Friday, February 23, 2018
The Gumby Movie!
The Gumby Movie is exactly what you expect, a ninety minute-long Gumby adventure. Inside the giant Gumby head you will find a movie which this Gumby fan found entertaining and also a little time capsule of the late 80's and early 90's when this movie was developed and finally released to almost no acclaim.
The movie came out in 1995 after several years of trying to find a distributor and its life on VHS and DVD has been rather grim with only shortened versions being available in a limited way until now. The whole shebang can be got for relatively small money and for a Gumby fan that's nifty as can be. The story is a weird one (of course) as we begin in outer space where aliens enjoy vintage Gumby transmissions. Then a strange monolith becomes both a green and red monolith and both of those come to Earth where they transform into Pokey and Gumby (though that's more than a bit uncertain). Then we follow Gumby and his band the "Clayboys" as they try to use their rock and roll talents to help farmers who are suffering from debt to the unscrupulous Blockheads who run the local bank. Then we learn that Lowbelly (Gumby's dog) can cry tears which become pearls when he hears the music. When the Blockheads learn of this they kidnap the dog then everyone else eventually. To the rescue is a new character named Tara who becomes a love interest of sorts for Gumby.
If all that sounds bizarre, then you have gotten the proper sense of it. This movie tries to be perhaps too many things, but in a movie which first and foremost is a visual feast of stop-motion antics, that's a forgivable sin. We have echoes of Terminator as a robot Gumby pursues our heroes into a gaggle of books which call back many a Gumby adventure from years gone by. We even get a light-saber battle at one point. If anything the movie has too many characters to manage as many seem to have little to do most of the time. Prickle and Goo in particular seem to get short shrift as Gumby's pals in the band (FatBuckle, ThinBuckle, and NoBuckle) take up space. The Blockheads do get a good show though, as their schemes are front and center most of the time.
This one is for Gumby purists for certain. Everyone else will have to tread with caution. I liked it. The packaging is clever, but like a lot of stuff in this vein, it will be difficult to store. That's a nice problem to have when it's all said and done though.