By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on, Gumby: The Movie still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.
This film follows the trend of the show by concentrating on Gumby’s adventures. There are some light action scenes to keep these adventures exciting as well as a few jokes that the whole family can enjoy.
Gumby: The Movie’s plot is about Gumby and his friends attempting to stage a concert. During the concert, two investors in the audience accidentally find out that Gumby’s dog (Lowbelly) cries pearls when he listens to their music. They come up with a scheme to steal the dog and make thousands of dollars, but get discovered and Gumby and his friends have to save Lowbelly in one epic and complex adventure.
For the most part, this film really has a lot of great perks. The detail in the stop-motion clay animation really looks spectacular and mostly natural. The plot has lots of fun twists as well as quite a few references (i.e. one fighting scene contains light sabers in a ship that looks like it belongs in Star Wars) to other series that allows for a good laugh. The background soundtrack by Jerry Gerber fits the tune of the quirky cartoon well and adds a little spice to the movie as a whole. There are a few technical hiccups that can be improved on to make this film perfect. One example is the visible and obvious wires holding up some of the characters. Even though this film was made in 1995, wire removal editing tools have existed since the late 80s. At times, the animation lags quite a bit and could be sped up to make more fluid motions. Nevertheless, none of these little things ruin the watching experience, as Gumby: The Movie still is a great film to watch with the family.
There are some filler scenes that don’t do much to further the plot nor add any reoccurring elements to the story. Even though they sound bad, they are enjoyable and make it feel like several separate episodes, each with a unique adventure. My favorite scene takes place towards the beginning of the runtime when Pokey looks for Gumby everywhere. On his way, he passes by a slide. At the same time, two of Pokey’s friends come out of the slide and run into him. The three turn into a big clay ball and need to go to the hospital to get un-separated. The scene has quite a few made up procedures that are both funny and realistic looking, which adds to the humor. Even though this has no purpose to the story, it still provides a few good laughs and, in general, is a fun mini-story.
Gumby: The Movie can be a family movie but its main purpose is being a kid’s movie. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I give Gumby: The Movie 4.5 out of 5 stars because it has a few technical faults here and there, but still really provides a good quality Gumby feature film.