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Gumby: The Movie Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 4+

Claymation favorite gets a movie adventure that falls flat.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this old-fashioned 1995 claymation movie, made by the same people who originated the characters more than a half century ago, pits Gumby and his friends against their perennial enemies, the Blockheads. It's smarter good guys (and gals) versus pretty inept bad guys, with plenty of cartoon action and minor suspense all so unrealistic that only the most sensitive or youngest kids, might be frightened. Still, the hero is sliced and diced as he fights with swords, lasers, and other medieval weapons. Characters are kidnapped, frozen, and turned into robot versions of themselves. The bloodless injuries are all short-lived, however; Gumby and his colleagues all revive and return quickly to normal. It should be noted that the DVD package lists the running time at 117 minutes when in reality it is only 77 minutes long (one hour, seventeen minutes).  

  • Families can talk about how Gumby finds adventure in books. How true is this for you? What different places have you visited in books?
  • Lowbelly's tears are valuable. How did Gumby use those tears to help the farmers? Can you think of ways you might help people in your community?
  • Does this movie stand the test of time? What makes some movies endure through the ages?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: Mostly for entertainment, however, books transport readers to new worlds. In this one, the books provide a brief introduction to King Arthur's Court, the world of early robots, farm life, and space travel.

  • message true2

    Messages: The movie's positive themes include helping people in need, thinking through problems, and punishing greed.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Gumby and friends are always helpful, resourceful, and brave. Female characters are active, courageous, and participate in the story's resolution.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Lots of cartoon action involving toys: a fireman lands on Pokey; a toy rhino charges; Gumby's dog is captured and caged. Many other characters, including Gumby himself, are kidnapped and frozen, then cloned as robot versions of themselves. There is sword fighting and use of a mace and crossbow. Though there are injuries, recovery is quick and complete in all cases. Gumby has the ability to regenerate immediately even when flattened, sliced in half, or cut up by sharp weapons and lasers.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Some Gumby products are seen in background of toy store, and Gumby is a classic toy for sale.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue