A scene from BUBBLES, directed by Roy Mack for Warner Bros.

Bubbles (1930, Roy Mack)

Bubbles might be of modern interest because to Judy Garland fans, as an eight-year old Garland and her sisters show up at one point. But to anyone else? Well, it may also be interesting as an early sound short. There’s a lot of coordinated tap dancing in the short and I kept wondering if the filmmakers were honest or fixed the sound in post.

The short’s a variety show, only in a mystical subterranean cavern, with the Vitaphone Kiddies being cute in dumb outfits and some weird (uncredited) troupe leader announcing each act. As a director, I think Mack’s most ambitious move is panning the camera left… once.

There are a couple decent performers and a lot of mediocre ones. One of the good ones is a gymnast. The mediocre ones include a boy who sings poorly while more talented kids dance.

Bubbles‘s slightly odd and pointless, but harmless.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Roy Mack; directors of photography, Howard Green and Willard Van Enger; released by Warner Bros.

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