Schoolhouse Rock!

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
Schoolhouse Rock! Movie Poster Image
Classic, clever, kitschy songs that teach.
  • NR
  • 1977
  • 283 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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.

Sexy Stuff

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.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one song, a cat smokes a cigar.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynduns April 21, 2010

Never has learning been so fun

The songs in this show are so catchy you can't help but memorize what they're teaching you after a while. This is the ultimate in educational shows. K... Continue reading
Adult Written byLowe's man March 16, 2014

educational and entertaining

Because of this show generations of kids learned things like multiplication facts, electricity, parts of speech (verb, etc.) and how a bill becomes a law, all t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 August 27, 2013

Entertaining show; some historical inaccuracy

This is a really entertaining show. It has catchy songs that help you remember what you learned ("Conjunction Junction" and the "Verb" song... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 9, 2010

Educational and funny.

I love schoolhouse rock. It's funny and educational at the same time. Perfect to teach kids in elementary school.

What's the story?

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! is a series of songs designed to educate and entertain. Many parents will remember these few dozen cartoon music videos on everything from how a bill becomes law to counting, which originally aired in between Saturday morning cartoons. In fact, many parents can probably recite the fun ditty "Conjunction Junction" by heart. And that's exactly the point. By using snappy tunes and silly animation, these songs are designed to be so catchy that they sear themselves into the viewer's brain and suddenly they're learning. All the favorites are here, including "Conjunction Junction," "I'm Just a Bill," "Electricity," "Three Is a Magic Number," and "Interjections." This collection also features the series on how the body works: songs about circulation and feeding your body right.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite songs in Schoolhouse Rock! Did any songs make you want to learn more about a particular subject? 

  • What do you know about the history of America? How does it compare with the history that the songs describe?

Movie details

For kids who love learning

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