Profile: Gumby—(O.K., Art Clokey)

December 19, 2008


Above: Gumby and his best friend Pokey, claymation characters created by Art Clokey.

The other day I was taking a break and noticed that Sundance Channel had a documentary on Gumby called Gumby Dharma. I remember watching Gumby as a youngster and being fascinated with the movement and construction. I never learned anything else about Gumby and his creator, Art Clokey. However, this short (54 minutes), Emmy-award winning (2008), film changed all that.

Clokey's life has some traumatic twists (I don't want to spoil things by being specific) which could have derailed him, instead he found film, and clay, and Buddhism, and Sai Babba

Besides interview footage with Clokey, Gumby, and Pokey (yes new footage of them being interviewed) there are interviews with current leading animators. It was particularly interesting to see what one of my personal heroes Ray Harryhausen had to say. Also included are Clokey family films and interviews with family.

I think director Robina Marchesi has created a beautiful little gem of a movie about a creative person's life and work. You'll even find out why Gumby is green.

I recommend that you seek this film out. My search on Sundance brought up a Tuesday, December 23, 10 a.m. airing. (I don't know if that is Eastern time so check your local listings!)

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