Our Gang which was later known as The Little Rascals are a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures…..which was created by comedy producer Hal Roach….as the series was produced from 1922 to 1944….and is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way….as Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children….rather than have them imitate adult acting styles. The series broke new ground by portraying Caucasian and African-American boys and girls interacting as equals.
The franchise began in 1922 as a series of silent short subjects produced by the Roach studio and released by Pathé Exchange….when Roach changed distributors from Pathé to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1927….and the series entered its most popular period after converting to sound in 1929. Production continued at the Roach studio until 1938….when the series was sold to MGM….which produced the comedies until 1944. In total, the Our Gang series includes 220 shorts and one feature film, General Spanky….while featuring over 41 child actors.
As MGM retained the rights to the Our Gang trademark following their purchase of the production rights….the 80 Roach-produced “talkies” were syndicated for television under the title The Little Rascals beginning in 1955. Roach’s The Little Rascals package….now owned by CBS Television Distribution….and MGM’s Our Gang package….now owned by Turner Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Television….have since remained in syndication. New productions based on the shorts have been made over the years, including a 1994 feature film, Little Rascals, released by Universal Pictures.
All things considered…..the Our Gang / Little Rascals series is classic television and historic ground breaking comedy featuring kids doing what kids do…..play and have fun…..regardless of race, color or creed…..and what person growing up during the days of The Little Rascals on TV didn’t want a dog like Pete….with a ring around one eye!?!…..cuz I know that Bone Daddy did….cuz he tells me that long before my time as his dog….he found a white and brown mutt that looked just like Pete….and he took it home to be his personal dog for 8 years….and guess what the dog’s name was…..that’s right, Pete.: