‘Gumbasia’, a 3 minute 34 second short film produced in 1953 and released on September 2, 1955, was the first clay animation produced by Art Clokey, who went on to create the classic series Gumby and Davey and Goliath using the same technique.
Clokey created Gumbasia while studying at the University of Southern California under the direction of Slavko Vorkapić. It was a surreal short of pulsating lumps of clay set to music in a parody of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Gumbasia was created in a style Vorkapić taught called Kinesthetic Film Principles. Described as “massaging of the eye cells” this technique, based on camera movements and stop-motion editing, is responsible for much of the look and feel later seen in Gumby films. When Clokey showed Gumbasia to film producer Sam Engel in 1955, Engel decided to fund a 15-minute short film that became the first Gumby episode – Gumby Goes to the Moon.” – Wikipedia
For more than 50 years, Art Clokey worked with clay to produce works of art that form a catalog of “firsts” in the medium of film and animation. He made the first music video, Gumbasia, in which colored clay shapes moved and transformed to the expressive jazz rhythms. He was the first to introduce the style and use of clay models of objects, animals and people in television commercials. He was the first to develop clay animation techniques and the first to use them in full-length feature films. He invented trimentional animation based on kinesthetic principles, and it became the signature of his long and productive career. A true original and light-years ahead of his time.
“Clay objects of all sizes, shapes and colors contort and reshape themselves to a jazz music score.” – IMDB
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