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Art Clokey is justly famous for his wonderful Gumby claytoons, but I also enjoy his more obscure series Davey & Goliath, which sometimes still pops up as early-morning religious TV programming, but is enjoyable for anyone who likes good stop-motion animation with a good, unpredictable story.

Davey & Goliath focuses on Davey Hansen (a boy) and Goliath (his dog, also his conscience and/or Id) who live in a small everytown of the sort where everyone knows everyone else. There is usually some involvement from his little sister, Sally, his parents, and assorted friends.

Davey & Goliath was funded by the Lutheran Church in America, and was first syndicated in 1962. A second series was aired around 1965, and later special episodes have been made as recently as 1977. Since it was produced for the church, each episode teaches some sort of lesson relating to civic duties, morals and/or God, but it isn't really preachy. Nancy Moore wrote the excellent scripts. Voice talent is provided by Norma McMillan as Davey and Hal Smith as Goliath.

Although the camp value of 50's-style "Leave It To Beaver" religious ramblings is enough to provide entertainment, that joke would get old fast if not for the obvious care and imagination put into the sets, characters, animation and stories, all of which evolve drastically uphill in quality as the series progresses. Earlier episodes like "Lost in a Cave" look almost amateurish, but soon give way to the quality of "The Mechanical Man".

Robot Vs. Goliath --- 2.2 MB Quicktime from "The Mechanical Man"

Clokey is always throwing surprises at us. For every episode that teaches about something simple like sharing, responsibility and respect, there is one with a heavier topic, such as racism ("Different"), intimidation by a criminal ("Who Me?"), and near-death experience ("Chicken").

"Down on the Farm" includes a skinny-dipping Davey!

In recent years, Davey & Goliath has popped up in the media from time to time:

On The Simpsons

On Mad TV

Goliath (son of?) tells Davey to "Kill, kill, kill." "DAAvey, I need more blood!"
from "Son of Goliath" on episode #114

"He Was Once", a Film by Mary Hestand

A review with images and movies is coming soon... it's a live action, simulated stop-motion Davey & Goliath film with actors wearing plastic hair, etc., and it is very weird and wonderful. This is an award-winning independent film which, as far as I know, is unavailable on video. It was produced by Christine Vachon and Todd Haines, who made the Mattel-banned, all-Barbie "Karen Carpenter Story" "Safe", and "The Velvet Goldmine", among other films.

Thanks again, Tariq Sami, for telling me about this.

To sum up my opinion, Davey & Goliath is funny in a campy way, but it is more than that... the production values (sets, props, animation, etc.) range from crudely funny (in really old episodes) to extremely advanced. The scripts are always engaging, and it is fun to try to predict the moral with which each episode ends. Davey & Goliath is good, solid entertainment.

There's more! check out the rest of my Davey & Goliath pages:

Please feel free to email me, especially if you have some sort of Davey & Goliath info that I don't have.

All contributions that I use will be credited. I'll give your e-mail address if you specifically ask.
Check back for more!

This page was first posted on May 25, 1996
Last revised July 14, 1996