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  • It's commence day at school, so there are plenty of adults on hand to watch the kids perform. First, of course, Mickey Daniels has to tackle another boy who has insulted Mary Kornman's goat, and tricks must be played on Joe Cobb and... well, you'll see.

    It's another of the early Our Gang episodes which shows them being kids and causing the usual sort of mischief and eventual chaos, despite the adults who try to bring them to order. It's my favorite type of episode in the series, in which there is no real plot, and the structure -- going to school -- is eventually turned topsy-turvy in the thoughtless way that children have. Everyone gets his or her turn to be the center of attention. With the Little Rascals, there are no small parts, just small actors.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This Hal Roach comedy short, Commencement Day, is the twenty-sixth in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series. As the title implies, this is the last day of school which turns out to be pretty busy for the gang. Mickey is bringing his fiddle and attempts to encounter Mary on the way but she's distracted by the neighborhood goat. Bully Snoozer, on the other hand, is someone Mickey definitely wants to avoid, to no avail. Jackie and Joe have their own fight to deal with as Jackie puts pepper in his lollipop. Jackie later puts some in his saxophone which gets Joe and the rest of the class sneezing. Oh, and Snoozer has brought a beehive in the classroom...This was a pretty humorous slice-of-life tale for Our Gang with a little thrill near the end when Farina falls in a well outside during the graduation ceremonies. Since I revealed quite a lot of what happened, I don't want to reveal how it all ends. So on that note, I highly recommend Commencement Day.
  • An early product of the Hal Roach/Pathe period of Hal Roach Studios, COMMENCEMENT DAY is so good at capturing a time and place, that today it serves as a window to its production date.

    Centering around the closing days of the school year, this is a view into the life of a one-room schoolhouse. This type of learning institution has long vanished from the landscape being continued in Amish communities and such.

    We get kid-centric amusement as various skills of music are performed by youngsters who were probably coaxed by parents to take up the instruments used.

    The black kids (Earnest "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison and Allen "Farina" Hoskins) are mysteriously absent from the classroom sessions but interact through a window and a doorway. Of course explaining why they weren't allowed would put a damper on the lively proceedings.

    The prominent kids (Mickey Daniels, Joe Cobb, and Mary Kornman) are natural and appealing. Expressions are persuaded once again by Robert (Bob) Mcgowen who directed most of the silent and the sound era shorts up to the mid 1930's. He had been a fireman who had been injured but Hal Roach gave him the position because he had a natural rapport with children.

    Comedies of that era saw amusement in throwing insects and frogs at people.

    Now we have fart jokes.