The Puppetoon Movie

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The Puppetoon Movie
DVD Cover
Directed by Arnold Leibovit
Produced by Arnold Leibovit
Written by Arnold Leibovit
Starring Dick Beals, Art Clokey, Paul Frees, Dallas McKennon
Distributed by Expanded Entertainment [1]
Release date
  • June 12, 1987 (1987-06-12)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Puppetoon Movie is a 1987 animated film written, produced, and directed by Arnold Leibovit.[1] It is based on the Puppetoon characters created by George Pal in the 1930s and 1940s, in addition to Gumby, Pokey and Arnie the Dinosaur, who host the framing story.[2] It stars the voices of Dick Beals, Art Clokey, Paul Frees and Dal McKennon.[2] as the main characters.

The original 1987 release of The Puppetoon Movie contained 11 Puppetoons. The 2000 DVD release and 2013 Blu-ray release each include the same 12 additional Puppetoons.[3]


The film opens on a film set, where Gumby and his friends are filming a dinosaur movie. A ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex named Arnie charges on set and is about to devour a young doe named Barbara when suddenly, he removes his false teeth and lets the doe go out of sympathy. Gumby cuts the scene and questions Arnie on his hesitation to act ferocious. Although Arnie knows it is all just acting, he feels unfit for the part because it just isn't him. He explains that he once was a ferocious T-Rex, but thanks to the divine influence of George Pal, he has reformed and is now a vegetarian without a bad bone in his body. Gumby fails to understand the profound effect of George Pal on Arnie's persona, so Arnie and Pokey show Gumby a set of George Pal shorts to show him the significance of the artist, thus starting The Puppetoon Movie.

A number of George Pal's short films are featured as part of the movie. These include The Little Broadcast, Philips Broadcast of 1938, Hoola Boola and South Sea Sweethearts, The Sleeping Beauty, Tulips Shall Grow, Together in the Weather, John Henry and the Inky-Poo, Philips Cavalcade, Jasper in a Jam, and Tubby the Tuba.

After all the shorts, Gumby and the others meet other characters who George Pal animated, such as the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Alka-Seltzer mascot Speedy. Gumby then thanks George Pal for making all this possible, and everybody cheers. The screen pans out and shows a gremlin, who looks at the audience, says "George Pal!" in a raspy voice, then climbs up a support beam while laughing hysterically.

In addition to the film shorts listed above, the following Pal film shorts are also included in the 2000 DVD edition and the 2013 Blu-ray edition of The Puppetoon Movie: What Ho She Bumps, Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk, Olio for Jasper, Philips Cavalcade, Jasper's Derby, Hoola Boola, Ether Symphony, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, The Magic Atlas, Jasper and the Haunted House, Philips Broadcast of 1938, and The Ship of the Ether.

The 2013 Blu-ray also includes the following short films never released on home video: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Sky Princess, Rhapsody in Wood, Date with Duke, Jasper and the Beanstalk, and Rhythm in the Ranks.


The movie received mixed reviews.[4][5][6][7]


George Pal's Puppetoon body of work was recognized by a Special Oscar in 1943. Pal received the Special Oscar "for the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons."[8]


  1. ^ Solomon, Charles (1987-03-08). "Afi Film Fest: A Window On Some Far Shores : Thursday - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  2. ^ a b "The Puppetoon Movie (1987) - IMDb". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Review: Celebrate George Pal and his Puppetoons with new DVD set | Off-Ramp | 89.3 KPCC". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  4. ^ James, Caryn (June 12, 1987). "FILM - 'PUPPETOON MOVIE'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  5. ^ "The Puppetoon Movie (Blu-ray) : DVD Talk Review of the Blu-ray". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  6. ^ Solomon, Charles (1987-06-12). "Paying Homage To Pal's 'Puppetoons' - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Puppetoon Movie, The (1987) - Home Video Reviews -". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  8. ^ "George Pal: A Career in Perspective | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 

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