Saturday, February 2, 2013

"The Pooch" with The Little Rascals (1935)

This is the first time I have ever seen an episode of the Little Rascals in color. I didn't think that I’d enjoy it as much as I did. I was the same way with the colorization's of many of the classic movies when that was first being done in the 1990’s, but I have come to really enjoy it with some films. Of course, certain movies; like “Casablanca”; should always be viewed in black and white, but for the most part, the colorization process does lend a certain clarity to the old films. It’s also kind of interesting to see the color patterns of the home furnishings, as well as the clothes. There’s a lot more detail to be appreciated, which I did not expect.

In this 1935 episode, the gang struggles with the everyday struggle to find enough food to eat. In the midst of the Great Depression this was not an isolated problem, but one with which audiences could readily identify. Even if they themselves were not on some sort of Public Assistance, fully 25% of the country was.

Woven into the story is a bit of Social Injustice, as Stymie loses his dog to the Dog Catcher, and unless he can come up with the $5 necessary for a license, the dog will be gassed by the end of the day. With no money for food, it’s a stretch of the imagination to figure out where he is going to get that money. But, they say the Lord hears the prayers of the little children first, so when Stymie prays for that $5, and it floats in on the wind, it is really no surprise. Neither is the policeman who chases him thinking he has stolen the money.

When they finally arrive at the Pound with the money, they are told by the sadistic Dog Catcher that their dog is dead. He actually smiles when he tells them. But things usually work out in these old shorts, and this one is no exception.  I used to watch these old shorts every day before school. As a kid I readily identified with their problems and the injustices heaped upon them by the adults. And, at 58 years of age, I still do.

No comments:

Post a Comment