Hey folks Valkor here. Growing up, I was a huge fan of the “Our Gang” series. Practically every Sunday morning during breakfast, my sibs and I would sit and enjoy the crazy antics of Spanky, Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, Darla, and the rest of the gang as each episodes they get into or out of some crazy scheme that Spanky cooked up, enjoy the crazy sounds of Alfafa’s singing or watch him and Butch go at it to see who gets the hand of Darla. Well thanks to the folks at Warner Home, we get to relive those crazy moments all over, and believe me its well worth the trip.
The Our Gang Collection” consists of 52 shorts (5 discs in total), released between 1938 – 1944 and each episode has been digitally remastered to the finest audio/video quality. The coolest thing about this set isn’t so much the remastering it’s the fact that there aren’t many shows today that match the pure innocent fun presented in each short. We have a group of kids, mostly boys, who’ve formed a gang called “Our Gang” who mainly put on shows, fight the local bully, try to get the girl, or who look out for one another. Some episodes try to teach a lesson i.e. get grades before having too much fun or else you’ll be a loser. But most episodes are just pure fun. Spanky is the leader of the screw, Alfalfa is the singer, Buckwheat and Porky are the goofy sidekicks, Darla is the cute one, and then you have Mickey, who’s first episode (Dad for a Day) will bring you to tears of sadness and joy. Actually watching episodes of Mickey aka Robert Blake now, knowing the person he’d become… well to me it’s just funny.
Actually there is one show that actually matches the Our Gang series, in tone and overall fun, while tossing in a bit of vulgarity that they couldn’t get away with back then and that’s “Ed, Edd, and Eddy” currently syndicated on “The Cartoon Network”.. Watching “Our Gang” makes me think of that show, and they just seem to go well together.
And now, on with the review.
Again the series has been digitally remastered and it’s been cleaned up to near perfection. The picture quality is crystal clear, with very little artifacts. And trust me from a guy who’s seen every episode in the late 70’s and 80’s (in syndication) it’s a damn good clean up. Not only is the picture quality good, but the audio is equally well done as every voice, every sound effect, every song (and trust me they sing a lot) comes out of my speakers so sweet, that given the total package, you’d swear it’s brand spankin new. Finally the overall entertainment value; for those looking for some good, wholesome, family fun then look no further than “The Our Gang Collection”. Though it says not suitable for children, I think the younger set might enjoy this series compared to most shows on television today. I will say that adult supervision would be necessary because you can’t have kids’ today doin the things these kids did back then. And to top it off, it’s laugh out loud funny, so for anyone who grew up with “Our Gang” then definitely, absolutely, pick this up.
You know, out of all the DVD’s I’ve reviewed on this site, “The Our Gang Collection” would have to be the best DVD I’ve ever had to review. It’s a great DVD set that’s been remastered to perfection and it’s great for anyone who was a fan of the shorts. The Our Gang set is part of the Warner Archive Collection and we’ll have more reviews in this area shortly. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I give “The Our Gang Collection” 5 stars and it’s been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.