2 March 2002 | bbrasher1
THE ORPHAN TRAIN FROM HELL
Without a doubt, CHOO-CHOO has to be one of the finest LITTLE RASCALS ever made. During a stopover, some orphans convince the gang to take their place on the train that's taking them to their new home. The gang manages to make the train ride a living hell for the prissy, child-hating Mr. Henderson, (played by Del Henderson) who is assigned the unenviable task of shepherding the "orphans" to their final destination. There is enough mayhem here to rival any 3 Stooges short-perhaps this was inspired by the Stooges themselves who were as popular during this period. There is not one wasted performance here-Wheezer, Stymie, Sherwood, and Breezy, and of course Spanky, who steals the show without a single word of dialog, socking Henderson in the nose. Henderson's response ("Nice boys don't do that!") earns him another bop in the face. The mayhem accelerates as a drunken novelty salesman passes out noisemakers to the gang in the sleeper car. Things then go from bad to worse when Stymie and a monkey in the freight car release a menagerie of animals into the sleeper section of the train. One can tell that everyone involved in the making of CHOO-CHOO must have had a great time doing it-and it shows.
Rating: ***** stars out of *****
Just a little sidenote- sometime ago, Cabin Fever Entertainment released the Little Rascals series on video, digitally remastered in their original, uncut format as they were meant to be seen. Fortunately, this does not include the post-Hal Roach OUR GANG comedies featuring Mickey, Froggy, and Janet Burston. This was when the series went way downhill, a far cry from TEACHER'S PET, DOGS IS DOGS, FREE WHEELING, etc.