Western Animation: Robot Rumpus

Robot Rumpus (1956) is one of the earliest shorts in the Gumby series. Outside the Gumby fandom, the short is noted for appearing in a Season 9 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, paired with their presentation of The Screaming Skull.

The plot centers on Gumby and Pokey getting out of their chores by using robots to do all the work. Of course, the robots go rogue - tearing up the house and harrassing everyone. Gumby and his father, Gumbo, race to deactivate them.

Robot Rumpus contains examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Definitely.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The robots trash the house, a fire truck and — to the horror of Gumby's mother — her flower bed.
  • Badass Normal: Gumbo is a firefighter, and he does pretty well against the robots, all things considered.
  • The Chew Toy: Gumbo takes a good deal of abuse.
  • Decapitation Presentation: During "The End" sequence, one of the robot's heads is shown hung over the garage door, and its eyes follow Gumby around. The short plays this as good fun.
  • Groin Attack: Subverted when a robot throws Gumbo onto the roof, and he lands in a way most human males would find very painful.
  • Pilot Episode: "Robot Rumpus" was the third of three shorts designed to sell the Gumby series. Its successful premiere on The Howdy Doody Show helped lead to following shorts.
  • Stop Motion
  • Talking Animal: Pokey