The stop-motion animation superstar is getting the treatment he deserves!
Anyway, there will be screenings, panels, workshops, including folks from “Robot Chicken,” you name it. I asked Nick all about it because I gotta tell you, if I were in the Los Angeles area that day, that is where I’d be.
Dan Greenfield: How did the Gumby celebration come about?
Nick Croce: It started out when one of the officials at Glendora City Hall learned Gumby was filmed in Glendora in the 1960s and 1970s. He presented to the Chamber of Commerce the idea of hosting a tribute to Gumby but evolved into the nation’s first and only stop-animation festival. The idea caught on with everyone.
What’s your family’s connection to Gumby?
My father and I signed our first Gumby license in July of 1983 on the hood of Art Clokey’s Plymouth Valiant outside of a copy shop in downtown Santa Monica, after a meal of Indian cuisine. We became well acquainted with Art, his wife Gloria, and later with Joe and his wife Joan. NJ Croce is the longest-running licensee of Gumby and feel like family. I was invited by Gary Boyer, the committee chair, at the onset, to join in on the planning of Gumby Fest.
What was your reaction to the old Eddie Murphy “I’m Gumby, dammit!” routine?
I loved it and this brought Gumby back into the limelight with a resurgence of sales and interest in all things Gumby.
What can fans expect at the celebration?
Discussion panels of the original animators of Gumby and Joe Clokey; Rick Baker, the uber-special effects artist who got his start with Gumby; a Gumby Museum of original props and memorabilia will participate; hands-on animation stations manned by the artists of Stoopid Buddies, who produce “Robot Chicken”; merchandise sales; food trucks; a 30-foot Gumby in front of Glendora City Hall. Laika Studios will be on hand and hint that they may show a preview snippet of the upcoming “Box Trolls” movie; the Montreal Animation Festival shorts will be shown; the “Gumby Dharma” documentary will be shown. “Davey and Goliath” episodes will be showing at the booth of the local Glendora Friends Church. Play-Doh and bendables will be on hand for the little kids to play with; numerous community organizations’ booths will be on hand, live music. on and on!
What’s the most interesting thing about Gumby that people don’t know?
1) That Gumby studios were located in Glendora in the 1960s and 1970s, where numerous episodes of it and “Davey and Goliath” were filmed. 2) That Gumby was the first stop-clay-animation cartoon, pioneered by Art Clokey.
Seriously, this sounds like a blast! Go to www.gumbyfest.net for more info!