SFotD: A Robot Dances with Fred Astaire in ‘Gumdrop’

Why Watch? This delightful short film makes good use of current CGI to embed a robot named Gumdrop (who’s 27 years old and Bulgarian) into scenes with Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire. It’s a keen exercise in visuals, and the main character is a joy to watch, brimming with a kind of sweet enthusiasm and earning bonus points for being a big Buster Keaton fan.

The platform for getting to know her is an interview/audition where her answers spring to antique life. The story itself is a bit jumbled, built with a mish-mash of styles where writer/director Kerry Conran and director Stephen Lawes seemed to understand the novelty of a robot doing The Charleston but weren’t quite sure how to showcase it. The most curious example might be silent film title cards placed before a modern setting.

The result is a bit loose (why there’s an animated Jaws sequence amidst the rest is unclear), but it’s fun nonetheless because of a unique leading lady and some clever tech toys.

What will it cost you? Only 6 minutes.

Skip work. Watch more short films.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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