All parent member reviews for Recess

Parents say

(out of 10 reviews)
age 7+
Review this title!
Adult Written bycsmith April 9, 2008

A Show to Watch Together!

This is one of the few animated shows that everyone in my family enjoys. My children (ages 5 & 7) think it is hilarious. My wife and I find the ideas behind the stories quite effective as discussion starters or reference points for issues my kids deal with from time to time. I am even using some clips to illustrate points in a religion class I teach.
Parent of a 5, 8, and 10 year old Written byheckyeah September 18, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byCommonSenseChristian February 7, 2014

Recess is On--Come Out to Play!

Another show from my childhood that I remember with much fondness, Recess will take kids and parents back to a simpler time, when one's biggest worry involved playground politics and the school bully inflicted damage with his fists, not a gun or knife (though that's not acceptable, either. We'll get to the cautions in a minute). The main six kids are a lovable, diverse group. Here, you have an average, fun-loving boy (T.J.) hanging out with an athlete, a good-hearted, chubby poet, a somewhat nerdy military kid, a pugnacious tomboy, and a scary-smart gal who could probably whip Ken Jennings in Jeopardy--and he considers them all his best friends. More to the point, these kids treat each other like best friends. They've got each other's backs, have fun together, and solve each other's problems together. At times, their ingenuity even ends up helping out the whole school and/or sending a positive message, such as one about the dangers of too much standardized testing. Some caveats exist. While these children are being--well, children--some of their behavior, such as exclusion and threatening to beat up vulnerable kids, or actually doing it, is unacceptable. One kid is treated as "king" of the entire playground. Spinelli, the aforementioned pugnacious tomboy, constantly threatens to solve conflicts with her fists. Adults are portrayed as overly stern at best, useless and sadistic at worst. The one sympathetic adult is the main characters' teacher, Ms. Grotke, who is vocal about her liberal leanings and adherence to Eastern spirituality. One kid is hailed as a "guru," and one kid "hustles" desired objects, like candy, for money. Kindergartners are stereotyped as savages, which may particularly offend Native-American viewers. However, the appearances of these last few are relatively minor. For older kids who can discern which areas of the playground are safe, go ahead and allow some play time.
Adult Written byAlfie Walker June 13, 2012

Political Satire for Kids!

For those who have not come across Recess before, it was a Disney produced show which aired between 1997 and 2001. It took place at an American school called "3rd Street School". Each episode took place during the lunch break (Recess as the Americans call it), in which the students have developed their own government, class system and set of laws. The playground has a monarch by the name of King Bob, who oversees the playground's government. Above the students is the fascist regime of the Teachers Mrs Finster and Principle Prickly, both of whom were inspired by President Richard Nixon and his Vice President Spiro Agnew (a name which crops up in the title of the school that Principle Prickly wants to transfer to - Spiro T Agnew Middle School). Above them are the BOE (Board of Education) which is seen as a group of FBI members, with black suits, shades. They always arrived in helicopters or armoured vehicles with "The President of the BOE". Over the show's four year run (including a theatrical feature film) Recess has tackled satirical subjects such as; Elections, Democracy, Conspiracies, Protests, Human Rights, the Orwellian Nightmare, Rebellion, International Relations (98th Street School), Class, Conformity, Freedom, Monarchy/Royalists, Black Market, Graffiti/Controversial Art, Crime and Punishment, Repression, the News, Capitalism, Health and Safety Regulations, the Economy, Censorship, Misinterpretation, Freedom of Speech, The Military, Racism, Crime Investigation, Health Scares, Outdated Laws, Anarchy, War, Media Representation, Imprisonment and Public Relations to name a few. The feature-film "Recess: School's Out" was inspired by a group of people in America who were permanently trying to ban recess, as they believed it would improve test scores. Many people were against such a proposal when it was first brought up, obviously Paul and Joe were among them. The film was the best example of how the show was influenced by 60's Liberalism, in the way that the 1960's became a key part of the storyline, the soundtrack was full of songs from the era, the peace symbol was seen throughout the film and how the plot was based around Protest, Anarchy and "going against the man". The final scene of the film has Principle Prickly find his old peace necklace and put it on with pride. The last shot is of the camera panning away from the Principle as he sits in his office window, while "Let the Sunshine in" by the the 5th dimension plays in the background. During the credits, the voice cast pay tribute to the Lemon Piper's song "Green Tambourine", in the style of a psychedelic music video. The entire show has a very Liberal hippie vibe to it, as Paul and Joe were themselves veterans of this era and brought those political ideals into the program. All of the episodes are available to view for free on YouTube, each one is written with more wit and intelligence than any other children's program before or since. Even though not all of them contain political messages, each episode is well written, crafted and performed.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bysumoni May 20, 2012

Great classic from the 90s

I loved this show as a kid and it's still entertaining as an adult. The show definietly centers around the carefree atittudes of being a kid. No one is trying to grow up to fast and if they do are quickly reminded they've still got a while to be responsible. I put educational value and consumerism because one episode actually centers around that. When the playground kids become obsessed with "Mon Cards". So if you don't have any, you're not allowed to do anything. They basically become the equivalent of money. And for any adult who's watching, will get a lesson in economics. With that you can talk to your child about the dangerous of becoming materialistic. Any episodes that center around King Bob are a good lesson in hierarchy. Which makes for a good family discussion. The only other negative I can think of would be the characters are heavily stereotyped. The nerdy looking girl is a nerd, the tomboy is super tomboy, and...well I don't need to go on. It's not an entirely bad thing as the cartoon is made to be simply fun. So there's not a lot of depth in any of them. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byPanya April 9, 2008


I love this show. It has a lot of positive messages for older kids.
Adult Written byGregg April 9, 2008

Great program

A great show for kids. Each episode is 15 minutes so younger viewers can stay with it. The shows have a teaching point put in situations that kids can relate to. Definitely a show my kids could watch by themselves.
Adult Written byPoptartpm April 9, 2008
Adult Written byDexterSmith April 9, 2008


Sexual Content (Not an Issue): The Ashleys wear skimpy outfits. Violence (Not an Issue): None, but a few threats are made. Language (Not an Issue): The kids occasionally use a made-up profanity (whomp). Social Behavior (Not an Issue): Almost all characters are white. Commercialism (Not an Issue): None. Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco (Not an Issue): None.
Adult Written byhighfivegirl123 April 9, 2008

One of the Funniest TV shows ever! :-)

Recess is one of the best cartoons for kids ever, and it would totally suck if any kid couldn't see this.