Schoolhouse Rock! The Election Collection



Groovy '70s/'80s TV shorts sing history lessons.
  • Review Date: September 20, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 47 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Effervescent optimism will inspire patriots young and old. Mixed gender cast, though more people of color could have taken a lead.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series of animated songs are reliquaries of a more innocent time. Many parents (especially the Gen X'ers) will remember these songs fondly, for they take patriotic themes celebrated during the bicentennial year and put a groovy spin on them. Contemporary kids can appreciate the colorful animation, the catchy songs, and they might learn something about the Electoral College in the meantime. This collection also includes a vote tracking sheet with stickers.

What's the story?

Schoolhouse Rock shorts were a staple in the 1970s and early '80s on ABC, winning four Emmys for Outstanding Children's Instructional Series between 1976 and 1980. Now Disney has re-released the series before the 2008 presidential election to engage young viewers in the political process and more through catchy songs. "The Preamble" (written and sung by Lynn Ahrens) taught a generation of kids the actual words of the preamble of the Constitution. These videos also take on the American Revolution, the national debt, women's rights, energy crisis, the voting process, and our government's structure with a happy dose of "Right On!"

Is it any good?


Though diversity is celebrated in "The Great American Melting Pot," some uglier parts of U.S. history are not addressed, such as slavery and the vast destruction of Native American communities and habitat. Then again, Watergate and other political scandals are also passed over.

That said, the enthusiasm and skill with which these shorts are executed make patriotism feel like a good thing. If kids learn all of the words to these songs, all the better: we could use some smart, enthusiastic politicos to remind us of why it's groovy to be American.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what is important to them in an election year. What issues hit home? Why do people disagree? Is being an American something to celebrate? Why? How can our votes change the face of history? Do the songs in Schoolhouse Rock make sense now, 30 years later? Or do they seem dated? Why or why not?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 20, 2008
DVD release date:September 22, 2008
Cast:Bob Dorough, Jack Sheldon, Lynn Ahrens
Director:Tom Warburton
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:47 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Schoolhouse Rock! The Election Collection was written by

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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, 17 years old Written byXemnasSuperior March 10, 2011

This was so great

Esp. the computer game they had with it. Good for kids just starting Kindergarten
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bynduns April 20, 2010

Never has learning ever been so much 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


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