Schoolhouse Rock! Movie Poster Image

Schoolhouse Rock!

(i)

 

Classic, clever, kitschy songs that teach.
  • Review Date: July 16, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1977
  • Running Time: 283 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In one song, a cat smokes a cigar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that these mild and warm-hearted songs about grammar, math, history, and science are almost universally fun and smart, and likely to keep kids riveted. 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.

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?

QUALITY

There are a few duds here. 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their own history in America. How does it compare with the history that the songs describe? Kids are likely to develop favorite songs, and those songs may encourage them to find out all they can about their subject matter.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 18, 1977
DVD release date:August 27, 2002
Cast:Bob Kaliban, Lauren Yohe
Director:Tom Warburton
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:283 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Schoolhouse Rock! was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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 are worthy mentions). The only thing that I would say is a downside is that they have some historical inaccuracies; for instance, the song "Elbow Room" was a glamorized version of the Europeans coming to America. Its overall job is the educate, though, so as long as you talk to your kids about it it's fine.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
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. Kids not doing well with multiplication? Well, this show has at least 20 songs dealing with that. Wanna teach kids about verbs? Show them the song about that very subject matter. I would recommend this for every child, and there's even some stuff for adults, such as a song about how to succeed in the stock market.
What other families should know
Great messages
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 other families should know
Great messages

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