The Little Rascals (1994)

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
The Little Rascals (1994) Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Madcap, mischievous Our Gang remake has potty humor.
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are cartoonish representations of tween boys and girls and how they're supposed to relate to each other at that age. 

Violence & Scariness

Butch and Woim threaten to beat up Alfalfa and Spanky. A large and scary dog jumps on Alfalfa. In a dream sequence, Alfalfa falls off a cliff and onto the rocks below. In a go-cart race, the kids drive through a grocery store parking lot and knock people over. Alfalfa punches Woim in the face, knocking him into mud. The clubhouse catches fire and the kids put it out by themselves.

Sexy Stuff

Alfalfa and Darla kiss three times. Alfalfa runs around in his underwear, and once it's implied that he's totally naked in front of Darla and Waldo. A.J. kisses Spanky on the cheeks. Several girls and boys kiss. A young girl talks of her "boy toy." 

Language

Some double entendre and innuendo: Upon seeing a new neighbor girl for the first time, Froggy tells his friends how he scared her: "I whipped out my lizard!" He then pulls out an actual lizard from his overalls. Boy says, "I'll show you my pickle for a nickel." A little girl talks of her "boy toy." Double entendre also on the words "number two" and the question, "Are you a fairy?" Bully kids say "bite me" and "losers suck." 

Consumerism

Brief mention of Cracker Jack, and brands like Campbell's Soup and Etch A Sketch are visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

During an imitation of a "fancy date," Alfalfa and Darla drink grape juice out of pudding glasses and make wine-related references. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Little Rascals is a 1994 remake of the '30s classic serial. This version espouses some of the same prejudices as the original, relying on some "girls are gross" and some anti-gay humor. The good news here is that the cast is integrated and it's less racist than the original. But there are things that would scare younger children, including thunder and a large Doberman that jumps on Alfalfa, knocking him over. The clubhouse catches fire and the kids put it out by themselves. Alfalfa drinks dish soap and bubbles come out when he sings -- parents may want to warn kids that this prank won't work as advertised. There's quite a bit of double entendre: Alfalfa's trademark stands quickly straight while accompanied by a "boy-yoy-yoing" spring sound effect often associated with male arousal, Froggy tells his friends how he scared the girl across the street: "I whipped out my lizard" (it's a real lizard). One boy tells another, "I'll show you my pickle for a nickel." There's some potty humor involving Petey the dog urinating, whoopie cushions, and bedwetting as well. Language includes "bite me" and "losers suck." 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byAmber H. April 7, 2017

Blatant Sexism Not Funny Or Acceptable When Couched in Nostalgia

I wish that I would not have had my 7 year old daughters watch this movie. This was a big parental Oops. I wish I would have read the CSM review prior to watch... Continue reading
Parent Written byAnna B. April 21, 2016

Lots of name calling, awkward portrayal of little girls

Lot's of name calling and sexual innuendos. It was very awkward to watch children in these roles, the little preschool aged girls acting all boy crazy. Boy... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

LOL Funny

I just watched this movie today and the only movie was funny.
Kid, 11 years old April 15, 2020

It depends how old you are

If you are above 9, you will realize the innuendo. If you are under 9, you will be young enough to appreciate it.

-FriendClaire

What's the story?

Our Gang hasn't changed: Spanky (Travis Tedford) is calling together the gang for an emergency meeting of the He-Man Womun Haters Club to talk about the upcoming go-cart race. But their star driver, Alfalfa (Bug Hall), is breaking the club's first rule: "to be a he-man and hate women..." He's wooing Darla (Brittany Ashton Holmes) with his warbling songs. In trying to break the pair up, the gang accidentally sets the clubhouse on fire; then, local bullies Butch (Sam Saletta) and Woim (Blake Jeremy Collins) steal their prize-winning go-cart. To top it off, a new kid moves to town: Waldo (Blake McIver Ewing), a rich jerk who wears a suit and tie and has Donald Trump as a father (really).

Is it any good?

Our Gang was a classic -- a slapstick retelling of adult dating woes through the outlandish eyes of adult-ified kids. THE LITTLE RASCALS (1994) recaptures that essence with mostly positive results. There are some great Our Gang moments here, with many scenes resurrecting those hilarious physical comedy gags of the original series. Alfalfa sings "The Barber of Seville" while bubbles come out of his mouth, an homage to the original Little Rascals TV series. And the film retains the fast-forward chase scenes and images that lovers of the original will remember fondly. There are also some great cameos: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Whoopi Goldberg, Reba McEntire, Mel Brooks, Raven Symone, and Lea Thompson.

But children today may be confused by the references and some of the behavior. Everyone knows kids don't say things like "effrontery" and "Darla, you have the sophistication of a woman of 12" -- and they probably never did. But the kids in The Little Rascals did in the 1930s and continue to in the remake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the things they see in the movie can really happen. Can you put out a fire with water balloons? Can you really burp and fart bubbles if you drink dish soap? What should you do if you get into a dangerous situation like the Our Gang group does?

  • How does the movie use some of the slapstick moments that were regularly used in the original series? 

  • What would be the challenges in adapting a series centered on young kids during the 1930s for contemporary audiences? 

Movie details

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