Saturday, January 9, 2010

Art Clokey

Geez, this dude was still alive? Apparently so. But not anymore.

Art Clokey was responsible for one of the most oddly beloved of animated characters, Gumby.

I used to watch Gumby when I was a kid, just like everybody else. And I can still sing the song, which is pretty whimsical. But the animations themselves were often really really messed up. I'm talking about the stuff of nightmares here.

This is one of the earliest Gumby shorts. Check it out. The visuals, the soundtrack, the plot (such as it is). Terrifying. This is better suited for college kids on dope than children.

Clokey talked about his scientific background and how he tried to make things realistic, like with a rotating module to create artificial gravity. (Kubrick had the same thing in "2001". Nice.) And yet how do they get Gumby down from the moon? With the effing firetruck!

And nobody ever asks how Gumby got there or why. They just look through the telescope and say "Oh, there he is" as if they had already checked the bathroom and the crystal meth lab and this was the next logical place to look.

And how do you like those little triangle creatures with the eyes that pop out. Eyes that get blown clear off one creature's head by Gumby's dad, by the way. Without even checking to see if the little fuckers just wanted to play. Did they really look that threatening? Did they have weapons?

Thanks for the nightmares, Art.

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