4 March 2019 | MartinHafer
Well worth seeing!
Like many of the Little Rascals silent films, the kids and their lives were not consistent. This isn't a complaint but an observation that in a couple films I've seen, one of the gang has inexplicably been very rich....whereas in almost all their other films they all come from poorer families. In one, Joe Cobb came from rich but neglectful parents and in this one, Mary has parents who are, again, rich but emotionally neglectful. Instead of raising her themselves, the parents have their own lives and leave Mary to a cruel governess...and the child is miserable. In fact, the only one who seems to care about the child is the gardener...which is pretty pathetic.
The sweet gardner is concerned about her and buys her a set of dolls...dolls that actually bear an amazing likeness to the Our Gang kids. Soon, Mary begins reading all sorts of stories of adventure, knights and the like...and imagines that the dolls come to life and share the adventures with her. This is pretty pathetic and instead of seeing the film as comedy, I am sure many will find it heartbreaking. Later, the dolls all come to life and they made this illusion by using HUGE sets with huge furniture...much like the Roach Studio later did with the Laurel & Hardy short, "Brats". You aren't sure if this is real...or perhaps a dream, as Mary snoozes as the dolls play about in her room. The effect is very striking, by the way...an excellent job by the film crew...and it must have been fun for the kids playing on such a set. And, it's worth seeing the short just for these incredible scenes. What's next? Well, the evil governess finds the dolls and tosses them in the trash!! What's next? See the film...but rest assured...the guilty will be punished and the shorts always have a happy ending.
So is this one any good? Well, it's pretty obvious if you've watched many of the silent Our Gang comedies that the answer is yes. Not only are the doll scenes incredibly well done, the ending is hilarious...so funny I won't mention it here