Davey and Goliath, a stop-motion animated television series for children, was first broadcast in 1960. The show focused on Davey Hansen and his talking dog Goliath, who acted as Davey's conscience. Storylines carried uplifting, moral lessons on topics such as responsibility, care for the environment, acceptance of all people, and other valuable lessons designed to affirm a child's faith in God in an entertaining way.
Art & Ruth Clokey, creators of the well-known Gumby & Pokey series, made the Davey and Goliath programs using doll-like figures with animated faces. Eventually, the cast of the show grew to more than twenty characters.
In all, 65 15-minute episodes and six half-hour specials were produced by the former Lutheran Church in America (one of three church bodies that merged to form the ELCA in 1988). For 20 years, as many as 183 television stations broadcast the episodes on Saturday and Sunday mornings by 1980. Davey and Goliath won several Gabriel Awards and was featured in the International and American Film Festivals. Episodes continue to run on 15 - 20 cable stations across the country.
The nostalgia craze has helped Davey and Goliath remain popular with the Baby Boomer demographic. The pair has been referenced on such programs as The Daily Show, Will and Grace, Project Green Light, The Simpsons, Friends and Mad TV, as well as in films such as Dead Man Walking, Frailty and Dogma. With ELCA permission, PepsiCo used the Davey characters in a commercial for the soft drink Mountain Dew in 2002. A number of Davey products have also been licensed: plush and bendable toys, bobble heads, keychains, tee shirts, ties, magnets, buttons, stickers, lanyards and more. These products are available through the Davey and Goliath online store.
All funds raised by the various contracts noted in this summary go into an ELCA savings account for new Davey and Goliath production.
Two new 30-second television ad spots featuring Davey and Goliath were recently created by Art and Joe Clokey for the ELCA. One promotes the Davey and Goliath Web site and the other promotes the ELCA's outreach Web site, www.sharingfaith.org. The spots can be viewed here on the Davey and Goliath Web site. They will be used by cable outlets when airing existing episodes of the show. Congregations and synods of the ELCA can use them for outreach advertising. E-mail the ELCA Department for Communication at DaveyandGoliath@elca.org or call 800/638-3522, ext 2951 to use these spots on your local broadcast or cable television outlet.
In front of 40,000 high-school age and adult Lutherans, Davey and Goliath appeared on stage at the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering. A new 90-second Davey and Goliath video on baptism, created by the Wreckless Abandon studios which also animated the Mountain Dew commercial, was part of the Youth Gathering appearances.
In 2003, ABC television affiliates across the USA and Canada showed, "Oh Davey!...History of the 'Davey and Goliath' Television Series." This one- hour documentary traces the history of Davey and Goliath from its origins in 1958 to the present.
Augsburg Fortress – the publishing house of the ELCA – used Davey and Goliath as the focus for their 2004 Vacation Bible School curriculum, "Davey and Goliath's Camp Creation." Their 2005 curriculum is called "Davey and Goliath's Circus Spectacular."
In December of 2004, Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas was broadcast on the Hallmark Channel. While our past efforts to bring Davey back have attracted a lot of news and media attention, Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas received amazing media coverage. A review by the Associated Press's television writer David Bauder appeared in more than 175 newspapers across the USA and Canada. Hollywood's Daily Variety and many other newspapers carried their own story. On television, Snowboard Christmas was mentioned on Access Hollywood and MSNBC as well as Relgiion and Ethis Newsweekly. A more complete listing of Davey media attention, which has included past mentions in TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Spin and Slate magazines, can be found online.
Our goal is to bring the important moral and spiritual messages of Davey and Goliath to 21st century children and their parents.