Late last Friday, Rocks Off learned thatGumby
andDavey and Goliath
creator Art Clokey had passed away in his sleep at age 88. The pioneering stop-motion animator and his clay work were fixtures in children's television from 1957 on. All of Clokey's characters were moral, fun-loving and devoid of the commercialism that we see in today's kids programming. Gumby and Pokey never tried to sell you anything, while Davey and his trusted canine Goliath just wanted you to live your life right. Clokey's touch can be felt on modern day stop-motion works like theWallace & Gromit
film series, Tim Burton'sCorpse Bride
andThe Nightmare Before Christmas
, Wes Anderson'sThe Fantastic Mr. Fox
, and even nightly on Adult Swim'sRobot Chicken
. Any child of the '80s can probably dig up a California Raisins doll at their parent's house given the chance. A documentary on the life of Clokey is still making the repertory rounds.Gumby Dharma
traces Clokey's evolution from his time as a deserted child in the Depression all the way up to the present day. He was very much devoted to the simplicity and wonder of childhood, but did partake in the party scene of the '60s,as seen in this video
.Davey and Goliath
was in part funded by the Lutheran Church in the early '60s, yet didn't ram any sort of religious doctrine down anyone's throats. It also depicted racial unity during the civil rights movement, a time when the country was a smoldering haystack of racial aggression. It's still an endearing show to gander at on a hung over Saturday afternoon, and you always walk away with a lesson or moral.
Rocks Off gathered some of the best stop-motion music videos made through the history of the genre to honor Clokey's groundbreaking work. Mind you most of these sequences probably took months to create, making stop-motion animation very much a devoted undertaking for the artists at hand.Peter Gabriel, "Sledgehammer" Green Jelly, "Three Little Pigs" White Stripes, "Fell In Love With A Girl" Tool, "Sober" Grizzly Bear, "Ready, Able" We Have Band, "You Came Out" Oren Lavie, "Her Morning Elegance" Primus, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" The Disablists feat. Foreign Beggars, "Heavy Rotation" Bowerbirds, "In Our Talons"
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.