Slappy and the Stinkers Movie Review
The Stinkers in question are an adorable group of five seven-year-old ragamuffins who are in some sort of scholarship summer school program at an exclusive private academy. Their every move is carefully watched by nasty headmaster Morgan Brinway (B.D. Wong), an ultra persnickety and fastidious mincing prig whose idea of a music class is to lead the children through grueling rehearsals of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. It's he who has nicknamed the kids Stinkers. Quite the educator.
On a field trip to the local seaquarium, the kids fall in love with Slappy, a big, fat seal, and decide to liberate him from his bondage by disguising him and bringing him back to the school on the bus. In doing so, they anger a couple of hoodlums who also have their eyes on Slappy, hoping to snatch him and sell him to a Bulgarian circus.
Back at school the kids run circles around the increasingly peevish Mr. Brinway (you gotta give credit to Wong for giving it his peevish all) with the help of stoner gardener Roy (Bronson Pinchot) and Mr. Brinway's assistant Harriet, played by Jennifer Coolidge with an indeterminate Eastern European accent that has to be heard to be believed. In fact, it's almost worth the price of the rental. She's hilarious.
The Stinkers store the lovable but smelly Slappy in Mr. Brinway's hot tub after adding salt to the water and tossing in a few takeout orders of fried fish and later move him to one of the kid's homes, where he farts in bed all night. After more hijinks at a school fair that devolves into comedic chaos, the movie races along to a final wacky chase scene across hill and dale that ends up on the log flume of an abandoned logging camp. Whee!!! In a quick 78 minutes, everything is wrapped up happily.
There's absolutely nothing new or innovative here except Coolidge's accent. Not only is Slappy a ripoff of classic Little Rascals episodes but also of The Little Rascals feature remake of 1994 that was written by the same guy and even featured one of these Stinkers as Spanky. Rent it to see Coolidge, or rent it for the kids and read a good book while they're watching. Chances are they'll demand an outing to the seaquarium as soon as they turn off the TV. God help you if you're landlocked.