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Stop Motion

Lost animated “Little Rascals” pilot from 1970

Here’s a curio from the early 1970s. In the days before computer colorization, after Fred Ladd found success re-painting and refilming the old black and white Porky Pig cartoons in color, another enterprising producer – Charles King of King-World (the syndicator of the Little Rascals shorts) – decided to re-film the live action Our Gang shorts – in color, using stop-motion clay models and miniature sets. Hal Roach historian Richard Bann tells me that ten (!!) of these were produced by a studio in England. Clearly this idea didn’t work… in fact, its a train wreck. Can you imagine if this had succeeded and someone had the idea to do this to Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Here’s a faded copy of one of Rascal re-do’s, Our Gang Follies of 1936 (1935):

For comparison, here is the original short (ironically, a colorized version is all I could find online):