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4 out of 5
My love of stop motion animation has been around since I was a young child, and Gumby came into my life to help fuel my love of this underappreciated animation genre.
Let me tell you a little about myself – born in May of 1980 I wasn’t around to fully appreciate this classic Gumby show during its original airing. Since Gumby was first shown in the early 1950’s – I would have needed a time traveling DeLorean to pull that off. But instead – in the mid to late 1980’s they released a new Gumby show that featured brand new episodes mixed in with the classic episodes from the 1950’s. This was my first exposure to Gumby and his sidekick Pokey (the talking red pony). I would wake up early in the mornings on a school day – dress myself, fix my own breakfast, and sit down to watch good ole cartoons such as Teddy Ruxpin, Woody Woodpecker or Gumby. I gravitated towards Gumby because of the creativity it took to create and of course Gumby himself – an innocent bystander always finding some sort of mischief to make his day exciting or dramatic.
Fast forward to today – 2015. After viewing this DVD set (Gumby: Complete 50’s Series) – my love for Gumby grew even larger than it already was. I haven’t seen the show much since my childhood, but the instant that green character appeared on the screen… I felt like a kid once again waking up early in the morning to watch classic television. I marveled over the creativity – and as an adult I’m more amazed now than ever before. The amount of detail they created to construct the world surrounding Gumby and his friends is amazing. You could tell they put a lot of love into that show, and I can only imagine how fun it would have been to travel to the local hobby shop to pick up new set pieces that would create the scenes we see in this classic DVD set. Sure, the sets were simplistic, but so was the show… that’s what gave it charm and appeal. I especially love how Gumby himself is larger than some buildings in his town – and I even love the accidental mistakes that show up on the screen. For instance: fingerprints on the characters after moving them from pose to pose, lighting differences after capturing a new movement… this show wasn’t perfect, but that’s what I loved about it.
I can honestly say that the plot development is poor. In fact, most episodes don’t seem to feature plots. It was almost as if they were creating the show as they filmed it. The show was never story driven, but it was always a cool visual stimulation and always took you on a wild ride. So come along – and join Gumby, Pokey, and the Blockheads on this amazing adventure to your childhood…. you won’t regret it.