My memories of watching Davey and Goliath as a girl are pretty hazy. (For one thing, when would I have been watching TV on a Sunday morning instead of getting ready for church?) But I know I did watch it, at least a few times. In my memory, I tended to mix it up with Gumby, though I don’t know if that is because both used stop-action filming, or if I was aware that the same people (Art and Ruth Clokey) created both shows.
I do remember watching it, though, and when I found some Davey and Goliath DVDs for $1 each a couple years ago, I just had to get some. I had no idea whether even my younger son would find it appealing, accustomed as he is to today’s children’s shows. But he does like watching the Christmas specials made back then, so I gave him one and waited to see what he thought before giving him more.
He didn’t seem excited, so the others have stayed on my shelf. Perhaps the shows hadn’t been all that great, and it was only nostalgia that made them seem so special. But today when he wanted to watch something with me, I decided it was time to finally watch them again for myself. And since he was able to tell me what each episode was called and a little of what it was about, before it started, I think he may just have watched these more than once.
I didn’t recognize any of the episodes on the first DVD. I have no idea if that means I hadn’t seen them, or if they just weren’t that memorable. But I decided they really were pretty good, all things considered. As Al pointed out, the “animation” isn’t that good – I explained that it’s actually claymation, and that they didn’t have computers that could do the kind of stuff he’s used to watching. But once you stop paying attention to the painted hair and how odd the mouths look as they talk, they really are pretty good shows.
Reading comments about them at imdb.com, I can see that I’m far from the only middle-aged person with fond memories of the shows. Most opinions I read praised them as teaching positive moral values without being preachy, though one comment (at another website) found the pastor’s sermonizing in particular to be way over the top. They also praise Davey as being an ordinary boy, far from perfect (I didn’t see it in today’s episodes, but apparently he gets into mischief fairly often), but always learning to be better – with help from Goliath.
Goliath, whose dog-speech only Davey understands (though it is helpfully turned into English for the viewer), apparently acts as Davey’s conscience. (Though in one episode we watched today, about racism, it was Goliath who had to learn to accept a dog who looked different.) Goliath is perhaps the most appealing character on the show – claymation seems to be much more effective with non-human characters.
I think one of those DVDs on my shelf just might wind up in a stocking or under the tree in a few days.