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Laurel and Hardy as their own kids
didi-56 January 2005
The 'Brats' of the title are mini-Laurel and mini-Hardy, working with over-sized props to give the impression of kids into everything from a bathtub to a wooden chest of drawers.

We find their dads playing a game of draughts (with suitable cheating) while the sons cause havoc and noise. After they are banished upstairs, the kids manage to half-wreck the place and set up a predictable, but still funny, pay-off.

For the facial reactions, the clever set-ups, and Mr Hardy's singing (trying in vain to get the tots to sleep), 'Brats' scores high on the comedy list. There's genuinely good stuff in this short.
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Laurel & Hardy as REAL kids this time!
Boba_Fett113816 December 2006
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were of course already big kids in their movies but this time they also play kids.

Beside the roles of the two young children, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, of course also portray the two fathers. This guarantees some hilarious sequences between the two kids and the two fathers. Most of the time Laurel & Hardy are playing against, well, Laurel & Hardy. It makes some of the sequences work out all the more hilarious.

For the sequences with the children the sets are made to look larger. So large toys, a large bed and a large bathroom, among other things. It makes the movie good looking and above all also very original.

Of course Laurel & Hardy look nothing like children, after all they both were close to 40 years old at the time of this movie. Yet it becomes very believable because of the acting of the two with each other. They both help each other out in this movie to make their performances work out as both good and hilarious.

The movie features some really great and funny sequences, such as Oliver going done a staircase on a roller-skate and Laurel & Hardy being washed away by a large flood wave. The movie has some truly unique and hilarious comical moments in it that makes "Brats" an original as well as an hilarious comedy short. It also features plenty of enough slapstick to please the fans but it above all is a movie that should entertain just basically everybody.

Not just your typical average Laurel & Hardy comedy short!

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Enjoyable routines and the gimmick of them playing two roles pays off
bob the moo5 July 2003
With their wives out for the night, Laurel and Hardy are left to look after their sons. However, not having enough trouble simply trying to enjoy their games of draughts and pool, the two children are just as much of a handful as their dads.

As with many of their best shorts, the plot here is simple and allows for several extended sequences around the same theme. Here we have several good sequences – none of which would make the short it itself but together they work. The gimmick (for that is what it is) of Laurel and Hardy also playing their sons works quite well – although in the scenes where the adults and children are separate it doesn't really matter who is who as it's very much a case of `like father like son'.

The sequences are nothing you haven't seen before but the delivery of them is good and the short doesn't really dip more than once. That `once' is where Hardy sings. I enjoy his voice and always liked the features where he got more of a chance to sing a proper song, however here it goes on for a little longer than it should. The punch line is good but I really had hoped for more. Because it had been built up for about 3 minutes before it actually arrives I had been pumped up and then was a bit deflated by the actual delivery – but this was a minor flaw as I found the majority to be of their usual standard.

As adults or kids Laurel and Hardy are great. In all honesty there is no significant difference between their delivery as kids or adults but this doesn't matter. This is a fine example of their abilities as the two of them are the only people in the film – they carry the film and hold 100% of screen time. I know this must sound easy in a 20 minutes short but I feel that it only appears easy because they make it all look so effortless.

Overall this may be a little gimmicky but it works very well. I am probably a little jaded seeing adults playing kids etc in one form or another in recent movies but here the film moves past the gimmick and delivers classic Laurel and Hardy – just in two separate strands which come together in a flood of chuckles by the end.
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Kudos for being unique!
MartinHafer10 October 2006
This is one of those Laurel and Hardy shorts that you've just got to admire for its novel plot and amazing sets as opposed to how funny it is. This isn't to say the film isn't funny, but the reason most will enjoy it has more to do with the odd plot and cool sets.

Stan and Ollie play dual roles--as themselves and as their young sons! And to do this, some amazing sets needed to be constructed. Identical rooms and props needed to be made--one in normal size and the other about triple normal size to make them look like little kids (probably about four or five years-old). And the film seamlessly switches back and forth! You've just got to admire all the work and final product here.

As far as the humor goes, the film is a bit thinner than the usual film for the duo. While there are gags, most of the time it just consists of the child versions slapping each other around, though occasionally the adult Stan and particular Ollie, get their lumps as well. The very end of the movie is a terrific gag where adult Ollie gets his! Overall, this is a very unique and watchable film that most should enjoy. While not my favorite short, it is still well worth seeing and packs a lot of entertainment.

PS--a continuity problem exists in the film. Stan turns on the water to the tub and the tub seems to fill itself in just a few seconds AND the water turns itself off! While hardly a major mistake, it is rather striking.
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A great short!
naseby27 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The technical ability of this short from the boys, although early, is one reason alone worth watching the comedy for! It is funny, though as the boys are playing 'themselves' as their children. With grown-up Stan still being dumb, but his 'son', Stanley looking smarter, outsmarting 'little Oliver'. This is where the distinction in names lies, the little ones taking on their full first names, as if they are naughty - how many times did parents mention your full names when chastising you! The props had to be built up for the 'child scenes' in the correct scale, sometimes it wasn't achieved, but this was the 1930's and it was about 30 mins long. The grown ups are playing games, checkers, pool etc, where Stan is giving Ollie a bad time, destroying his furniture, bashing Ollie's nut, (As usual!) with interruptions from the kids fighting, having their dads rush up to sort it out.

One of my favourite 'special effects moments' of all time is where Ollie trips on one of the kids' rollerskates, and falls down the stairs - well, he bumps his butt down the stairs, and his 'legs' are splayed out as he does this. But check this stunt out. You can clearly see it's speeded up, and the so called 'legs' are dummy ones being held out! It's an absolutely absurd but laughable stunt that had me in stitches for the way it was done, and not the actual slapstick it purports to be! It's worth checking out the short for this reason alone! As it goes on, the kids in their antics have filled their en-suite bathroom with water (That's the bathroom, not just the bath - very watertight door holds this water back for the finale!). Oblivious to this, the grown ups have come upstairs to check out the noise, the kids ask if Ollie will sing to them to get them off to sleep. The kids ask for a glass of water when this doesn't go to plan. As Stan goes to get the water, Ollie, hauls him back by his tail, stating: "Just a moment, you might spill it!" leaving Ollie to 'spill it' as he opens the bathroom door in spectacular 'niagara falls' style! It ends here, and as I've said it's a must to check out the stunt of Ollie going down the stairs! It has to be seen to be believed!
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Very good comedy short
rbverhoef1 May 2004
One of the better Laurel & Hardy comedy short movies I have seen, 'Brats' stars only Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy. They play Stan and Ollie and their sons. Both wives are out and now they have to take care of the children. While the children play the two adults play a game of checkers, with Laurel easily winning. After the children fight over and over again the kids are send to bed, but there their arguments continue. The fathers play a game of pool in the meanwhile.

This is a very creative short, with lots of big laughs. The scenes with the children have some very large furniture so the actors look smaller. For that reason alone this short is recommended, but fortunately there are more reasons, including those big laughs I mentioned. A very good comedy short, highly recommended.
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Very Creative
Snow Leopard27 June 2001
One of Laurel & Hardy's most creative short features, "Brats" has both comedians playing a dual role. Stanley and Oliver are baby-sitting for little Stanley and Little Oliver, played by themselves, with very imaginative use of over-sized props and settings. The adults try to play checkers and play pool, not always without comic difficulties, while meanwhile the children get into one problem after another, requiring occasional correction from the adults. This short feature has a lot of creative material, clever settings, good cross-cutting, and several very good laughs.

Any fan of these two great entertainers should find this movie to be very amusing.
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Kid Trouble With Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy
Ron Oliver14 May 2000
A LAUREL & HARDY Comedy Short.

Stan & Ollie each have a look-alike young son and they're both a couple of BRATS. While the men are trying to have a quiet evening of checkers & billiards, upstairs the two tots are into every sort of infantile mischief - destroying furniture & inflecting bodily injury upon each other...

A hilarious little film, with the Boys each playing a dual role. Good use of oversized props. Ollie (who looks odd without his mustache) sings ‘Go To Sleep, My Baby.'
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Oliver Hardy: "I'll get the water. You might spill it," before the avalanche of water...
Neil Doyle12 January 2011
Especially interesting for the miniatures of STAN LAUREL and OLIVER HARDY, since they play dual roles of father and son. The "brats" in the title are the kids who distract their fathers from playing a game of chess and are told to quiet down.

All of the sight gags are fun to watch and the trick photography with the "kids" appearing to cope with over-sized furniture and props is another point of interest.

For the finale, the "kids" forget to turn the water in the tub off after Hardy gets cooled off by the ever thoughtful Stan. The cooling process backfires when the lads forget to turn the water off. The movie concludes with Oliver promising to get the kids a glass of water if they promise to go to sleep.

As Stan starts for the bathroom door, Oliver stops him. "I'll get the water. You might spill it." And then the avalanche of water for the final shot.

Good gags and plotting make this one of the duos more enjoyable shorts, all of it benefiting from the performances of Laurel and Hardy.
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I laughed
henrijpherbert25 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
(possible spoilers...)I consider this to be Laurel and Hardy`s funniest short. The dual roles gimmick is fantastic, as it the clever use of oversized furniture. Stan and Ollie effortlessly ooze hilarity and Ollie`s constant chastising of Stan seems to be more evident in this picture than in most others. The dual roles trick was often used by Stan and Ollie, but never with such a hilarious effect. Stan and Ollie are the only two cast members, so it`s up to them to keep the comedy coming. Though this is their funniest short, I did not find it as funny as some of their features, such as Way Out West.
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With today being both Stan Laurel's birthday and Father's Day, I thought I'd watch his and Hardy's Brats for the occasion
tavm16 June 2013
With today being both Stan Laurel's birthday (he would have been 123 on this day!) and Father's Day, I thought I'd rewatch this short he made with Oliver Hardy since it's the only time they play dads. Specifically, both the parental units and their spitting image offspring (sans mustache on the Hardy son) with giant props to emphasize the Laurel & Hardy children being "actual" kids. There's not much split-screen images in having the two play both roles which is just as well as that might have been too distracting. Not completely hilarious but there are many moments of genuine humor that kept me amused throughout. Oh, and it was nice to hear Mr. Hardy sing another song for the occasion, this time being "Go to Sleep, My Baby". In summary, Brats is well worth it for any Laurel & Hardy fan.
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Vintage American comedy from the funniest comedy team!
alexanderdavies-9938230 July 2017
As with most Laurel and Hardy shorts, "Brats" is an uproariously funny film with many classic gags. Stan and Ollie are babysitting their own sons at home for the evening. You can imagine what happens! Absolute bloody chaos! Little Ollie initiates the trouble by squeezing little Stan's arm and the anarchy immediately results. There follows the attempts of the adult Stan and Ollie in trying to enjoy a game of chequers and then snooker before the damage occurs. The two children are sent to bed early, little Ollie blames Stan and smacks his head. The latter retaliates by poking Ollie in his eye! I can never stop laughing at "Brats," just as with Laurel and Hardy in general.
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Chips of the old blocks
bkoganbing17 January 2017
Brats is unusual a short for Laurel&Hardy because the boys have no supporting players. No Jimmy Finlayson, no Mae Busch to bounce some of the laughs. They are on their own in Brats, times two.

With a little bit of trick photography Hal Roach had both an adult version and a junior version of the boys. It's a father and sons night and they are watching the kids as the wives are apparently having a girl's night out.

No doubt physically, no doubt mentally that these are indeed their father's sons. Both the adults and the Brats get into the same monkey shine situations.

The kids with special oversize sets built by Hal Roach have some wonderful bits. They're offered a nice nickel to whoever gets ready for bed first. Little Ollie steals the nickel, but little Stan gets even so Ollie will have a bit of discomfort before he can spend that nickel.

My other favorite is them trying to catch an animated mouse and little Stan shooting little Ollie with an air rifle at his widest portion.

This one is the boys and Hal Roach at their best.
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Trouble With Kids
Hitchcoc13 January 2017
I have to give credit to the people who ran the Laurel and Hardy productions; they were quite creative. In one episode the guy's play their own sisters. In this one they play their children as well as the adults. This called for scenes to include furniture and props much bigger than normal. It comes off very well. Of course little Stannie is as big an idiot as his father and the same for the other "little" guy. Of course, they get into big trouble by doing exactly the kinds of things their adult halves would do. There are some really nice scenes of high slapstick. The ending is great. By the way, the wives are away. They are out doing target practice.
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Boys will be boys
Warning: Spoilers
"Brats" is a Laurel/Hardy 20-minute comedy short film from 85 years ago. It has sound already, but is still black-and-white. This film could also have the title of my review here (actually a quote out of the film) and one would wonder who are the brats in this video, who are the boys? At least the mini versions of Stan and Ollie have the excuse that their age somewhat allows them to be chaotic and immature, but the big ones are at least as bad. This is certainly a fairly unique plot here with the grown-ups taking care of their young selves. Other than that, it's the usual Laurel & Hardy. i think they are always very funny and entertaining to watch with all the chaos they cause. And obviously, a billiard queue in the hands of Ollie is absolutely not a good idea. A bit surprising to see that there are 5 writers listed here for a 20.minute movie. But it's not a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth and it's one of these rare films with the legendary comedy duo that has no other actors in the cast. Good watch, I recommend it.
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Stan and Laurel take on two little rascals.
mark.waltz4 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
With the mothers away, Stan and Laurel are child-like men who must take on two child-like children. The blind leading the blind, as they say, and it would be nice to see what the mother's reactions will be when they return home to find out what this terrible foursome has done to their castle. It's an effort to get the kids to play nice, or as Stan says, "If you must make a noise, make it quietly!". With the help of giant sets to make Laurel and Hardy look like children, this excellent comedy short ranks as one of the best of their films, short or feature length, and has enough verbal and visual gags to appeal to even the pickiest of audiences. A closet full of toys, a giant overflowing bathtub, a bee-bee gun and a sudden dose of pain creating medicine down the back of little Ollie's p.j.'s are amongst the plot devises used to create laughs. Mothers be warned; If you have a set of husbands like Stan and Oliver and two children even worse, do yourselves a favor. Hire two sets of baby sitters-one for the children and one for the grown-ups!
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'Brats' is THE one here, for me..
Tim Kidner9 May 2012
Whilst the quite well known 'Our Relations' is the main feature on DVD 5 in the Complete box set, I actually think that much shorter 'Brats' has more of the pair's classic slapstick than the others and is funnier.

'Brats' has Ollie & Stan creating havoc around and on a pool table, whilst the brats in question are two little boys (impish Stan & Ollie again) with everything, including the furniture made much bigger to make them appear small. At one point an animated mouse appears to have been drawn onto the film's negatives, the creature being on Ollie's back whilst Laurel gets a gun to shoot it off. The tiny pair then take a massive bath that overflows, disastrously (of course) then they undertake a boxing match - Stan flailing about with huge boxing gloves always looks funny. Adult Ollie then sings them a lullaby that goes on to sound more like an opera!
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Brats -- L&H's first talkie classic
hausrathman23 November 2011
Stan and Ollie try to spend quiet evening at home while the wives are out but find their quiet constantly interrupted by their children, also played by Stan and Ollie, who are definitely chips off the old Blockheads.

It is obvious that a great deal of time and money was lavished on this short, as evidenced by all of the over-sized props and furnishings constructed to create the illusion of the boys as, well, boys. It also seems as if more attention was given to the photography of this short as well. Technically, across the board, it was there best sound short to date.

There is essentially no real plot -- only a series of Stan and Ollie's adult diversions being interrupted by younger Stan and Ollie's childish antics. The gags, for the most part, consist of the simple slapstick at which Laurel & Hardy excelled, but the novelty of the situation gives it a fresh perspective. The humor also builds toward a large, climactic gag.

A novelty, yes, but a classic. A must see for people interested in the team.
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Great movie... I just wanted to point out a couple things
fredseaborne19 August 2009
I loved this movie... it was really funny and clever. Mostly I am writing this because I had noticed a couple of possible errors in others' comments here, and so I wanted to respectfully point them out: In reply to the comment from "planktonrules" about the tub faucet's turning itself off: I don't think the water was supposed to look/sound as if it actually shut off --- I think it merely stopped making its rushing noise of coming out of the spout because the water level had become as high as the spout. In reply to the comment from "Theo Robertson" about the grownup men and their boys only once appearing in the same shot together: actually, there was a scene in the very beginning of all four people in the same room, but they are far enough away that you can't see their faces all that well. Maybe in that shot, the two children were just young actors made up to look enough like Stan and Ollie to pass as their kids for just that one brief sequence?
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Politically Incorrect Viewed Today
Theo Robertson19 April 2004
This is certainly the best of the shorts where Stan and Oliver play dual roles . Fair enough Stan plays Stan the child in much the same way as he plays Stan the adult but Oliver plays his child role in a slightly different way ( Almost like the kid at school who loves getting his fellow pupils into trouble off the teacher ) and it`s a memorable change to see him without his moustache

It`s easy to work out that the primative technical challange of having Stan and Oliver appear was children was simply done by building an oversize set and having the duo dress up as children and it`s interesting to note that apart from one short sequence ( Where the children are in bed so you don`t get to see their faces in close up ) the adults and children never appear in the same shot . It`s painfully obvious however that the mouse that appears is a badly animated effect

Watching this in 2004 there`s a lot of politically incorrect material which would have the do gooder brigade up in arms if it was made today . Children with airguns shooting at mice , a cat getting hit with a roller skate and worse of all an adult threatning to break childrens necks , but it is Stan and Ollie so we can forgive anything in one of the duo`s best remembered and funniest shorts
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Cleverly Devised Sets For A Silly Short.
rsoonsa16 August 2005
The original 1930 print of this Laurel and Hardy short feature opens with the screen scroll - "Mr. Laurel and Mister Hardy remained home to take care of the children....Their wives are gone out to target practice." This proves to be one of the most humorous segments of the comic pair's highly popular two-reeler wherein they play dual roles, as themselves and as young miniatures Stan Jr. and Oliver Jr., the latter two dwarfed by cleverly constructed oversize sets. In spite of excellent sound quality for the period and an artfully sung lullaby by Hardy, the piece is overly reliant upon trite sight gags that are merely unimaginative slapstick. Although we do not see the wives, a framed photograph of Jean Harlow is upon the mantle, a wittily incongruous hint that she may be one of the absent spouses. Elsewise, this is a gimmick propelled movie, and although one will risk incurring the displeasure of the duo's legion of rabid fans by saying so, the fact remains supreme that when a viewer is consistently aware of what is about to happen before the characters do, any intended interest in them tends to flag.
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Laurel and Hardy
Michael_Elliott11 March 2008
Brats (1930)

** (out of 4)

Laurel and Hardy play themselves as well of their kids in this attempt at humor. I really didn't laugh too much at this because the effects of them being kids just didn't work. The kids were a lot more annoying than anything else.

Beau Hunks (1931)

*** (out of 4)

Four reel comedy has Hardy's girlfriend break up with him so he drags Laurel to join the Foreign Legion. The look of the film is quite good but overall this is more charming than funny, although the ending has some good laughs. Jean Harlow is the girlfriend in all the pictures.
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Rare subversiveness in comedy
Steve Pulaski4 March 2015
Brats may be not only be one of the most subversive Laurel and Hardy shorts ever made but also one of the most subversive black and white shorts of the 1930's. Focusing on Laurel and Hardy looking after their young children, making sure they do not wreak havoc on the house while their wives are away, the short has Laurel and Hardy playing their younger selves, scaled down in size thanks to an entirely modified, recreated set with larger furniture. It's obvious that Laurel and Hardy were simply shrunk down to look the part in terms of physical size, but it's undoubtedly the harder, costlier way to go about this process rather than hiring two child actors to play the performers' children.

With this, Brats utilizes Laurel and Hardy's children quite vividly and frequently, not making them momentary, cameo characters, but centering the entire short around them. We see director James Parrott and writers Leo McCarey and H.M. Walker explore the possibilities of having these characters function as children, interacting with their elders and embracing their own level of mischief akin to their parents. The illusion of Laurel and Hardy being child-size comes from modifications in the set design, where oversized furniture, staircases, and rooms were constructed to give Laurel and Hardy the appearance of being small when surrounded by much bigger items. This effect is ingenuous, especially for the time period, and the fact that an easy, albeit less believable, way could've been done for a fraction of the price just shows the dedication of the film crew at hand.

Brats is a lot of fun, heavy on slapstick, but pleasantly so, as we have an original, innovative idea at hand and a nice focus on Laurel and Hardy rather than a bunch of occasionally distracting side characters. The short furthers my opinion that radicalism in film has always been present in a sense of finding out what you can do with the medium and pushing that boundary a bit further, and to see it exercised in a genre that didn't need or call for any enormous technical or production modifications whatsoever shows the power and ambition of those who work on a film.

Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: James Parrott.
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Jackson Booth-Millard2 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are the most famous comedy duo in history, and deservedly so, so I am happy to see any of their films. Stan and Ollie are trying to have a quiet evening playing checkers and pool, but they are having to deal with the antics of their mischievous sons (played by themselves), Little Stan and Ollie, as they squabble over building blocks, try to play hide and seek, and break a vase, which obviously gets them sent to bed. Ollie tells them (for quiet also) the quickest to get dressed for bed gets a nickel, but of course, Ollie falls down the stairs tripping on a roller skate, and Little Ollie manages to swallow the nickel when he gets it. Then a mouse running about starts more trouble, and Little Ollie's backside is shot, and then liniment pours on it, and he ends up with Little Stan making him fall in the bath water (used to cool it). Finally, the shower is turned on, and door shut, while Ollie sings to the boys to get them to sleep, and they ask for water, it ends with the room flooding from the bathroom door. Filled with good slapstick and all classic comedy you want from a black and white film, at just over an hour, it is an enjoyable film. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were number 7 on The Comedians' Comedian. Worth watching!
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