Saturday, September 26, 2009

The little rascals

The Little Rascals is a 1994 comedy film produced by Amblin Entertainment, and released by Universal Pictures on August 5, 1994. The film is an adaptation of Hal Roach's Our Gang short subjects of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s (later broadcast on television as The Little Rascals), which centered around the adventures of a group of neighborhood children. The film, with a screenplay by Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur, and Penelope Spheeris — who also directed — presents several of the Our Gang characters in an updated setting, and features re-interpretations of several of the original shorts. It was the first collaboration by Guay & Mazur, whose subsequent comedies were Liar Liar and Heartbreakers. The film grossed a worldwide total of $67,308,282

Plot summary

Spanky (Travis Tedford) is the president of the "He-Man Women Haters Club" with many school-aged boys from around the neighborhood as members. His best friend, Alfalfa, has been chosen as the driver for the club's prize-winning undefeated go-kart, "The Blur", in the annual Soap Box Derby style race. However, when the announcement is made, Alfalfa is nowhere to be found.

The boys catch Alfalfa in the company of Darla -- "a girl!" The club's members try their hardest to break the two apart, eventually causing their beloved clubhouse to burn down. Darla is mistakenly led to believe Alfalfa feels ashamed of her, so she turns her attentions to Waldo, the new kid whose father (played by Donald Trump) is an oil tycoon. Spanky, Stymie and friends judge Alfalfa's punishment to be left guarding the go-kart day and night until the day of the race. Until that day comes, Alfalfa makes many attempts to woo back Darla including a visit to her ballet rehearsal, an undelivered love letter, and through serenade.

In order to rebuild their clubhouse, the boys try to fund-raise the cost of lumber, $450. The littlest ones, Porky and Buckwheat, unknowingly come up with $500. Their school teacher finds out about the scheme, but Spanky convinces her to use the funds as prize money for the go-kart derby.

"The Blur" is stolen by local bullies Butch and Woim. In addition to having to rebuild the clubhouse, the boys now need a new set of wheels. They band together to build "Blur 2: The Sequel." Prior to race day, Spanky and Alfalfa reconcile and decide to ride in the two-seat go-kart together. They hope to win the prize money and the trophy, to be presented to the victors by the greatest racer of all, "A.J. Ferguson."

Butch and Woim make several sneaky attempts to stop Alfalfa and Spanky from winning the race. Waldo, who (seemingly) kicks out Darla from his race car, pulls a few tricks of his own. It's a wild race to the finish, but "Blur 2" crosses the finish line ahead of the pack, despite the many scrapes and crashes throughout the derby.

Along with first prize, Alfalfa also wins back Darla's heart after it turns out that Darla kicked Waldo out of the car, not the other way around. Spanky, meanwhile, is shocked at the trophy presentation when he finally meets his favorite driver, A.J. Ferguson -- "a girl!" (played by Reba McEntire)

As soon as the club house is rebuilt, the boys collectively have a change of heart toward membership and welcome Darla and friends to their club, with "Women Welcome" added to the sign.

The Little Rascals

* Travis Tedford as Spanky - "He-Man Women Hater's Club" president
* Bug Hall as Alfalfa - Spanky's best friend and Darla's boyfriend
* Kevin Jamal Woods as Stymie - club's vice-president
* Jordan Warkol as Froggy (voice dubbed by E.G. Daily) - club member with a croaking voice and a love for amphibians
* Zachary Mabry as Porky - club member, a toddler
* Ross Bagley as Buckwheat - club member, Porky's best friend
* Brittany Ashton Holmes as Darla - the love interest of Alfafa
* Sam Saletta as Butch, the neighborhood bully
* Blake Jeremy Collins as The Woim, Butch's crony
* Blake McIver Ewing as Waldo, a rich kid who just moved into town
* Courtland Mead as Uh-huh - club "typographer", always answers "uh-huh"
* Petey - a neighborhood dog, possibly owned by Spanky
* Elmer - the pet monkey of a nameless club member

Adult characters

* Mel Brooks as Mr Welling - the bank teller
* Lea Thompson as Miss Roberts - Darla's ballet instructor
* Daryl Hannah as Miss Crabtree - the gang's school teacher
* Reba McEntire as A.J. Ferguson - "the best driver there is"
* Eric Edwards as Spanky's father
* Dan Carton as Alfalfa's father
* Whoopi Goldberg as Buckwheat's mother
* Donald Trump as Waldo's father
* George Wendt as Lumber Store Guy

* Ashley Olsen as Twin #1 - Darla's friend
* Mary-Kate Olsen as Twin #2 - Darla's friend
* Raven-Symoné as Stymie's girlfriend
* Alexandra Monroe King as Darla's friend
* Zoe Oakes as Darla's friend
* Katie Volding as Uh-huh's Girlfriend