Davey and Goliath
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|Davey and Goliath|
|Created by||Art Clokey
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||72|
|Producer(s)||United Lutheran Church in America|
|Running time||15 minutes|
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 Nathanial in earlier episodes; Jonathan, Jimmy, Nicky (who looked a lot like Teddy) and Cisco on later ones (all were members of the "Jickets" club).
The show was aimed at a younger audience, and generally dealt with issues such as respect for authority, sharing, and prejudice. Eventually these themes included more serious issues such as racism, death, religious intolerance, and vandalism. In general, the characters found themselves in situations which had to be overcome by placing their faith in God. Davey's friends, Nathanial (in the 1960s episodes) and Jonathan Reed on the 70s episodes, were African-American, and some of the first African-American characters to appear as a friend of a television show's lead character. While Our Gang in the 1930s and 1940s had African American children as friends of lead characters, that was a film series prior to television.
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." Alison Arngrim, who played the character Nellie Oleson on the television series Little House on the Prairie, has spoken about her very Evangelical parents being involved heavily with the cartoon over the course of its history.
Critics cite the show as tastefully prompting the spiritual curiosity of children, without coming off as preachy.
In 1958 Franklin Clark Fry, president of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA), put aside $1 million to fund production of a future television program for children. Soon after, the ULCA contracted with Clokey Productions, Inc., headed by Gumby creators Art and Ruth Clokey, to create a new children’s show: Davey and Goliath. Scripts were written by children’s book author Nancy Moore in consultation with the church, who also later penned several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The Lutheran Church and Art Clokey teamed up to make the first Davey and Goliath episode in 1960 called "Lost In A Cave." In this particular episode, the figures were entirely clay and the scenery was also mostly clay. The early voices included Hal Smith (who did a number of voices including Davey's Father), Dick Beals (who was Davey's voice), and Ginny Tyler (who did the voice of Sally and Davey's mother). These three did many other voices as well.
After making "Lost in a Cave" in 1960, Clokey made "The Wild Goat", "Stranded On An Island", and "The Winner" in 1961. In these episodes the clay figures now had clothing. Also, more model buildings and trees were added and these three episodes looked somewhat more realistic. In 1961, the series of these four episodes began airing free on local television stations nationwide ranging from ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates to independent stations. Many of these stations ran these episodes leading into network Saturday morning lineups. Other stations ran them in religious Sunday morning lineups in between various evangelists. By 1964 the show was airing in over 90% of the television markets.
In 1962, about eight more 15-minute episodes were made, including: "All Alone", "Polka Dot Tie", "On The Line", and "The Pilgrim Boy" among others. By then the clay figures had established looks and consistent sizes. The scenery became slightly more realistic. On endings "The End" would now be in regular print, rather than the "Davey & Goliath logo" type print. All the episodes made up to this point were known as series one. The background music used on this show originated from sources such as The Capitol Hi-Q Production Music Library, which could be heard on shows like Ozzie & Harriet, The Donna Reed Show, Dennis The Menace, and other 1950s sitcoms. A few of these background tracks could also be heard on 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
From 1962 to 1963, another 13 episodes were made including "The Waterfall", "The Bell Ringer", "The Silver Mine", "Ten Little Indians", "The Dog Show" and others. The only big change was that voices of Sally and Davey's mother were done by Nancy Wible who did other female voices as well. Also, Davey's personality became slightly tougher and, within a couple of episodes, rebellious. Overall, though, Davey's character remained good-natured. These episodes were added to distribution shortly after they were made. Chronological order, however, was unclear. In addition, Norma MacMillan (who did various voices on cartoons like Sweet Polly Purebred on Underdog and others) would join the cast to do children's and female voices as well.
From 1963 to 1964, another series of 13 episodes, including "Happy Landing", "The Big Apple", "Bully Up A Tree", "Good Neighbor", "Rags & Buttons" and others were made. Davey was slightly bigger but the scope of the show itself had no big changes. At the end of 1964, production on Davey and Goliath wound down. In some episodes including "Good Neighbor", in addition to "The End" placard, a billboard showed that the show was produced in association with the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA).
In 1965, a 30-minute Christmas special called "Christmas Lost & Found" was made. The focus of this episode was more religious in nature and distanced itself from "Santa Claus" and "Rudolph". The Christmas songs used were religious. This would also be the last episode featuring Dick Beals as the voice of Davey.
In the late 1960s several more 30-minute specials were made including "Happy Easter" from 1967, "The New Years Promise" from 1967, and "Halloween Who Did It?" from 1968. By now Davey was closer to junior high school age. He was now voiced by Norma MacMillan. "Happy Easter" confronted death of a loved one as Davey's beloved grandmother dies suddenly (off camera) within hours of a fun filled visit.
After these four specials, the ULCA and Clokey Productions began funding another series of episodes in 1971. At this point, only Norma MacMillan and Hal Smith did voices. In these episodes, Davey was Junior High School age and occasionally became very rebellious. His antics included pouring paint in a water well, hanging from a dinosaur's head in a museum, telling a handicapped child to shoot himself for being so "dumb", cheating on tests in school, among other things. This Davey had a totally different personality from the Davey portrayed in the 1960s. Norma MacMillan continued to do the voice of Davey. At this time racism, gangs, conservation, crime, and other issues became topics within the series. That year episodes like "Blind Man's Bluff", "Finders Keepers", "Who's George", "Who Me", "Help", "The Stopped Clock" and others were distributed. The openings were also changed, featuring updated music. Background music was also different from the 60s series with some overlap. Midway through this series, Davey's African-American friend Jonathan Reed was introduced. Jonathan came from a nearby city, and both characters went to school together.
In 1972 another 30-minute special, "School Who Needs It?", was aired. Also that year the final regular series of episodes came out. Jonathan appeared in most of the episodes. These episodes included "What's His Name", "Zillion Dollar Combo", "The Watchdogs", "Chicken" and others. In 1973, the series wound down once again, but in 1975 a 30-minute summer camp special called "To The Rescue" was made. This special marked the end of the production of the series in its first incarnation.
After an almost 30-year hiatus, Davey and Goliath were next seen as part of a Mountain Dew commercial in 2001, with the royalties from the commercial used to fund the production of the 2004 Christmas special Davey & Goliath's Snowboard Christmas. This holiday special addressed both religious and ethnic diversity. Because most of the original voice cast were no longer alive (Hal Smith having died in 1994, and Norma MacMillan in 2001), new voice actors played the roles. This episode took advantage of advances in animation technology using updated graphics and scenery as well. This special was 45 minutes long and aired for an hour including commercials. (Until that point, commercials had never aired during any episode.) Hallmark Channel aired this special in 2004 and 2005.
Television airing 
In some markets the show aired on more than one station. In New York City, for example, it aired simultaneously on three stations: WOR-TV, WABC-TV, and WPIX. WPIX aired only one episode per week, while WOR-TV and WABC-TV ran two episodes back-to-back in a 30 minute time slot. For a short while, WABC-TV and WOR-TV aired the show in the same time slot but aired different episodes, though all three stations ran all the episodes available. WOR-TV dropped the show in 1985. WABC-TV dropped it in 1987 while continuing to air holiday specials until the mid-1990s. WPIX dropped it in 1990. Also, in the 1970s the show aired in the Los Angeles on KCOP-TV. In most cases, the shows were run in chronological groups. An order is known in terms of the year each was episode was made, but actual chronological order in which they were made is unknown.
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, including WKBW-TV, which aired it as part of its Commander Tom Show/Rocketship 7 compilation programming. When the series began airing on religious stations, some episodes were gradually dropped. They included "Polka Dot Tie" (which addresses racism in an indirect way), "On The Line" (due to the scary nature of the episode), "Ten Little Indians" (due to what was interpreted as racism in the word "Indians"), "Man Of The House" (which was controversial due to the children being left home alone at what may be perceived as too young an age), and "The Gang" (due to the violence on this episode). Commercial stations, however, continued running these episodes throughout the 1980s until they dropped the series altogether.
In the early 1990s, those five episodes were officially pulled from syndication and not available to stations regardless of their format (whether religious or secular commercial stations, though very few commercial stations ran it anyway). In the 1990s the show aired strictly on religious stations including from Baptist-based services like FamilyNet to ecumenical religious networks like VISN/ACTS (now Hallmark Channel, which no longer airs the series), Pentecostal-based services like Trinity Broadcasting Network, Roman Catholic tele-ministries like CatholicTV Network, EWTN (which had also aired the series in the mid-1980s but no longer airs it), a few local diocesan cable Catholic channels, and religious independent stations.
"Man Of The House" and "On The Line" have recently been revived and ran on Trinity Broadcasting on beginning in 2006. In the last few years, however, several of the later episodes have been withdrawn due to some behaviors demonstrated on these episodes are considered by some to be "politically incorrect". These episodes are "The Watchdogs" (due to its topic of violent crime), "What's His Name" (due to the nature of threats that Davey makes to take revenge on someone), "Louder Please" (due to Davey's attitude toward handicapped people), and "Help" (because a character came extremely close to a death causing injury), and "Down On The Farm" (one very brief scene has a naked Davey skinny-dipping, and was thought to be too casual a reference to childhood nudity). Additionally "Pilgrim Boy" were withdrawn from television due to negative references to American Indians.
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 aired a Christmas special and the 1967 "Happy Easter" episode, they aired the program with several commercial breaks. Until then no station, commercial or noncommercial, had run commercials during an airing of an episode.
Hallmark 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 more than 20 episodes had been made available. Today they cost $0.99 each
The series continues to be shown on TBN Saturday afternoons, and during the week it's seen on the TBN owned Smile of a Child network, which is carried on digital subchannels of TBN affiliates.
The Snowboard Christmas special of 2004 
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.
Home video 
In 1986 the Program Source began distributing the first 13 episodes of the series minus "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 ("The Gang" to "The Jickets" and "10 Little Indians" now "Ten Pin Alley"), 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 5 seconds when Davey and his friend were seen jumping into the lake with no clothes on. "Pilgrim Boy" and "Cousin Barney" had the 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" and all the brief scenes where the word Indian was used and brief scenes with an Indian boy picking up the bowling pins were deleted and the episode is missing about a minute of footage. "Whatshisname" was edited by one minute with a scene where 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 2011-2012. These releases are in honour of the series' 50th anniversary and were released with the title '50th Anniversary Edition'. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available through Bridgestone's official website and via Amazon.com. Also, the series is in a somewhat chronological order as well (though exact order in which they were made is not known).
Bridgestone Entertainment DVD Series
- Volume 1
- Lost In A Cave
- The Wild Goat
- Stranded On An Island
- The Winner
- Cousin Barney
- The New Skates
- Volume 2
- The Kite
- The Mechanical Man
- All Alone
- The Time Machine
- On The Line
- Polka Dot Tie
- Volume 3
- The Pilgrim Boy
- The Silver Mine
- The Sudden Storm
- Ten Pin Alley (formerly Ten Little Indians)
- The Bell Ringer
- Boy Lost
4. Volume 4 Officer Bob, The Runaway, Not For Sale, The Shoemaker, The Parade, The Dog Show
5. Volume 5 The Waterfall, Down On The Farm, Man Of The House, Happy Landing, Bully Up A Tree, Editor In Chief
6. Volume 6 The Big Apple, The Bridge, The Jickets (formerly The Gang), Hocus Pocus, The Lemonade Stand, Good Neighbor
7. Volume 7 A Diller A Dollar, Rags and Buttons, Jeep In The Deep, The Stopped Clock, Who Me, To The Rescue - Summer Special
8. Volume 8 If At First you Don't Succeed Try Try Again, Kookkaburra, Finders Keepers, The Caretakers, The Hard Way, Halloween, Who Dun It - special
9. Volume 9 Blind Man's Bluff, The Greatest, Rickety Rackety, Boy In Trouble, Help, Christmas Lost and Found - special
10. Volume 10 Louder Please, Zillion Dollar Combo, 6763, Upside Down and Backwards, Who's George, The New Years Promise - special
11. Volume 11 What's His Name, Kum Ba Yah, Chicken, Ready or Not, Pieces of 8, Happy Easter - special
12. Volume 12 The Watchdogs, Come Come To The Fair, Doghouse Dreamhouse, Good Bad Luck, School, Who needs It? - special
13. A Snowboard Christmas
End credit issue 
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) - over the Lutheran Church logo with the credits being displayed. The 1970s episodes had various instrumental pieces accompanying end credits. However, the thirty-minute holiday episodes' end credits remain intact. The reason for this is unknown.
In the fall of 2005, TBN began running the episodes with the end credits included. Also, 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.
- 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.
The Simpsons 
- 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 "Simpsons Bible Stories", Bart dreams that he is David in the biblical story of Goliath. Santa's Little Helper walks up to Bart and says the famous line "I don't know, Davey! You're getting kind of fat there, Davey."
- 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.
- In the Episode "Ned 'n Edna's Blend," Ned Flanders' dream sequence parodied the show.
List of episodes 
1960-62 - Series One
- Lost In A Cave
- The Wild Goat
- Stranded On An Island
- The Winner
- Cousin Barney (No longer airing on television)
- The New Skates
- On The Line (Did Not Air On Television from 1990-2005)
- Polka Dot Tie (No Longer Airing on Television)
- The Kite
- The Mechanical Man
- The Pilgrim Boy (No Longer Airing On Television)
- All Alone
- The Time Machine
1963 - Series Two
- The Sliver Mine
- The Waterfall
- Down On The Farm (No Longer Airing on Television)
- The Bell Ringer
- The Parade
- Officer Bob
- The Shoemaker
- Ten Little Indians aka Tin Pin Alley (No Longer Airing On Television)
- Not For Sale
- The Dog Show
- Boy Lost
- The Runaway
- The Sudden Storm
1964 - Series Three
- Man Of The House (Did Not Air On Television 1990-2005)
- Happy Landing
- Bully Up A Tree
- The Big Apple
- The Bridge
- The Lemonaide Stand
- Rags and Buttons
- A Diller a Dollar
- Hocus Pocus
- Editor In Chief
- Jeep In The Deep
- The Gang aka The Jickets
- Good Neighbor
- Christmas Lost and Found (Half Hour Special)
- Happy Easter (Half Hour Special)
- The New Years Promise (Half Hour Special)
- Halloween: Who Dun It (Half Hour Special)
1970 - Series Four
- The Stopped Clock
- Who Me
- If At First You Don't Succeed
- The Caretakers
- Finders Keepers
- The Hard Way
- Who's George
- The Greatest
- Help (No Longer Airing On Television)
- Boy In Trouble
- Rickety Rackety
- Blind Man's Bluff
- School: Who Needs It? (Half Hour Special)
1972 - Series Five
- Kum Ba Yah
- Doghouse Dreamhouse
- Upside Down and Backwards
- Good Bad Luck
- The Watchdogs (No Longer Airing On Television)
- Louder Please
- Zillion Dollar Combo
- Pieces Of Eight
- Come Come To The Fair
- Ready or Not
- What's His Name (No Longer Airing on television)
- To The Rescue (Half Hour Special)
- Snowboard Christmas (Hour Special)
- Weber, Bruce (2008-05-25). "Dick Sutcliffe, 90, Dies; Began ‘Davey and Goliath’". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- Davis, Jeffery (1995). Children's Television 1947–1990. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-89950-911-8.
- "Davey & Goliath revived to teach children". MSNBC. Associated Press. December 13, 2004.
- Davey and Goliath