Was General Spanky as funny in 1936 as it is today? Time has twisted this picture from the wholesome boundaries of its intended domain to something that today’s social climate cannot tolerate. It runs counter to some very basic ideas we have about children, sex and race (and yet, it is not racy). No producer would touch General Spanky today because its very fiber is now offensive, and yet, ironically, its heart is so purely innocent and benign that it requires a sense of guilt in order to abhor it.
Jeffrey Hill is the art director of The House Next Door and the publisher of Liverputty, where the rest of this article can be read.