The Gang arrives at a neighborhood magic show, with Johnny Downs as the magician (in his last "Our Gang" appearance). The Gang is amazed at Johnny's big trick, making Jean Darling turn into a rabbit with some magic powder (the trick is done with a hidden trap door). The Gang swipes Johnny's magic powder and decides to use it on Farina's sister. To their amazement, they think they have transformed her into a monkey (it's actually a loose monkey who has taken her place at the last moment.) Can the Gang turn her back?
"Chicken Feed," while possessing some funny gags, ultimately fails with some bad gags, which are often tasteless. The idea of turning Farina's sister into a monkey -- and then holding Farina back while he tries to rescue his sister -- ranks as one of the most tasteless gags in "Our Gang" history.
The treatment of the animals in the film is also brought into question. A monkey and a goose have water sprayed in their faces, and the poor goose's neck is trapped through a knothole with a horseshoe.
This film was directed by Robert A. McGowan, who was more often credited as "Anthony Mack." He was the nephew of the Gang's main director, Robert McGowan. While "Uncle Bob" McGowan's films contained heart and often sentiment, nephew Mack's films -- like "Chicken Feed" --often veered into questionable territory. "Uncle Bob" McGowan was on a break from the series, leaving it to his less talented nephew. It's no surprise that Anthony Mack resurfaced some eleven years later to co-write the abysmal MGM-produced "Our Gang" films.
The storyline, obviously in bad taste, must have been successful at the time. It was reworked five years later into the equally tasteless Gang film "A Lad An' A Lamp." Not only do we have to sit through the same tasteless storyline in that film, but we get to hear tasteless dialogue as well!
At least "Chicken Feed" was silent. 4 out of 10.
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