Gumby Essentials Vol. 1
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I am thoroughly delighted with this collection, although it almost seems like a teaser.
This is a major taste of what the essence of the "GUMBY" series is all about. In this collection, you will find episodes in which Gumby, our favorite little clay boy, gets toy robots to do his chores for him until they end up going on a rampage and destroying the Gumbau home, another in which Gumby learns how to bake from mounds of dough in various stages, in and out of the oven, and still another in which Gumby and Pokey enter a drag race that is run like the ultimate board game. The set spans the many decades that the character was a TV favorite, even capping off with three episodes from the last incarnation of the 1980's.
My one wish is that we get longer sets with any proposed second or third volume. If this is merely an introduction (and, judging from the title, it is), then I can accept it as thus and only hope that we see a lot of my other favorites, including the actual introduction to the character and his trips into outer space and Mirrorland (to look for his lost allowance) and so many trips into books to meet historical figures and...well...just being a kid. What I've always liked about the series is captured in the first three shorts that seem to follow the little clay boy around as he just uses his fertile imagination to solve even the most elementary problems.
Each of these episodes has its original soundtrack, the thing we were so hoping for with that massive, well-intentioned set from Rhino. What Rhino set out to do was fine, but it didn't want to go through the legal battles to get the rights to the original tracks.Read more ›
This DVD release comes about 20 years after Gumby creator Art Clokey had hosted a 30th Anniversary video titled "The Best of Gumby", which featured Art's 7 favorite episodes, which at that point in time, the 1980's series would not premiere on TV until a year later. On this DVD, 6 out of the 7 from the previous "best of" compilation are once again represented. Perhaps Art was not 100% clear on which episodes really are his favorites, or perhaps he had many more favorites than what could be represented on these compilations.
Now, for the episodes themselves, they all do indeed retain their original soundtracks. There is no 1980's audio redubs on any of the 1950's or 1960's episodes. Also, the 1950's episodes are edited back to their original format. Sometime in the early 1960's when new episodes were made, the 1950's episodes were split in half. However, the editing back together on the 1950's episodes is not the smoothest in some cases. Changes in audio and picture quality clearly give it away that two separate film sources were used, and on at least one episode, a narration track is still heard that was only added after the episode had been split in half.
Now for the episodes; From the 1950's we get "Robot Rumpus", which has probably become known as everyone's favorite Gumby episode.Read more ›
There are also some nice extras for the DVD. It includes some of the bumpers seen on TV, the music video "Gumbasia," and the pilot episode "Gumby on the Moon".
My only complaint is the packaging. It is not the typical clamshell case most DVDs come in, but rather it's more like a thick paper booklet (which unfortunately can't be locked shut, though it does lay flat). I've read where Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creator Art Clokey, has said this was done to be more environmentally friendly. This could also be a cost cutting measure. Either way, it's a very minor complaint.
This is the first of what is hopefully many Gumby DVDs to be released by Classic Media. On April 22, 2008, the Gumby Movie (Director's Cut) will be released on DVD for the first time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I lived gumbo as a kid and was so glad to find it on Amazon.....now I can share my childhood with my kids.....Published 2 months ago by A. Young
There needs to be more volumes like this: legit, Clokey-authorized DVDs with great looking prints. Perhaps putting sets out by decade. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Larry Blamire
This video brings back some old memories! My daughter and I enjoy watching these old cartoons together, I would have never guessed as a kid, I'd grow up and watch these again with... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Geoff4rfc