Precocious adolescent Skippy Skinner spends most of his time trying to get around doing those things that his parents want him to do (like brush his teeth), while doing those things his parents don't want him to do. Chief among the latter is spending time across the railroad tracks in Shantytown, instead of playing with "clean" neighborhood kids like brother and sister Sidney and Eloise. Skippy's father, Dr. Herbert Skinner, the city's head of the health board, in particular doesn't like Skippy spending time there as Dr. Skinner is a verminophobe, and believes Shantytown is dirty and unhealthy. On Skippy's latest visit to Shantytown when he meets a new friend named Sooky Wayne, he learns that Shantytown is being torn down and its poor residents have to move. And Sooky's mongrel and unlicensed (since Mrs. Wayne can't afford the $3 license fee) dog Penny is captured by the city's dog catcher. As Skippy does whatever he can to raise the $3 to get Penny back for his new friend (which ... Written by
After Jackie Cooper was hired for the part, he and his mother read numerous stories & clips of the comic strip character and other long-running features to help him get to know & act the correct character personality. He thought the costume he would have to wear was rather silly, but understood that it was a basic feature that couldn't be changed. See more »
SKIPPY (1931) has nothing to do with the Childhood of a certain obnoxious and whining 'Sports Commentator' on ESPN, whose arm waving and mugging for the camera is reminiscent of Benito Mussolini. Nor is it directly related to a similarly named (but excellent) peanut butter. It is a heart warming film about Children and their simple but important life forming adventures.
The film centers around two (2) characters SKIPPY (Jackie Cooper) and his new found friend SOOKY (Robert Coogan). SKIPPY is from the right side of the tracks, SOOKY the wrong, Shanty Town, which SKIPPY finds far more interesting then his native haunts. Excellently directed by Norman Taurog, slighting neither the Child actors nor the Adult supporting cast, there is a fine morality lesson here showing the importance of friendship and loyalty, both in joyful times and in tragedy. It also shows the importance of parental understanding for Children's problems.
Norman Taurog won the Best Directing Oscar for his sensitive handling of what could have become maudlin. Sad to say this film is seldom seen today nor its sequel SOOKY (1931). The film is appropriate today for Parents to watch with their young Children ages four (4) to eight (8) for it still has lessons of value to teach. After those ages in the 21st Century they will be to bored or cynical to care and that's a shame.
Note for the Historical challenged, Mussolini (1883>1945) was a minor league Fascist dictator in the first half of the 20th Century. History has not been kind too his legacy. Nor will it be to his imitators, take note IL BAYLESS.
P.S. Rewatched today on TCM (02/22/2011) to see if our review holds up, IT DOES! So our only conclusion from the negative votes is that these must be from 'kiss-asses' to SKIPPY 'Peanut Butter For Brains' BAYLESS or sycophants of the ESPN (Eastern SeaBoard Propaganda Network)! Neither attributes flattering to those voters! As for the Peanut Butter SKIPPY. It is our favorite, low fat, extra crunchy.
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