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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Generally, characters learn from their mistakes and are shown as smart. Girls are presented as strong people, and the "cast" of cartoon children is racially diverse.
Violence & Scariness
Some mild comic violence: White blood cells punch germs. Static electricity shocks people, showing their skeletons. A mouse is hit in the head with a pool ball. A man walks out of his skin to show his skeleton.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters who are in love kiss briefly. In "Tax Man Max," a chorus line of women is dressed skimpily and they have unrealistic bodies. In another song about mathematics, a man is said to have 12 wives, just as he has 12 camels.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one song, a cat smokes a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Schoolhouse Rock! is made up of mild and warm-hearted songs about grammar, math, history, and science that are almost universally fun and smart. Mostly, the cast is diverse and girls are shown as strong and equal to the boys. There are a few exceptions, however: In one song on the number 12, a man is said to have 12 wives, just as he has 12 camels. A song on taxes features scantily clad women in a chorus line. A few of the scenes might be scary for particularly young children, like when a man steps out of his skin to show his bones, or when cartoon people are shocked by electricity. It's also important to note that the songs on American history are reflective of text books from when parents were kids, exploring only the European-American experience. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
These songs are likely to keep kids riveted, but there are a few duds. Most of the songs on money seem a little off-base somehow. While one song explains the virtues of living within your means, another song on where all your parents' money goes explains that there's never any money left over. It's a little confusing.
While the songs on the American Revolution and American histories are classics, it's glaringly obvious in retrospect that they only cover European immigrants. "The Great American Melting Pot" doesn't include the slaves brought here against their will, or the Asian immigrants who arrived on the West Coast instead of the East. The song about women's rights is glaringly white. You won't find the whole picture here, so it's up to parents and newer history books to fill in the gaps. But overall Schoolhouse Rock! is catchy and fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.