6 November 2019 | MartinHafer
Apart from the odd use of early Technicolor, it's a bunch of semi-talented kids putting on a talent show.
"Show Kids" is very unusual because unlike most Vitaphone shorts it is in color--and not just two-color but full Technicolor which was almost unheard of in any film from 1935. However, I should add that like many early color films, the colors are odd--especially the actors who seem to be wearing heavy make-up. My assumption is that Natalie Kalmus* had no idea what she was doing and simply had the colors overdone in order to make it 'snap'...though it actually made it look a bit weird in spots...as well as a bit blurry. Yet, in others, it was rather dramatic and eye-popping.
This short is little on plot and mostly is just a showcase for a bunch of kids as well as a way to show off the color system. Among the worst acts were the two small kids in sailor suits--the word 'godawful' would sum them up well. Most of the dance numbers were pretty good but the dancers were not exactly in sync...which is forgivable considering their ages. However, none of the acts were great or memorable and it really came off like a junior high school pageant with nice costumes. And, this is fine IF you have a kid in the show...otherwise, you probably would have little interest in the acts. That combined with eye-bleeding color make it a film most would be best to skip.
*Natalie Kalmus was the ex-wife of the inventor of Three-Color Technicolor. The inventor would only license the product if film companies agreed to pay Natalie to be their color consultant and for years she was the one to determine the colors used in films--such as the sets, costumes, etc.. Clearly at this early part of her career in the Art Department, she still had a lot to learn.