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The Timeless Message of THE LITTLE RASCALS, Celebrate Children Being Children

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The Timeless Message of THE LITTLE RASCALS, Celebrate Children Being Children

By Movieguide® Staff

The idea behind the beloved television series THE LITTLE RASCALS recently surpassed its 100 year anniversary, and its message remains relevant today.

Hollywood producer Hal Roach came up with the idea for the iconic OUR GANG in 1921.

Focus on the Family writer Paul Batura reflected on how Roach’s observations of the antics of children inspired the series:

It had been a long day in the studio, and the 29-year-old producer was desperately trying to come up with a storyline for his next series of short films. Arriving home, Roach began playing with his young children, Hal, Jr., and Margaret, along with two four-year-olds from the neighborhood.

After enduring an audition of a young girl singer made up to look like an adult starlet, an exasperated Roach retreated to his office and was drawn to the sounds of a lumber yard outside his open window. For the next fifteen minutes he became mesmerized watching a group of young boys fighting over scraps of wood and playing with their new treasure.

The children’s little world intrigued Roach, and one year later, he released a silent movie series called OUR GANG.

Roach placed an old-fashioned idea at the heart of his idea, that began with OUR GANG and carried its way through 100 years of families watching THE LITTLE RASCALS, children being children should be celebrated.

“Those are kids doing things kids do,” Roach thought. “If you do things kids do, maybe the public will like it.”

The series of short movies ran for 22 years, but their legacy persists today. Recently, 22 of the original OUR GANG episodes were remastered so that new generations of children can watch the show.

“Roach was trying to create something different and didn’t want to keep doing what hadn’t really been working well,” Batura wrote. “He knew from watching his own children that most kids don’t pay attention to skin color, nor do they need a lot of adults orchestrating every recreational outing for them. By leaving them alone, youngsters are often forced to make good things happen.”

“Imagination is a powerful gift and one that leads to great fun – and admittedly, even a little innocent mischief from time to time,” the article reads. “That’s exactly what the exploits of Chubby, Spanky, Stymie, Alfalfa, Buckwheat and the gang aimed to demonstrate, and to great acclaim.”

Today, not many television shows or movies reflect the same innocent yet moral ideas that Roach’s stroke of brilliance offered children.

Instead of “kids doing things kids do,” younger audiences are bombarded by a constant stream of entertainment designed to force them to grow up, whether by excessive immorality or adult themes.

“Embrace the innocence and charm of where children reside socially, intellectually, and spiritually,” Batura continues. “Celebrate their unique and fun point of view and their all-too-brief season of youth. Such a posture will not only allow them to flourish, but it will enrich those adults fortunate enough to be around them.

“In the end, children don’t just say humorous things but also unknowingly utter the profound. ‘Take my heart,/ once said the “Our Gang” star Darla. ‘But please don’t break it.’ Parents might say the same to Hollywood’s producers regarding the hearts of their children,” Batura concludes.

While there a still many uplifting and moral messages to be found in today’s entertainment, the need for media discernment is greater than ever.

Visit the “Parenting” tab at Moviguide.org to access tools and articles to help protect your children from harmful content.

 

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.