Kubo. The animation and sets were so lifelike. Stop motion has come a long way since the earliest days of Gumby in the 1950s. While the basic process is still the same (taking photos one frame at a time), the technology has evolved. Check out these fascinating behind-the-scenes videos to learn more about how the film was created:
Daniel Alderson. Stop Motion Animator
Kubo, a young boy, climbs down from his mountain cave home where he lives with his mother to dazzle crowds in town with his dramatic story telling each day. He conjures up origami characters that come to life as he plays his shamisen. His inventive tales center on battles that Hanzo, his missing Samurai warrior father, wages with monsters. The stories spin out of control, and Kubo goes on a classic quest to find the magical armor that will allow him to defeat vengeful spirits from the past.
The film is getting great reviews.
Rotten Tomatoes gave the film has an approval rating of 96%, based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.”
Michael O’Sullivan of Washington Post gave the film 4/4 stars, stating that the film is “both extraordinarily original and extraordinarily complex, even for a grown-up movie masquerading as a kiddie cartoon (which it kind of is).”
Glenn Kenny of The New York Times wrote that “the movie’s blend of stop-motion animation for the main action with computer-generated backgrounds is seamless, creating what is the most visually intoxicating of all Laika’s movies.”
It’s fun for the entire family. Check it out!
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Gumby and The Little Prince have a few things in common, so it was with great anticipation that we watched The Little Prince feature film on Netflix on the opening night in the U.S. this month. >>Watch the trailer.
The film is based on the famous and timeless French novella, The Little Prince (published in 1943), which is one of the best-selling books of all time. The film is beautiful. This adaptation captures the wondrous spirit of the book with an amazing blend of stop motion animation and CG artistry.
Connections with Gumby
Gumby creator Art Clokey was acquainted with Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of the The Little Prince. Antoine was a pioneering aviator who had recounted his aviation experiences in the Sahara Desert in both his memoirs and in The Little Prince. Art Clokey was a reconnaissance photographer in World War II, stationed in North Africa. He had some similar experiences as Antoine, and even met him in the early 1940s. Art told us that the Gumby episode “Small Planets“ was loosely influenced by The Little Prince. You can see the kindred spirit of the little girl’s yearning for imagination, fun and adventure in Gumby.
Jumping forward to 2014-2016, our very own Gumby Animation Director Anthony Scott served as lead animator on The Little Prince. Anthony got his start as a stop motion animator in the late ’80s when Art Clokey hired him to work on the Gumby series. Anthony has gone on to work on other amazing stop motion films such as James and the Giant Peach, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Corpse Bride, Paranorman, and many more.
Animator Anthony Scott Shares his Experiences
“The Little Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime project that I was fortunate to be a part of. Since I was a child, I was familiar with the book, especially its strange and fascinating illustrations. Our core team including Jamie Caliri (Stop Motion Creative Director and founder of Dragonframe stop motion software) and Alexander Juhasz (Stop Motion Production Designer) and myself, set up a small studio in Montréal, Canada. We put together a top-notch crew of local talent to produce the stop motion sequences in Mark Osborne‘s film.
Saint-Exupery’s story was told through the use of paper puppets. Like clay, paper is a beautiful material to work with in stop motion animation. These sequences have received world-wide acclaim and I feel, have effectively connected with the spirit of The Little Prince.”
Hear from the Team that Created the Film
For more details about the stop motion production, watch these podcasts:
AnimateClay Live Stop Motion Chat Podcast
- Alexander Juhasz (Character Designer/Production Designer)
- Anthony Scott (Lead Animator)
The talents behind the stop-motion in The Little Prince:
- Anthony Scott (Lead Animator)
- Corinne Merrell (Art Director)
- Jamie Caliri (Creative Director)
- Alexander Juhasz (Character Designer/Production Designer)
Enjoy The Little Prince!
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The Adventures of Gumby, 1960s, Volume 1 gift set just released on February 23, 2016. This set includes over 40 episodes from the early ‘60s, and a ’60’s style 4.5” bendable Pokey toy. It’s available at Gumby.com and major retailers such as Target, WalMart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Barnes and Noble, groceries and many more.
Joe Clokey, son of Art and Ruth Clokey, the creators of the Gumby, found the original camera film rolls in the archives, and he has lovingly restored them. The film held up beautifully over the decades; the episodes look as though they were just created. The episodes are shown in their original lengths with the original soundtracks.
The DVD includes some great bonus features, including the charming first pilot (with sound) that aired on NBC in which Gumby sings an entertaining song about himself. Other special features include: Space Ball, a rare episode that first introduced Professor Kapp; a tour of the 1964 Clokey Productions studio; and a special behind-the-scenes photo gallery.
Volume 2 of the 1960s will be released in the fall of 2016. Following that, NCircle Entertainment will be releasing The Gumby Movie (1990s), re-mastered in its full length. The 80’s series will launch after that.
Here’s a fan review of the new set:
“Just got my NEW Gumby set, which includes the shorts that were made in the 60s. What a great set! They went back to the original camera elements to make a transfer that is above and beyond your wildest dreams……..PLUS……..they have their original soundtracks, unlike the set that was released by RHINO years ago. Those had replaced music and voice tracks, all synthesized. This is the real deal! I loved Gumby and Pokey when I was growing up and I love them still. Hats off to Joe Clokey for a terrific job in helping to keep his clay brother alive! In case you DON’T know, Joe is the son of Gumby’s creator Art Clokey. PLUS a bonus on the DVD……the ACTUAL pilot that launched the series. Before this set, it was always thought that GUMBY ON THE MOON was the pilot……it was a little film that I had in my own collection entitled “Gumby Business, a Sample”. The Clokey company had some footage from this landmark film but I supplied them with the complete film with it’s original soundtrack. Thanks to legendary TV pioneer E Roger Muir, producer of The Howdy Doody Show, this film survived. It is the actual print they used on Howdy Doody on June 16, 1955 that Roger and his wife Barbara archived and eventually gave to me. As the wonderful song on the show goes……”if you’ve got a heart then Gumby’s a part of You…..” It STILL holds true today. Thank You Joe Clokey for another wonderful collection! Gumby and Pokey ARE a part of YOU! Now, I’m gonna watch Gumby and Pokey!” -Jack Roth
A favorite iconic character of the past six decades, Gumby brings back fond memories for fans of all ages, while their children and grandchildren are mesmerized by Gumby on YouTube, Kabillion (a free on-demand network) and many other Internet based platforms. Gumby, the world’s original clayboy is truly timeless. His limitless adventures enchant each new generation.
Get your DVD set here.Read More »