The Little Rascals (animated TV series)
The Little Rascals is a 30-minute Saturday morning animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and King World Productions. It first aired on ABC on September 25, 1982. A spin-off based on the live-action Our Gang comedy shorts, it was broadcast as part of The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show in 1982 and then as part of The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show in 1983.
|The Little Rascals|
|Based on||Our Gang created by|
|Directed by||George Gordon|
|Voices of||Julie McWhirter Dees|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna|
|Running time||30 minutes (11 minutes a cartoon)|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
King World Productions
|Distributor||Worldvision Enterprises (1982–1989)|
Great American Broadcasting (1989–1991)
King World Productions (1991–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
|Original release||September 25, 1982 –|
December 2, 1983
The characters were designed by Iwao Takamoto and Bob Singer by using tracing paper on top of actual photographs of the real-life characters, and used a pencil to sketch the characters. The same technique was also used in previous Hanna-Barbera spin-offs such as Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Laverne and Shirley in the Army.
Previous Little Rascals/Our Gang animated television programs
The Little Rascals had been animated for television twice before. In the 1960s, a series of nine clay-animated Little Rascals Color Specials were produced for syndication, presumably by Bura & Hardwick, the British studio responsible for Camberwick Green, using soundtracks from the original Our Gang films. The episodes include "Shiver My Timbers", "Our Gang Follies of 1936", "Second Childhood", "Hearts Are Thumps", "Came the Brawn", "Bear Shooters", "Readin' and Writin'", "The Pinch Singer", and "Teacher's Beau".
Differences between the animated series and the live-action Our Gang films
The animated series and the original live-action Our Gang films differ in a number of ways. The gang now lives in a contemporary 1980s setting, with computers and television. Buckwheat is now a clever inventor and is interested in science, always creating new devices for the gang, and Darla's eyes were changed from hazel to blue (although this detail was trivial given that all of the Our Gang shorts were in black-and-white). Also in the animated series, the Rascals met in a treehouse and drove around the town of Greenpoint in a dog-drawn vehicle. Also, the theme music was completely different.
In March 1984, Our Gang actor Eugene Lee, who had played Porky in the original theatrical short films as a child from 1935 to 1939, sued Hanna-Barbera Productions for nearly $2 million, claiming that the animated character was a violation of his likeness rights. He was joined in the lawsuit by other former Our Gang kids: George McFarland, who had played Spanky, Tommy Bond, who had played Butch, and Sidney Kibrick, who had played The Woim. Carl Switzer, Darla Hood and Billie Thomas, who had played Alfalfa, Darla and Buckwheat respectively were already deceased. It was found that Hanna-Barbera's license from King World did not include the likeness rights of the former child actors, and the case was settled out of court.
The animated series of The Little Rascals has been shown in the following regions:
- United States (ABC, original broadcaster)
- Atlantic Canada (ASN, later rebranded as CTV Two Atlantic)
- Latin America (Cartoon Network Latin America)
- United Kingdom (Cartoon Network UK & Ireland)
- Ireland (Telefís Éireann)
- France (Antenne 2/France 2, called Les Petite Canailles)
- Germany (Boomerang Germany)
- Australia (Seven Network)
- Singapore (Mediacorp Channel 5)
- New Zealand (TVNZ 2)
- The Middle East (Fun Channel)
- Zimbabwe (ZBC TV)
- Kuwait (KTV2)
- Spain (TVG, Tele5)
- Kenya (Kenya Television Network)
- Saudi Arabia (Aramco Channel 3)
The French dub, Les Petites Canailles, replaced the original theme music with a new theme song, performed by a chorus of children over a montage of clips from both the theatrical Our Gang shorts and the animated shorts.
Aired as part of The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show
||September 25, 1982|
||October 2, 1982|
||October 9, 1982|
||October 16, 1982|
||October 23, 1982|
||October 30, 1982|
||November 6, 1982|
||November 13, 1982|
||November 20, 1982|
||November 27, 1982|
||December 4, 1982|
||December 11, 1982|
||December 18, 1982|
Aired as part of The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show
Wash and Werewolf: After seeing a 3-D horror movie, Alfalfa thinks he is a werewolf.
|September 10, 1983|
Save Our Treehouse!: A used car dealer wants to destroy the Rascals' treehouse. The Rascals protest his actions, like unionized workers on strike.
|September 17, 1983|
Horse Sense: Alfalfa and Waldo are fighting for Darla's affections again. This time, Waldo challenges Alfalfa to a horse race. There's just one problem: Alfalfa doesn't know how to ride.
|September 24, 1983|
After Hours: The Rascals get jobs in a department store warehouse.
|October 1, 1983|
A Not So Buenos Días: Alfalfa is suspicious of Darla's Latina friend, Maria.
|October 15, 1983|
Fright Night: The Rascals go trick-or-treating. Buckwheat dresses as George Washington Carver, and Darla dresses so as to resemble Alfalfa.
|October 29, 1983|
The Big Sneeze: The Rascals meet up with a goat, to which Alfalfa is allergic to.
|November 12, 1983|
Pete's Big Break: When Pete saves another dog from drowning, he and the Rascals are rewarded a chance to star in a dog food commercial.
|November 19, 1983|
The Zero Hero: Darla wins a date with Captain Muscles, a TV superhero, in order to impress Darla, Alfalfa assumes the identity of Alpha-Man.
|December 2, 1983|
"Tiny Terror", "Class Act", "Porky-O and Julie-Et" and "Cap'n Spanky's Showboat", previously aired during the first season, were rebroadcast on October 8 and 22, and November 5 and 26, 1983 respectively.
- Richard Balin
- Jered Barclay
- Julie Bennett
- Susan Blu
- Bill Callaway
- Brian Cummings
- Jeff Doucette
- Peggy Frees
- Phil Hartman
- Ery Immerman
- Kip King
- Earl Kress
- Sherry Lynn
- Larry D. Mann
- Kenneth Mars
- Joe Medalis
- Robert Ridgely
- Michael Sheehan
- Gary Stamm
- Jeffrey Tambor
- Russi Taylor
- Lennie Weinrib
- Jimmy Weldon
- Frank Welker
- Ted Zeigler
Home media releases
It was announced on Facebook on April 23, 2016 that the series will not be released on DVD due to reasons beyond Warner Archive's control.
- Burg, Mike (2016). Trial by Fire: One Man's Battle to End Corporate Greed and Save Lives. BenBella Books, Inc.
- "No DVD release for Little Rascals cartoon". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-04-24.