Top 10 Amazing Facts
There’s a certain green clay figure that has captured the hearts of audiences for decades – yes, we’re talking about Gumby! The stretchy, imagination-fueled character and his trusty sidekick, Pokey, have become iconic figures in the realm of animation. But beyond the playful adventures on-screen, there’s a series of fascinating facts surrounding Gumby that many fans might not be aware of. So, today, we’re going to discuss the top 10 amazing facts about Gumby that will surely deepen your appreciation for this timeless character.
#1. The Plasticine Marathon
Creating Gumby was a challenging task. The character was made of plasticine, a material that is prone to breaking apart, so five or six Gumbys were needed for each scene. The solution? A team of 60 artists and technicians worked tirelessly to animate about two minutes of film every eight hours. In the short span of a six-minute show, Gumby and his friends were carefully moved up to 9,000 times, demonstrating a herculean feat of animation.
#2. Fantasia’s Influence
Art Clokey was inspired by the surreal landscapes of Disney’s Fantasia. After graduating from school in the early 1950s, he created a three-minute claymation spectacle called Gumbasia. This miniature marvel mirrored the whimsy of Fantasia, laying the imaginative groundwork for Gumby and a new era of children’s television animation.
#3. A Slant of Sentiment
Gumby’s iconic slanted head wasn’t just a quirky design choice. It was a sweet gesture inspired by a photograph of Clokey’s father as a teenager. The angular cowlick, which Clokey called a “bump of wisdom,” was reflected in Gumby’s silhouette, adding a touch of tenderness to our clay friend.
#4. Box Office Bow
The 1980s nostalgia wave brought Gumby back to the big screen. In 1995, Clokey and McKennon teamed up to create Gumby: The Movie, which was not a box office success despite its plot about Blockheads kidnapping him. However, the film captured the timeless charm and villainous adventures that kept audiences rooting for the green hero.
#5. A Howdy Doody Debut
In the era of ‘The Howdy Doody Show,’ Gumby emerged as a fresh face of clay animation. His charming personality quickly won people over, leading to his own show. “The Gumby Show” premiered in 1957 and aired imaginative episodes until 1968, carving out a unique chapter in the history of children’s programming.
#6. The Voice of a Generation
Dallas McKennon, the voice of Gumby, was well-versed in the fantastical world of animation. His vocal cords brought to life a multitude of unforgettable characters, from Toughy in Lady and the Tramp to Max in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, spreading magic throughout the animated landscape.
#7. Voice Change
But before Dallas took the reins, Ruth Eggleston, the wife of the show’s art director, Al Eggleston, was the voice of Gumby. She provided the original voice of Gumby until 1957, beginning a vocal journey that would echo through animated history.
#8. Eddie Murphy’s Magical Revival
The 1970s were a golden age for cartoons, and Gumby was overshadowed by the popularity of other characters. However, Eddie Murphy’s hilarious impersonation of Gumby on Saturday Night Live sparked a revival of interest in the character. His comedic tribute renewed interest in Gumby, paving the way for new episodes to be produced in the late 1980s.
#9. Clokey’s Claymation Crown
Clokey didn’t just stop at Gumby; he ventured into another claymation classic, Davey and Goliath. In the 1960s, few people were exploring the field of stop-motion claymation, so Clokey virtually monopolized it. He created stories that have stood the test of time, demonstrating his unparalleled skill in clay animation.
#10. A Legacy of Flexibility
Despite a period of low popularity, Gumby’s magnetic charm drew audiences back. The green icon evolved into a marketing phenomenon, with his likeness appearing on everything from flexible toys to ice cream bars. Gumby’s legacy, like his plasticine form, proved to be endlessly adaptable, demonstrating the enduring love for classic television animation.
Now that you’ve explored Gumby’s amazing world, share your favorite moment or character in the comments below, and let’s keep Gumby’s whimsical spirit alive for future generations!