Gumbasia, the first stop-motion clay animation film by Art Clokey
|Directed by||Art Clokey|
|Produced by||Art Clokey|
|Written by||Art Clokey|
|Music by||"Don-Que-Dee" by Mel Powell|
|Edited by||Art Clokey|
|Distributed by||Clokey Inc.|
|September 2, 1955|
Gumbasia, a 3-minute, 10-second short film 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. He used a ping-pong table in his father's garage as the surface upon which to work the clay. The film was a surreal short of pulsating shapes and lumps of clay set to jazz music in a homage 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".
A TV series based on the short, titled Fun in Gumbasia, was scheduled for release in mid-2017.