Schoolhouse Rock review by The Grim Ringler

School House Rock!

If you grew up in the late seventies and early eighties there were certain cultural things you just couldnt avoid bad fashion, weird music, Hot Fudge, The Electric Company, and Schoolhouse Rock. Sure, there are about a dozen other things I might have listed but these are the important ones. I think. And among these things its Schoolhouse Rock that has somehow stuck with me the longest. The catchy songs about anything from history to prepositions, the surreal art, and the overall warm feeling it all gave you. I remember watching cartoons all morning as a kid just so I could see the Schoolhouse Rock videos. When they released the boxset of all the music for the show I was dying to pick it up but never quite had the money to do it. Boy am I glad I never did since now, thanks to the glory of DVD, the entire Schoolhouse Rock collection has been released by Disney with more features than you can shake a verb at.

Once upon a time an advertising exec thought it might be a novel way for his kid to learn if the lessons were taught via the help of a pop song, since pop and rock music has such a lasting effect on the kids that listen to it. When all was said and done and music was set to image, all involved realized theyd created something special and upon seeing it, so did the suits at ABC and thus history was made. Spanning thirty years and influencing millions, Schoolhouse Rock did what no one had thought to do made learning fun and relatively easy. With dozens of catchy, if odd, songs about math, history, English, and science, set to cartoons that had more than a touch of the sixties psychedelia in them to catch the eye and attention of kids and actually helped them learn. Because even if you learned nothing from the shorts, odds are good that you remember seeing at least one of them, and that says something when you consider how far out the things really are.

And to be honest, the shorts are as good as I remember. Maybe better because I can appreciate the pure craft that a lot of the songs have to them. Sure, some of the shorts are not as good as others, and stuff like Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips is just dreadful, but all told, this is some great stuff.

Aside from the near fifty animated shorts you get a couple behind the scenes documentaries, a few commentaries for the songs, and some fun brik-a-brak as well, like an Earn Your Diploma game that reveals a hidden song, and other such things.

If you like or remember Schoolhouse Rock this is a must-buy. For all that you get, this is a really terrific buy, and no I dont work for Disney. Honest. But if you havent even heard of Schoolhouse Rock, well, look around and see if you can rent it, or download a song or two off the net and see what ya think, I am betting that most of you will dig it.

I could not be happier that this was released on DVD. Am I a dork? Yes! And blissfully so. This is pure, full-on dork fun, and I could not be happier. c


9 out of 10 Jackasses

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