Gumby: The Movie (1995)
From the "huh?" files comes Gumby: The Movie, aka The Gumby Movie, aka Gumby 1. Until I saw the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack while out shopping last week, this wasn't even on my radar. Boy, I'm glad I found it.
As it turns out, this flick had a very short theatrical release at the end of 1995 (very short, and only in 21 theaters nation-wide), but I swear I'd never heard of it until just a few days ago. Maybe it was just so far outside my focus back then that it didn't even register. I've always known who and what Gumby was, but I can't really ever remember watching it besides flipping through the channels in the early days of cable. Regardless, here we are today, and I'm the proud owner of this movie on Blu-ray in an awesome package that looks like this:
More important than owning this cool package, I've also watched the movie. It's fun, and it's not at all what I was expecting. In the past few days, I've gone down this rabbit hole of Gumby stuff that's spurred a crash course education in the green guy's creator, Art Clokey and his other, maybe even weirder, creation--Davey and Goliath, the morality-based clay animation series sponsored by the Lutheran church. Turns out Clokey was a pretty cool guy. While I'm sure some people would like to pin him down as a Christian-based entertainer (and believe me, I have no problem with that), the reality seems to be that he was more complicated. His work seems to exist at the crossroads of art, literature, and family values, but with a healthy dose of Salvador Dali thrown in. See, while there are morals to be found in his work, one doesn't arrive at them in the way you'd expect. Clokey seems to have one foot planted in the psychedelic and another in the surreal, but there doesn't appear to be anything mean-spirited beneath the surface.