Category Archives: davey and goliath

Art Clokey 1921-2010

The stop motion clay animation genius who created Gumby, as well as Davey and Goliath for the Lutheran Church, passed away yesterday in his sleep.

Art Clokey, born Arthur Farrington, was the first to bring claymation as it came to be called, to television. He introduced Gumby on “The Howdy Doody Show” in the 1950s and soon was spun off into his own television adventures, becoming pop culture icon. This master will be missed.

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Teenaged Iron Man

I have nothing against teenaged superheroes. Spider-Man started as a teenager. The original X-Men were teenagers. Dick Grayson as Robin, and later Nightwing, is one of the coolest heroes around. And I do understand the psychology of the teenaged sidekick being the identification factor to the hero – but come on now, let’s get real, when you get out on the playground… everybody wants to be the Batman not Robin. That’s just the way it is. That’s why I don’t understand the new “Iron Man: Armored Adventures” cartoon coming from NickToons.

The new animated series, coming almost two years too late, is of course to cash in on the success of the Iron Man movie. It really makes me wonder how “South Park” can do such quick turnaround on a usually weekly basis to comment on current news stories, yet it takes comics years to produce a cartoon, but there it is. And the sore point is – Tony Stark is a kid, or more accurately a teenager. It kinda takes all the charm out of a character so notoriously a bastard, doesn’t it?

The second problem is that it’s done in that limited computer animation that so completely ruined MTV’s attempt at “Spider-Man” after his first movie. The animation is stiff and blocky and kinda like a combination of “Reboot” from the 1990s and “Davey and Goliath” from the 1960s. There’s flash animation online better than this honestly.

Rhodey and Pepper (and even Happy, disguised as Flash Thompson) are there as well, and are also teenagers. There’s even a teenaged Mandarin, whose father at least bares a slight resemblance to the real thing from the comics. Howard Stark, Tony’s father, is also familiar – looking like the Silver Age Tony Stark, complete with Howard Hughes’ mustache. Future episodes promise Whiplash, the Ghost, the Hulk and Fin Fang Foom – I wonder if they’ll be teenaged too?

The only real props I can give this series is for the theme song by Rooney, catchy and to the point, just like any superhero theme should be.


“Iron Man: Armored Adventures” premieres on NickToons this Friday night.

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Wilfred

When I first saw this Australian TV series on IFC, I thought at first it was about furries, but it’s not. It’s just a man dressed in a dog suit, who for all intents and purposes is the dog. Just use your imagination. The thing is, this dog, Wilfred, played by Jason Gann, just happens to talk, and just like the American “Davey and Goliath” or even the Son of Sam if you like, only Wilfred’s mistress’ boyfriend, played by Adam Zwar, can hear him talk.

The subtly hysterical and sometimes downright mean and always raunchy series, created and written by Gann and Zwar, airs on Tuesday evenings on the Independent Film Channel, check it out.