Universal has been busy re-releasing films from their back catalog in these nifty theme packs. Other recent collections include comedy sets centering on Tom Hanks and Steve Martin. Stepping away from the person-centric sets, this new set focuses on films for the whole family. Each of the four films on this set has a target audience of the young, with a side target of adults with kids, and adults with a soft spot for the source material of the films.
You see, each of the four films is based on older series, updated and translated to a more modern screen. The four films includede are The Little Rascals, Casper, Flipper, and Leave it to Beaver. Each have varying degrees of success, yet come together nicely in this inexpensive set for some wholesome family viewing. Let's take a look at each of the films.
The Little Rascals
Who doesn't love the Little Rascals? No one that I know. They were a lovable bunch of kids out causing mischief. Sadly, their translation to modern day and the big screen doesn't go off without a hitch. The problem is that it is not so much a translation as it is an attempt at mimicry. There are definitely moments that will put you back to the first time you saw the gaggle of kids on the television screen.
Penelope Spheeris, who directed the film with a loving attention to the details of the old shorts, just strung some of them together to create a near 90-minute feature. You will hear the familiar theme music, go inside the "he man womun haters club." See Petey, and Alfalfa's cowlick, and the sped up motion, all of the old standbys.
The primary thrust of the film is the breakup of Spanky's and Alfalfa's friendship while the big go-cart race approaches. You see, Alfalfa has gone against the rules of the club, as he is caught courting Darla. This event creates a rift between the two that takes most of the rest of the film to mend, as they realize their mistake and must come together and win the race.