The Little Rascals have been around for a very long time. When something has lasted that long it usually means it is loved and good. It is a good combination having humour mixed with cute kids. I mean, who could resist that? Sometimes, though, the wrong people get their hands on a long running franchise and just weaken its foundation.
The Rascals to the rescue. It is the last day of class when the Rascals head over to their club house and get some bad news. When the bank tells Grandma (Doris Roberts – from television’s Everybody Loves Raymond) she has one month to come up with $10,000 or she will lose the bakery. After several failed efforts to raise money like trying to find jobs, start a pet grooming service, host a boxing match and even try providing a taxi service, the Rascals, Spanky (Jet Jurgensmeyer – Devil’s Knot, Redemption Road), Alfalfa (Drew Justice), Stymie (Connor Berry), Buckwheat (Isaiah Fredericks), Mary Ann (Jenna Ortega – Iron Man 3, Insidious: Chapter 2), and Porky (Camden Gray – from television’s Californication), realize the only way they can get that kind of money in such a short time is to win the talent show. They do have a band, but the only problem is that they are awful. If they don’t improve and quickly it seems that businessman Big Ray (Greg Germann – from television’s Ally McBeal) and his son Waldo (Grant Palmer) might get their hands on the bakery and the club house.
Visually the latest round of actors are pretty much dopplegangers for the original Rascals. Even the secondary roles like Darla (Eden Wood – from television’s Toddlers and Tiaras) are pretty much spot on. Though they look right for the roles that is not everything. Several of kids are not very good actors. Though I feel rather harsh for being critical of such young people their weak acting takes away from the film. Even the usually delightful Doris Roberts does not come off well with her small town theatre group type performance.
Though the poor acting is a strike against the film the worst thing for me was the corny dialogue. It is possible to make a film aimed at kids without making the dialogue painful and nothing like anything that would ever come out of someone’s mouth. You can simplify without dumbing things down and keep kids attention without being silly. Disney and Pixar have been doing it for years. Here’s to hoping that the next Little Rascals film is of a higher quality or it might spell the end of a franchise that has lasted for generations.
-Previews of Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Hop, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, An American Girl, Barbie & Her Sisters in a Ponytal