SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK: ELECTION COLLECTION
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Ask anyone who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 70s and 80s about “School House Rock,” and you’ll probably get an impromptu serenade about “Conjunction Junction” or a little Bill hoping to one day become a law. These clever animated shorts did a rare thing during my childhood… they taught us stuff.
From civics to grammar, “School House Rock” used clever little songs and rustic but appealing animation to teach kids during the commercial breaks. Most people from my generation remember these tunes vividly and think of them very fondly.
With this being an election year, Disney (who now owns the rights to the series) has compiled all the politically relevant songs into a single DVD release. The 50-minute DVD contains more than a dozen songs. Some you’ll remember (like “The Great American Melting Pot” and “I’m Just a Bill”) and others will seem new. Either way, it’s a blast to watch these films again.
The cartoons aren’t as appealing to kids nowadays, considering they aren’t high-flicker Flash animation. However, they serve the purpose of educational programming that can also be enjoyable.
It’s not surprising that many of the selected songs are still very relevant today (like the clever “Tyrannosaurus Debt”) or even in dire need of teaching (like how “I’m Gonna Send Your Vote to College” can explain the Electoral Collage, for which many adults need a refresher course).
Sure, there’s a definite liberal bias to some of the bits (like “Energy Blues”), but you’ve gotta take the good with the bad. And most of what’s on this DVD is pretty good.