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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Children > Shorts > The Our Gang Collection (aka The Little Rascals/1938 – 1944/Warner Bros. Archive Collection DVD Set)

The Our Gang Collection (aka The Little Rascals/1938 – 1944/Warner Bros. Archive Collection DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Shorts: B



Yet another collection of the The Little Rascals original theatrical shorts have been issued, but this time, it is under the Our Gang name and comes from the original MGM film materials from the Warner archive.  The Our Gang Collection offers all 52 sound shorts MGM made between 1938 and 1944.  These were the final classic shorts and became staples of television for years.


They also tend to be some of the best-remembered shorts by fans, including those who grew up with the Eddie Murphy spoof on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s and who were lucky enough to enjoy the Mego action figure line (including vehicles and playsets) MGM licensed with The Wizard Of Oz to the company in the mid-1970s when syndication of the shorts were at an all-time high.


It also reminds us what good performances these child actors were giving at the time; truly fun comic performances that fly in the face of much childish, pretentious, would-be acting we get in film and on TV today.  No precocious cardboard kids here.


These may the shorts without Hal Roach, but these are as classic as any of them and fans will be happy Warner made these available.  The shorts, with “///” indicating the change of year, include:



DVD One 1 (1938 - 1939): Little Ranger, Party Fever, Aladdin's Lantern, Men In Fright, Football Romeo, Practical Jokers///Alfalfa's Aunt, Tiny Troubles, Duel Personalities, Clown Princes, Cousin Wilbur


DVD Two (1939 - 1940): Joy Scouts, Dog Daze, Auto Antics, Captain Spanky's Showboat, Dad For A Day, Time Out For Lessons///Alfalfa's Double, Big Premiere, The, All About Hash, New Pupil, Bubbling Troubles


DVD Three (1940 - 1941): Good Bad Boys, Waldo's Last Stand, Goin' Fishin', Kiddie Kure///Fightin' Fools, Baby Blues, Ye Olde Minstrels, 1-2-3 Go!, Robot Wrecks, Helping Hands, Come Back Miss Pipps


DVD Four (1941 - 1943): Wedding Worries///Melodies Old And New, Going To Press, Don't Lie, Surprised Parties, Doin' Their Bit, Rover's Big Chance, Mighty Lak A Goat, Unexpected Riches///Benjamin Franklin, Jr., Family Troubles


DVD Five (1943 - 1944): Calling All Kids, Farm Hands, Election Daze, Little Miss Pinkerton, Three Smart Guys///Radio Bugs, Dancing Romeo, Tale Of A Dog



The MGM holdings give Warner the rights to use the Our Gang name and part of this split happened because of TV and also because of other issues too lengthy to go into.  However, despite some limits in detail and softness from these 1.33 X 1 transfers and the format, the prints are very clean; the kind of materials that ensure a solid HD future for these shorts as well.  White specs and other flaws are minor, making these as good as we have seen anywhere.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also good for its age and as good as we’ve heard them, but I believe there could be a little more room for improvement when a lossless track is available.  Sadly, there are no extras, but this is a pleasant surprise and the best these will ever look on DVD.  Hope the older shorts get the same treatment.


You can order this and other Archive releases at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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