A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Little Rascals Save the Day is a straight-to-DVD modernization of the classic comedic short films from the '20s and '30s featuring a quirky group of ragamuffins. The remake brings back the Our Gang kids in another slapstick-filled comedy. The kids are still diverse (although there are no racist overtones like there were in the original films), but they do make a joke about the one (tomboyish) girl member not "really being a girl." The physical comedy includes crotch-injury jokes and other gags, as well as some mild insults directed at the gang. Families who see the movie together can discuss teamwork and how the kids collaborate to save Grandma's bakery.
- Parents say
- Kids say
I watched immediately following the 1994 remake and was shocked at how much WORSE the acting was in the newest version. I found it in bad taste that in the "fight" scene they had a little girl acting as a "ring girl" walking through the ring, holding up the round number while wearing a leotard type outfit. Did we really need to make reference to the scantily clad women that men like to ogle during professional fights using a little girls?
What's the story?
THE LITTLE RASCALS SAVE THE DAY is another modernization of the original Little Rascals comedies. The gang is back, with Alfalfa, Spanky, Stymie, Buckwheat, Porky, and Mary Ann as the new "gang" ready to enjoy the start of summer. But things go sour when their adopted Grandma (Doris Roberts) discovers her bakery is about to go bankrupt. The kids try to come up with various fundraisers to give Grandma the money she needs, but the school's rich bully convinces his dad (Greg Germann) to put an offer on the shop (including the gang's clubhouse). Their only hope is to win a local talent show.
Is it any good?
If you want to see a movie about kids who band together to save the day, there are far better, far funnier examples than this straight-to-DVD mess. Usually there are redeeming qualities to a family film that might make some of the eye-rolling aspects of a kiddie flick worth it to see your children laugh, smile, or learn something (think of obnoxiously realistic Caillou, for example); not so with this new Little Rascals installment, which is seriously a waste of time for both parents and kids. The acting is terrible -- the veteran adults look like they're reading cue cards, and the kid actors are overacting so much there's not a genuine emotion in the entire movie. This version makes the 1994 remake (itself only slightly better than decent) look like a masterpiece of family filmmaking by comparison.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about remakes and whether the premise of this comedy is still relevant to young viewers. Do your kids even know who the Little Rascals are? Is this funny if you aren't familiar with the original?
Why is slapstick humor so prevalent in family films? Is it funny or sometimes overly silly?
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2014
- Cast: Doris Roberts, Greg Germann, Lex Medlin
- Director: Alex Zamm
- Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: for some mild rude humor.
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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