- Format: DVD Region 2 for the UK
- Number of Disc: 8
- Genre: Kids Movie
- Starring: Little Rascals
- Studio: Genius Entertainment
- Release Date: 2018
What’s it about
The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection spans the years of 1929-1938. This collections contains all 80 of the original Little Rascals theatrical talkies in their entirety; fully Remastered, Restored and Uncut. This amazing 8-disc set contains a collectible booklet, loads of nostalgic bonus footage, photos and much more! This preeminent collection is a must-have for fans, both old and new.
Children, with their fusion of innocence and mischief, can be natural comedians, and The Little Rascals plunders youthful exuberance for all it’s worth. This series of short films (a.k.a. Our Gang) is most famous for a handful of glorious imps: Spanky, the scheming ringleader; Alfalfa, the softhearted second-in-command; and Buckwheat, with his skeptical sideways looks and big smiles. But over the years there were dozens of Rascals, and The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection features just about all of them, spanning 80 talkie shorts (with three silent shorts included in the extra features). Historians and nostalgists speak fondly about how natural the kids were, but that’s nonsense–the kids that stand out are the ones who act like little adults, such as when Jackie and Chubby compete for their pretty schoolteacher’s affections, or when Spanky and Alfalfa conduct the He-Man Woman Haters Club like middle-aged Shriners, or when the kids all put on a show (the Our Gang Follies in 1936 and 1938 are pretty impressive theatrical spectacles). The earlier years were rougher in structure and more improvisational, but as the series went along it became more scripted and shaped. Contemporary audiences are likely to prefer these later productions.
The Little Rascals can also righteously claim to be a racial groundbreaker, with its depiction of African-American and white kids playing together, with black kids–particularly Matthew “Stymie” Beard–frequently taking the lead in the shenanigans. Nonetheless, viewers should be prepared for stereotypes, all common to the era and without any real malice, but hardly pleasant. This painful element gets addressed in several of the bonus features; in one of four interviews with surviving Rascals, Dickie Moore reflects acutely on the racism of the time and tells some powerful anecdotes. All of these interviews are fascinating and among the best reasons for any fan of The Little Rascals to own this set–though this incredible abundance of Little Rascals material seems pretty must-have for anyone with fond memories of watching these kids, either on TV or the big screen.
As a child, I was a huge fan of The Little Rascals and bought nearly all of the Cabin Fever VHS sets that were offered in the mid to late 90’s. I rediscovered these VHS tapes recently and decided I wanted a nice, neat collection of the shorts on DVD. I knew I would never find an ABSOLUTELY complete collection, but when I found this set, I was excited!
It has been so many years since I’ve seen these fantastic shorts–and in some cases, there are many I’ve NEVER seen cause they were never released to commercial video & removed from television circulation due to questionable content. So, as far as the shorts on this collection, the humor holds up extremely well! The storylines are fun and showcase the Little Rascals’ talent. Unlike many modern child stars, the kids are cute, charming & funny–and not precocious & annoying.
The AUDIO & VIDEO are serviceable on the earliest shorts. Some of the sound is a bit muddy due to the source material, but nothing that takes away from the enjoyment of the films. The AUDIO & VIDEO greatly (and quickly) improve as the shorts move forward. Especially in the Spanky & Alfalfa years.
If there is some odd belief that your old VHS tapes are far superior to this set, that is simply NOT the case. This is a GREAT set for the casual fan or obsessive fanatic of The Little Rascals. Hope this helps!