Step into the life and work of Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, grandfather of stop-motion animation, and explore why a man would spend his 85 years on earth playing with lumps of colored clay. Art has lead a vital life and influential artistic career, guided by his persistent and evolving spiritual pursuits. His world famous characters, Gumby and Pokey, and Davy and Goliath, echo the spiritual path of their creator. Art's journey takes us from the orphanage to inspiring adopted father, from the Seminary to the Hollywood movie business, and from traditional Episcopalian church values to Buddhism and Indian guru Sai Babba. It is a fascinating life and career in it's own right but also in how it gently influenced his characters and story lines for 40 + years. Clokey's work is one of the few animation characters that have survived the test of time to become a true American Icon. Interviews with contemporary leaders in animation, including Director Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, ... Written by
For the longest time I was curious to how Gumby became so famous. Now that I've seen this film, I know Gumby has a rich background, and his creator also had a troubled life. It is the sad truth in this story. Not all famous people have had good lives. Another thing and this are the only two reasons why I gave this documentary nine out of ten stars. With the story revealing about how creator, Art Clokey had went through life, I just didn't understand his logic. Then again I will never understand.
In this documentary, the viewer is told of how the story of Art Clokey unfolds. It really is interesting to see how Clokey's hobbies and interests turned into reality for him. As a child, he said that he loved to play in the mud and sculpt objects out of it. How intriguing that even at an early age, he already liked molding clay. Watching something like this made me think back and wonder what were my early hobbies when I was kid. Are any of the things I liked doing back then as kid still exist in my interests now?
It's also cool to see the people behind Clokey that helped him create the beloved characters of the Gumby show. He explains how he got the idea of making Prickle and Goo. Clokey's son even explains what each character of the Gumby show represents and it really shows once the viewer looks at the TV series with this perspective. What's even more interesting is how Art Clokey came up with the idea for Gumby's color. Hearing the reasoning for this just blew me away. I never would have guessed.
The two things I didn't like about this film were the way it was produced and how Art Clokey told his story. First about Art Clokey, watching the story being told, made me lose a little respect for him. Unfortunately because of how he acted in his life. I will give him credit for coming out and telling what he did wrong but it seemed like for a guy who made a show that was so innocent, would have such bad parts in his life. I could just never grasp the idea. It was almost like Clokey's dark side and I was not pleased with it.
As for how the film was made, it felt like the film was half perfected. I say this because when certain clips would roll and then cut out, it seemed like the transition wasn't fully there. Like the filmmakers only wanted show certain parts. This didn't happen all the time but for the parts that did show, it seemed shady for an open documentary. I know it looks like I'm condemning this movie but I'm explaining what I felt when I watched it. Overall though, I enjoyed this film very much and feel it is an eye opening experience for any Gumby fan.
Gumby Dharma is great informational film that reveals the answers to any questions Gumby fans might have. Not only does it point out the good and the bad of Art Clokey, but it also makes the viewer realize that even the most famous of celebrities are not perfect.
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