The Little Rascals Save the Day

  • Review Date: May 23, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Little Rascals update is a silly, awful mess of a comedy.
  • Review Date: May 23, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Not an educational movie, but kids may learn the power of teamwork.

Positive messages

The movie encourages teamwork and collaboration to help others. The diverse group of friends also is welcoming (except to girls, with the exception of one "tomboyish" girl). Grandma explains that to be a good leader you have to be a good listener, too.

Positive role models

The teacher and Grandma both are attentive adults who care about the misfit gang.

Violence & scariness

Lots of slapstick and physical humor that ends in minor disasters and mild injuries to people, even to a man's crotch.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Insults about the kids being "losers" and "dumb."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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

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?

QUALITY
 

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. 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. This version makes the 1994 remake (itself only slightly better than decent) look like a masterpiece of family filmmaking by comparison.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

DVD release date: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.

This review of The Little Rascals Save the Day was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written byMovie Review Maven June 1, 2014
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Where ARE their parents?

Movie Title: The Little Rascals Save the Day Grade: C+ PG, 98 minutes In a Nutshell: This family flick goes straight to DVD release on March 30, 2014. The Our Gang franchise began in 1922 and my mother was actually named after Darla because her mother thought the Little Rascals were so darn cute. Also known as Hal Roach’s Rascals, the series was the first of its kind to film black and white children actors together. Little Rascal fans will be pleased to see more mischief, clever inventions and kid shenanigans as they try to raise money to save their grandma’s bakery. They all call her “Grandma” (Doris Roberts who is surprisingly terrible in this), but I think she’s actually supposed to be Spanky’s relative. Teens and some parents will be bored and roll their eyes, but little children and nostalgic grandparents should get a kick out of it. “And how.” Uplifting theme: In the wise words of Grandma “A good leader has to be also a good listener, because you can’t just give orders; you have to inspire.” Grandma also said “You have your friends…that’s what’s important. Not until you all come together do you become something wonderful.” Things I liked: Alfalfa (Drew Justice), Darla (Eden Wood), and Spanky (Jet Jurgensmeyer) were all adorable. Sadly, the others were forgettable. I loved Cecil’s smile. Wait until you see who Cecil is. I also thought it was cute to put the fish in the rinse cycle. Little kids will get a kick out of the slapstick comedy provided by Sergio (Brian Stepanek) and Officer Kennedy (Lex Medlin from Heroes the Complete Series Blu Ray ). Things I didn’t like: This version has the flavor of the 1920’s Rascals we all know and love, but oddly mixes in some modern elements that don’t quite fit, such as Waldo, the child villain, (played by Grant Palmer II) who has an iPod and a kid-sized Hummer. Other modern cars are seen on the streets next to old-timey buildings, as if the director (Alex Zamm) couldn’t decide in which era he wanted to film. I liked the 1994 version so much better. Buckwheat is usually one of my favorite characters, but in this version he disappeared into the background without much charm. The comedic talents of French Stewart, Mindy Sterling, and Greg Germann were underutilized. There isn’t much of a plot, but it’s still harmless fun. Funny lines: “I’m not bossy. I just tell people what to do.” – Spanky “We’re older than we look. Why, I’m almost 9.” - Spanky “Sounds like a moose trying to sing.” – Porky “What should we have for dessert?” asks Stymie. “More!” replies Mary Anne. “That’s a lot of cute, little…people.” - Big Ray “Simmer down, Hot Sauce!” – Spanky “I don’t like him.” “Me neither.” Me threether.” – the kids Waldo asks “What kind of girl are you?” and Darla replies “The kind of girl who doesn’t like cheaters…and who has a brown belt in karate.” A German choreographer tries to get Darla and Waldo ready for their talent show performance when he says to them “I want to see a little more ‘I’m a Pre-Teen Idol…worship me!’ and a little less ‘I’m your next President…vote for me.’” Things to look for: Look at the marquee at the theater in the movie and you’ll notice it advertises a Hal Roach Film Festival. The MC of the talent show is Leo McCarey (played by Robert Torti), one of the men who worked for Roach and directed many of the Rascals films. Kids will like the style of the rolling credits. About half-way through, there is a short clip of Waldo’s new tree house. Keep watching until the end of the rolling credits to see Cecil smile again. Tips for parents: No bad language, but a tiny bit of rude humor. Of course, there is no parental guidance and the kids are always free to roam around and get into trouble. Where ARE their parents?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy brew November 8, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Dumb sequel should be direct to dvd

My rating:PG for rude humor and language

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