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Family Antics (1945)


A curious documentary featuring the talents of an acrobatic father and son, and their three terriers.

Curator’s notes

This is a very strange but entertaining short documentary showcasing acrobatic and balancing acts amongst what appears to be a family of performers. Family Antics presents rather like a novelty item in a newsreel, with a male narrator providing humorous and spontaneous commentary as Trevor and his father perform their human and dog act in the backyard.

It is not clear where this film screened or even if it did screen publicly, but if it did, it would most likely have been prior to a feature program. It is possible that the performers featured in Family Antics were part of a family circus troupe or sideshow act. The tricks they do with their performing animals are indeed entertaining and the action is filmed from a variety of angles which adds to the immediacy of the performance.

The film was produced by J Campbell Dobbie, a South Australian man who, along with his wife, formed Peerless Films. Dobbie also made documentaries in New Guinea and in the north of Australia. This film, however, stands quite apart from this other work.