Originally a series of black and white short films called ‘Our Gang’ from the 1930s, this seems an odd choice for an update, since kids – even those in America where the shorts were shown on TV ad infinitum in the fifties – have probably never heard of the original Little Rascals. Even odder is the fact that the film-makers have gone to great lengths to make sure the kids look like the thirties rascals Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat and pals.
It’s basically a series of comic scenes that boys younger than ten may get a giggle from if there’s nothing else to watch. There’s a go-kart race, pranks aplenty and a secret romance between Alfalfa and a little girl named Darla (he sneaks her into the boys’ clubhouse for a romantic dinner), the only girl who gets to speak much in the entire film. Adults, however, will roll their eyes in despair at the feeble slapstick, and wonder why Donald Trump, Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Brooks and Daryl Hannah agreed to be in it.
Is The Little Rascals suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...