Little Rascals 1994
The gang’s all here, with look-alike characters from the thirties’ comic “Our Gang” series, later made into a fifties TV show called “The Little Rascals.” Today’s youngsters will enjoy the gang’s antics much like their grandparents did. The boys’ “He-man Womun-haters Club” conducts their secret meetings in their rustic hand-made clubhouse. Their first order of business is to affirm their dislike for girls. The second item on the agenda is to decide who should be the driver in the upcoming annual go-cart race. The “He-man Womun-haters” have won the past three years. Dissension arises, however, when Alfalfa is chosen for the honor, but has succumbed to the charms of the beautiful, flirty Darla. He declares his “undying affliction” for her. Feeling betrayed, the club insists Alfalfa must choose between his friends and Darla. To add to his dilemma, Waldo, an obnoxious rich kid, sweeps Darla off her feet with his impressive vocabulary and debonair manners. The children are all unknowns, but cameo appearances include Donald Trump as the rich kid’s father, Reba McEntire as A.J. Ferguson, and Darryl Hannah as the school teacher. LITTLE RASCALS is definitely geared for the under 12 set, who will enjoy the mischievous Porky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Spanky, Stymie, Darla, Waldo and especially their constant companion dog, Petey.
LITTLE RASCALS offers children’s entertainment without scary characters, violence or occultic elements. The pranks they play on each other are relatively harmless kitty litter sandwiches, “whoopie” cushions, and soapy drinking water, to name a few. Except for some unflattering name-calling and a few references to passing gas, the dialogue contains no offensive language. When their clubhouse is accidentally set on fire, they use ingenuity to put it out. Even Petey contributes by hiking his leg on it. In a hilarious masquerade, Alfalfa and Spanky pose as ballerinas to hide from some town “tough guys” chasing them. Implied nudity occurs once when Alfalfa loses his shorts in a swimming pool. The boys’ friendship is challenged, but they reconcile their differences. When their homemade go-cart wins again, thanks to Darla’s help, one of the boys concludes they should have a club that likes something. A little disturbing is Darla’s manipulative flirting that seems a bit too sophisticated for an eight or nine-year-old. A suggestive remark by Reba McEntire to Alfalfa will probably go over the head of young children, but it is uncalled for. Otherwise, LITTLE RASCALS is a treat instead of a treatment.