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
Startlingly honest, occasionally depressing, this is an amazing biography and a must for Clokey fans. Seal's review is near-flawless except he didn't mention that the film also deals with how this Zen Buddhist was - somehow - hired by what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to do a children's program with faith-based topics. I was a kid in the ELCA and remember the large push they provided to this project (perhaps in response to the Missouri Synod Lutheran church's theatrical films "Martin Luther" and "Question Seven"). It appears that Clokey had his issues with the ELCA - the bio contains a Gumby clip featuring a malevolent Davey as the villain! A well-deserved tribute to an American original, and a man of his time.
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