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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Gumby returns via The Jim Henson Company & Premavision

From Kidscreen

What’s green and classic and turning 60 this year? If you answered Kermit the Frog or Gumby, you’d be right. 

Created in 1955, both characters are celebrating a milestone in 2015, so it seems fitting that the companies behind their creation are teaming up. With plans to deliver a new full stop-motion series starring Art Clokey’s Gumby by fall 2016, The Jim Henson Company and Gumby IP owner Premavision are deep into the development process. 

As for the new series (title TBD), Henson EVP of children’s television Halle Stanford says comedy, focused on serving kids age five to nine, will be the driver. She adds that you can expect to see stories about friendship, courage and technology tinged with the absurdist humor for which Gumby is renowned. “The DNA of Gumby lives in Adventure Time and SpongeBob,” contends Stanford. It will also reflect core attributes that have made the property a success, adds Clokey—adventure, kinesthetic (i.e. bendy) action, everyday heroism, imagination, surrealism and an artistic aesthetic. 

Faithful sidekicks Pokey and the Blockheads will be back for the ride, too. Planning a 52 x 11-minute format, Stanford says one thing’s for certain, the production will be sticking with the classic Plasticine-like stop-motion animation of the original Gumby. 

“The look will stand out,” she says, noting that the character and background designs will be tweaked to update the property. 

Currently, Henson and Premavision are looking for co-production partners to get the series off the ground. The hope is that Premavision will use its Gumby-ready studio, which has produced a Gumby direct-to-DVD special and several commercials featuring the character, to animate the series.

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