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

By  · Published on November 19th, 2012

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.

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.