Davey and Goliath
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|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 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. 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. 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.
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.
In some markets, Davey and Goliath aired multiple stations. 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.
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 "The Polka Dot Tie" (which addresses racism in an indirect way), "On the Line" (potentially frightening for some children), "Ten Little Indians" (for its reference to "Indians"), "Man of the House" (showing the children being left home alone at what may be perceived as too young an age) and "The Gang" (violence). 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 Baptist-based services such as FamilyNet, ecumenical religious networks such as VISN/ACTS (now Hallmark Channel, 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 other and religious independent stations.
"Man of the House" and "On the Line" had been revived on Trinity Broadcasting 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), "Whatshisame" (due to the nature of threats that Davey makes to take revenge on someone), "Louder Please" (due to Davey's attitude toward handicapped people), "Help!" (because a character came extremely close to a death-causing injury), and "Down on the Farm" (for one very brief scene in which a naked Davey goes skinny-dipping, thought to be too casual a reference to childhood nudity). "Pilgrim Boy" was withdrawn from television due to negative references to Native Americans.
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 of that year, more than 20 episodes had been made available. Today they cost 99 cents each.
The series continues to be shown on TBN Saturday afternoons, 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.
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.
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
|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
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.
- 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.
- 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
- The New Skates
- On the Line
- The Polka Dot Tie
- The Kite
- The Mechanical Man
- The Pilgrim Boy
- All Alone
- The Time Machine
1963 - Series Two
- The Silver Mine
- The Waterfall
- Down on the Farm
- The Bell-Ringer
- The Parade
- Officer Bob
- The Shoemaker
- Ten Little Indians (renamed "Ten Pin Alley")
- Not for Sale
- Dog Show
- Boy Lost
- The Runaway
- Sudden Storm
1964 - Series Three
- Man of the House
- Happy Landing
- Bully Up A Tree
- The Big Apple
- The Bridge
- Lemonade Stand
- Rags and Buttons
- A Diller, a Dollar
- Hocus Pocus
- Editor in Chief
- Jeep in the Deep
- The Gang (renamed "The Jickets")
- "Good" Neighbor
- Christmas Lost and Found (half-hour special)
- Happy Easter (half-hour special)
- New Year 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
- Boy in Trouble
- 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
- Louder Please
- The Zillion Dollar Combo
- Pieces of Eight
- Come, Come to the Fair
- Ready or Not
- To the Rescue (half-hour summer special)
- Snowboard Christmas (hour-long 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.
- Official Site
- Davey and Goliath Airtimes on TBN
- Davey and Goliath Airtimes on Smile Of a Child
- Davey and Goliath at CEGAnMo.com
- Davey and Goliath at the Internet Movie Database
- Davey and Goliath at TV.com