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STUDIO: Genius Products
RUNNING TIME: 117 min
• Deleted Scenes
• Bonus Episodes
Pieces of clay fight clones and play in a band.
Art Clokey, Gloria Clokey, Charles Farrington, Alice Young, Janet McDuff and Manny la Carruba
Still #1: Hookers at the Point: Play-Doh Edition
Gumby the Movie was created as the first part in a series to celebrate the little green man of clay. The film centers around Gumby reuniting the Clayboys to play a concert benefit for local farmers. The evil Blockheads have used the event as a way to kidnap Gumby’s dog Lowbelly. Lowbelly cries pearls and the Blockheads want to sell the pearls to make a little folding money. Thus, our claymation adventure begins.
Art Clokey created the little green guy almost fifty years ago as a special segment for The Howdy Doody Show. The problem was that Gumby and his clay friends never left that era. Taking several years following the end of The New Gumby Adventures, this film hit theaters in 1995. A limited run it might have had, Gumby the Movie has sparked an almost cult following among animation fans. Being one, I can attest to the low quality of some of the shit we pine after.
On one hand, you can assume that I took my medication today. On the other hand, you can assume that Satan is telling me use your lower GI tract for dental floss.
Gumby the Movie or Gumby 1 was supposed to be the launch of a new era of Gumby. But, the film flopped and we’re left with nostalgic memories of a little green dude exclaiming Holy Toledo about every calamity coming his way. I was watching this film with a younger relative and they asked me if anyone was ever stupid enough to like this. That little nugget got me thinking about the film. Is it stupid or is it simple? There is a difference.
Looking at the structure of the film, it appears chaotic. Twenty minutes flies by before we start sliding into anything resembling a plot. The nature of the action breaks and the stretching of material seem to suggest that Clokey only crafted a 30 minute tale and was forced to stretch for normal theatrical running time. This comes into play when you have to wait twenty minutes for an ending that should’ve been three minutes long at best. There’s a story here and I eagerly await hearing about it from a Clokey fan.
Fisher Price presents the Motel Hell – Watch Me Grow playset.
The film is an antiquated oddity from a time where it stands out as a camp malady. That clicks for some people, but there’s no real reason for it to click. It’s a strange failure of design that makes one wonder why Clokey and company didn’t plan the film out better. But, we can sit here and contemplate the failures of the independent animation world for eternity. All I know is that the years haven’t been kind.
Gumby the Movie comes to DVD from Genius Products as a nice entry point to Gumby. You get bonus episodes culled from the original run of the show. Then, there’s deleted scenes and extras that carry on the fun of the movie. You’ve got to love that. Don’t you?
The A/V Quality is pretty impressive for an older film that was probably shot in someone’s garage. Such clarity also exposes a lot of dirt and damage on the print. It’s nothing that hurts the film, it’s just that constant annoyance of knowing there’s something wrong. The Dolby track is clean and it handles the limited audio FX pretty well. The A/V on the bonus episodes is weak sauce, though. So, buyer beware.
Sometimes, I make screen shots for no fucking reason. If you can figure out what I was trying to do with this show, then you get a No-Prize.
Gumby is an acquired taste in the way that you acquire chicken pox. You experience it in childhood and it doesn’t seem as bad as you remember it. Well, it isn’t horrible…it’s just really poor. Anyone over the age of ten has no need to experience it and I can’t recommend it. But, younger kids will love this.
I had a joke about Gene Shalit fucking Pokey, but I wasn’t feeling it. Who was I to shit upon a 50 year old creation? Gene Shalit is fair game, though. He probably does fuck show ponies.