Davey and Goliath

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Davey and Goliath
Genre Animation/Children
Created by Art Clokey
Ruth Clokey
Dick Sutcliffe[1]
Starring Dick Beals
Norma MacMillan
Hal Smith
Nancy Wible
Ginny Tyler
Country of origin USA
No. of episodes 72
Producer(s) United Lutheran Church in America
Running time 15 minutes
Original channel Syndicated

Davey and Goliath is a 1960s stop-motion animated children's Christian television series. The programs, produced by the Lutheran Church in America (now a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), were produced by Art Clokey after the success of his Gumby series.

Each 15-minute episode features the adventures of Davey Hansen and his "talking" dog Goliath (although only Davey and the viewer can hear him speak) as they learn the love of God through everyday occurrences. Many of the episodes also feature Davey's parents John and Elaine, his sister Sally, as well as Davey's friends: Jimmy, Teddy and Nathaniel in earlier episodes, Jonathan, Jimmy, Nicky and Cisco on later ones.

The show was aimed at a youth audience, and generally dealt with issues such as respect for authority, sharing and prejudice.[2] Eventually these themes included serious issues such as racism, death, religious intolerance and vandalism. In general, the characters found themselves in situations that had to be overcome by placing their faith in God.[2] Davey's friends Nathaniel (in the 1960s episodes) and Jonathan Reed (in the 1970s episodes) were black, and were some of the first black characters to appear as friends of a television show's lead character.[3]

The Davey and Goliath series lasted until 1965 originally, but several holiday 30-minute special episodes were created in the late 1960s. The series resumed with some new characters in 1971 and continued until 1973. In 1975, a final 30-minute summer episode was created. In 2004, Art Clokey's son Joe produced a new episode, "Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas".

Critics cite the show as tastefully prompting the spiritual curiosity of children, without coming off as preachy.[2]

Television airings[edit]

The program had become a fixture on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings on TV stations (both religious and secular) all around the country during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, commercial stations began gradually dropping the series. Religious stations picked it up in many markets and ran it in their blocks of Christian children's programs. By 1990 only a handful of commercial stations still aired the series.

The show continued to air on CatholicTV Network until late in 2009, on Tri-State Christian Television also until 2010 and still airs on a few local Christian television stations.

In 2004 and 2005, when Hallmark Channel aired a Christmas special and the 1967 "Happy Easter" episode, they aired the program with several commercial breaks. Hallmark (in it's past incarnation as Odyssey Network) had previously aired the entire series commercial-free until 2001. Since then, Hallmark only aired a few of the holiday specials, as well as the Snowboard Christmas special made in 2004. In 2008, iTunes began offering episodes as free downloads. By December of that year, more than 20 episodes had been made available. Today they cost 99 cents each.

Currently, the series is shown on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Saturday afternoons,[4] and during the week it is seen on the TBN-owned Smile of a Child network, which is carried on digital subchannels of TBN affiliates.[5]

The Snowboard Christmas special of 2004[edit]

In this special, Davey demonstrates his snowboarding expertise to two friends: Sam, a Jewish boy, and Yasmeen, a Muslim girl. During the course of the show, they get caught in an avalanche and end up in a cave. Goliath goes for help while Davey and his new friends find out that they really aren't all that different. The three children wind up learning of each other's holiday celebrations: Jewish Hanukkah, Christian Christmas and Muslim Eid.

Home video[edit]

In 1986 the Program Source began distributing the first 13 episodes of the series minus "The Polka Dot Tie". Also, all five holiday specials were made available. These were distributed for sale on VHS tapes. Mail-order services also made a few episodes available.

In the mid-1990s, other episodes were distributed on VHS tapes. In 2000, various episodes were released on DVDs showcasing a particular theme. In 2004 and 2005, most episodes were released on various DVD compilations. At the end of July 2006, it was announced that a new compilation would be released titled Davey & Goliath: The Lost Episodes, which was intended to include the episodes "Cousin Barney", "Polka Dot Tie", "Pilgrim Boy", "10 Little Indians", "Down On The Farm", "The Gang", "Louder Please", "Help", "The Watchdogs" and "What's His Name." The producers changed the names of two of these episodes in the release (e.g. "The Gang" to "The Jickets"), making them more politically correct. This compilation was originally scheduled for release on September 19, 2006 by Starlite Video and then postponed several times. In April 2009, Celebrity Video Distribution (CVD) released the collection. "Polka Dot Tie", "The Gang", "Help", "Louder Please" and "Watchdogs" were unedited. "Down On The Farm" was edited by about five seconds to excise a scene showing an unclothed Davey jumping into a lake. "Pilgrim Boy" and "Cousin Barney" had scenes making negative references to American Indians edited out, adding up to over a minute each. "10 Little Indians" had its title changed to "Ten Pin Alley", with all references to the word "Indian", as well as brief scenes with an Indian boy picking up bowling pins, were deleted, leaving the episode without a minute of footage. "Whatshisname" was edited by one minute to remove a scene in which Davey threatens to pour molasses on another boy and then cover him with feathers.

Bridgestone Multimedia Group released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 in 12-volume collections between 2011 and 2012. Released in honor of the series' 50th anniversary, the disc sets were distributed with "50th Anniversary Edition" labeling. The series is in a somewhat chronological order, though the original TV series' exact episode sequence is not known.

Bridgestone Entertainment DVD Series

Volume Episodes Series
1 Lost in a Cave, The Wild Goat, Stranded on an Island, The Winner, Cousin Barney, The New Skates 1
2 The Kite, The Mechanical Man, All Alone, The Time Machine, On the Line, The Polka Dot Tie 1
3 The Pilgrim Boy, The Silver Mine, Sudden Storm, Ten Pin Alley (formerly Ten Little Indians), The Bell-Ringer, Boy Lost 1 & 2
4 Officer Bob, The Runaway, Not for Sale, The Shoemaker, The Parade, Dog Show 2
5 The Waterfall, Down on the Farm, Man of the House, Happy Landing, Bully Up a Tree, Editor in Chief 2 & 3
6 The Big Apple, The Bridge, The Jickets (formerly The Gang), Hocus Pocus, Lemonade Stand, "Good" Neighbor 3
7 A Diller, A Dollar, Rags and Buttons, Jeep in the Deep, The Stopped Clock, Who Me?, To The Rescue (Summer Special) 3 & 4
8 If at First You Don't Succeed, Kookaburra, Finders Keepers, The Caretakers, The Hard Way, Halloween Who-Dun-It Special 4
9 Blind Man's Bluff, The Greatest, Rickety-Rackety, Boy in Trouble, Help!, Christmas Lost and Found (Special) 4
10 Louder Please, The Zillion Dollar Combo, Six-Seven-Six-Three, Upside Down and Backwards, Who's George?, New Year Promise (Special) 4 & 5
11 Whatshisname, Kum Ba Yah, Chicken, Ready or Not, Pieces of Eight, Happy Easter (Special) 5
12 The Watchdogs, Come, Come To The Fair, Doghouse Dreamhouse, Good Bad Luck, School...Who Needs It? (Special) 5

End credit issue[edit]

In the 1980s, end credits of these episodes disappeared. New prints distributed after 1984 also omitted the end credits. In the 1960s episodes, the end credits consisted of a variation on the instrumental horn and organ theme, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (the modern form of which was written by Johann Sebastian Bach for the hymn written earlier by Martin Luther), played over Luther's seal with credits displayed. The 1970s episodes had various instrumental pieces accompanying end credits. However, the thirty-minute holiday episodes' end credits remained intact; the reason for this is unknown.

In the fall of 2005, TBN began running the episodes with the end credits included. End credits now appear on the post-2005 DVD releases from Starlight Home Entertainment.


  • Adult Swim's Moral Orel is said to have been a darker and an adult-oriented parody on Davey and Goliath. Though it is stylistically and thematically similar, the show exaggerates the flaws of Protestantism in a way that one would now agree with Orel's (or Davey's) decisions. The show is ultimately a criticism of Protestantism using sarcasm and facetiousness.[6]
  • MADtv also parodied an episode of the series during season three, episode 25 as Davey and Goliath 2: Pet Sematary, complete with the classic stop-motion animation. The parody featured Goliath run over by a tractor-trailer truck, a motorcycle gang, and the stars of Riverdance, only to be raised from the dead in the Pet Sematary. Earlier in the series, MADtv spoofed Davey and Goliath on Season One episode 14 with Davey and Son of Goliath, alluding to the Son of Sam serial killer who claimed a talking dog had instructed him to kill.[7]

The Simpsons[edit]

The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening, who was raised Lutheran, has spoofed the series several times.

  • In the episode "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment", after watching television all night Homer appears to be watching the show. A character obviously meant to be Davey says, "We could get there quicker if we took my dad's car!" Goliath answers, "I don't knooowwww, Davey!"
  • During the episode "Bart the Lover", Maude Flanders speaks about her son Todd's TV habits: "Well, he used to watch Davey and Goliath, but he thought the idea of a talking dog was blasphemous...".
  • In the episode "HOMЯ", "Gravey and Jobriath" was a show watched by Ned Flanders and his sons at an animation festival. The episode concerned Gravey's attempts to construct a pipe bomb ("for to blow up the Planned Parenthood!"). In contrast to the traditionally animated style of The Simpsons, the segment was created using stop-motion animation much like the original series. It ended with Gravey shoving the pipe bomb into Jobriath's mouth for his "lack of faith," followed by an off-screen explosion and cheering from the Flanders children.

List of episodes[edit]

  • 1960-62 - Series One
  1. Lost in a Cave
  2. The Wild Goat
  3. Stranded on an Island
  4. The Winner
  5. Cousin Barney
  6. The New Skates
  7. On the Line
  8. The Polka Dot Tie
  9. The Kite
  10. The Mechanical Man
  11. The Pilgrim Boy
  12. All Alone
  13. The Time Machine
  • 1963 - Series Two
  1. The Silver Mine
  2. The Waterfall
  3. Down on the Farm
  4. The Bell-Ringer
  5. The Parade
  6. Officer Bob
  7. The Shoemaker
  8. Ten Little Indians (renamed "Ten Pin Alley")
  9. Not for Sale
  10. Dog Show
  11. Boy Lost
  12. The Runaway
  13. Sudden Storm
  • 1964 - Series Three
  1. Man of the House
  2. Happy Landing
  3. Bully Up A Tree
  4. The Big Apple
  5. The Bridge
  6. Lemonade Stand
  7. Rags and Buttons
  8. A Diller, a Dollar
  9. Hocus Pocus
  10. Editor in Chief
  11. Jeep in the Deep
  12. The Gang (renamed "The Jickets")
  13. "Good" Neighbor
  • 1965
  1. Christmas Lost and Found (half-hour special)
  • 1967
  1. Happy Easter (half-hour special)
  • 1968
  1. New Year Promise (half-hour special)
  • 1969
  1. Halloween Who-Dun-It (half-hour special)
  • 1970 - Series Four
  1. The Stopped Clock
  2. Who Me?
  3. If at First You Don't Succeed
  4. Kookaburra
  5. The Caretakers
  6. Finders Keepers
  7. The Hard Way
  8. Who's George?
  9. The Greatest
  10. Help!
  11. Boy in Trouble
  12. Rickety-Rackety
  13. Blind Man's Bluff
  • 1971
  1. School...Who Needs It? (half-hour special)
  • 1972 - Series Five
  1. Six-Seven-Six-Three
  2. Kum Ba Yah
  3. Doghouse Dreamhouse
  4. Upside Down and Backwards
  5. Good Bad Luck
  6. The Watchdogs
  7. Louder Please
  8. The Zillion Dollar Combo
  9. Pieces of Eight
  10. Chicken
  11. Come, Come to the Fair
  12. Ready or Not
  13. Whatshisname
  • 1975
  1. To the Rescue (half-hour summer special)
  • 2004
  1. Snowboard Christmas (hour-long special)


External links[edit]