Friday, February 7, 2014

Art Clokey & Gumby

With the premiere of The Lego Movie this Friday and seeing several previews for it, this movie made me realize just how much I appreciate legos along with Stop-Motion animated features. In fact some of the earliest movies and shorts i think many of us that grew up in the 90s had some experience seeing stop motion of some kind. Whether it was those films from Aardman like Chicken Run, the Wallace and Gromitt shorts, the Rankin Bass Christmas Specials (Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Clause is Coming to Town etc) and even Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (and the short Vincent)

But one stop-motion feature that stood out the most to me growing up were the Art Clokey animations of  Gumby. Clokey started out with stop-motion with the musical short Gumbasia as a student film at the University of Southern California in 1953 under director Slavko Vorkapich.
 After showing this to Sam Engel of 20th Century Fox, Clokey was later asked to create a tv show using claymation figures. This eventually to creation of the famous Gumby show. One of my first exposures to this character was the movie base on this character from the 1990s. The thing about this series that I have come to enjoy over the years has been the countless shapes that Gumby and his friends take as well as comic to appreciate the countless frames it takes to animate a feature of this sort. 

A few years ago I attempted my own experiment in stop-motion and found that is difficult process processing hundreds of pictures to a simple few minute movie and have come to admire the stop motion artists who have made considerably longer works. 

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