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I'm sure we all remember these classic musical shorts from
morning. It premiered ten years before I was born, but I still
some of them on Saturday morning. I think the two most popular ones
all time were "I'm Just A Bill" and "Conjunction Junction". But
were more cool ones too, like "Electricity! Electricity!" and
Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here". It entertained you as well
taught you stuff and that is what so many kid shows are lacking
adays. It taught math, science, history, grammar, all that good
It's not on anymore but I wish it were. I hear it's celebrating it's 30th anniversary, though it's a year early. Those of you who remember this show know what I'm talking about. Those who don't, well, it was pretty cool. There's really not much more to say. It was a cool show. It might be back someday. If not, I'm sure they're available on video.
...other than these cartoons are my favorite pieces of animation!
Schoolhouse Rock educates and entertains seamlessly at the same time, and
I've learned so much more from these cartoons than anything in school. This
is how we should learn everything!
Both the songs and cartoons are equally brilliant. Bob Dorough, who penned a great number of the tunes (including all of the Multiplication Rock songs, which are my favorites), is a fantastic and underrated songwriter with a sharp sense of humor to match. Lynn Ahrens also contributed some wonderfully memorable songs, my favorite of hers being "A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing."
Tom Yohe, who was a key designer for this series, was such a wonderful artist who could make the most seemingly simple characters so appealing in their own way (much like the Peanuts characters). He was the artist behind the Conjuction Junction Conductor and the Bill, among many other classic characters. Sadly, he died a few years ago.
But the best songs in the series are the ones not everyone remembers. My favorite Schoolhouse Rock song of all time is "Little Twelvetoes," and even most people who were kids in the '70s don't remember it. It's a bizarre little tune that teaches you how to multiply by 12, and the cartoon itself is even better than the song!
But almost all the songs are really super (with the exception of Money Rock. While it isn't terrible, it just doesn't compare to the classics), and check out the DVD with all the tunes! It includes a new America Rock song, and it's surprisingly delightful. All in all Schoolhouse Rock is a classic that will delight kids for generations.
Teachers will love to show this to their kids.Kids will like the jokes,the music,and much more.It teaches younger viewers a secret early education.It is a great tv show.So all I can say is that it is a picnic of education .Watch out for this tv show.Show it to younger kids.They will love it.better than barney,Blue`s clues,etc
Conjunction junction, what's your function...
their function was to teach us with song and rhyme, and to this day, i still remember most of the lyrics. how much fun is it to still enjoy the series, and now i can enjoy them again with my kids
I remember growing up watching these animated shorts about education and politics. The one thing I think most people remember was the themes songs to these shorts because we hear them for so many years. At least five to ten years of our life. They were inspirational and especially after the Bugs Bunny cartoons that aired before these shorts were played on ABC network. My friends and I used to sing these songs and now a lot of young parents (ages 24-33) are bringing their kids up on these animated educational toons buy purchasing the home videos. This is something that can never leave that part of lives. Great Memories!!!
Someone put a lot of love and work into these cartoons. These are some of
the cleverest and highest quality work done for children I've ever
They teach people about language, science, math, and US history and politics. Most adults could learn from these cartoons as well as children. The entire time you watch, you're entertained and delighted and then when you're done you've learned something new and you'll remember it for a long time.
This is a prime example of talented people doing something they love and doing it well. For the most part, pure genius!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a staple of Saturday morning television back in the 1970s and
later on. There will be mild spoilers ahead:
If you are of a certain age and didn't live in a cave, chances are very good that this show is a part of your childhood/early teens. It was intended to help kids learns some of the basics. How well it did with that is a matter for conjecture.
That it was generally entertaining and quite memorable is not in doubt. Some 40 years later, I can still remember most of the Multiplication Rock and Grammar Rock entries from the early to mid-1970s and the America Rock from the mid-1970s (roughly coinciding with the American Bicentennial).
Everyone probably has their favorites. Mine were "Three Is a Magic Number", "Figure Eight", "Interjections!", "Conjunction Junction", "I'm Just a Bill" and "No More Kings".
I don't really remember Science Rock or any of the stuff from the 1990s, though I've since seen the ones on the DVD releases. The series as a whole is very good and the DVDs are worth getting. Most highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The stars aligned perfectly when this series of shorts came to ABC TV,
in 1973. First, Fred Silverman was revolutionizing Saturday morning
television, with a unified lineup, much like primetime. However, to
appease watchdog groups, he needed educational content. Meanwhile, an
advertising man was concerned about his sons trouble with math in
school. He noted that his son could recite the lyrics to any Beatles
song and hit upon the idea of setting the multiplication tables to
music. His crew put together a pitch of a short cartoon, set to music:
"Three is a Magic Number." Silverman loved the idea and snapped it up,
requiring all shows to have a couple of minutes shaved to accommodate
these cartoons. The series launched with Multiplication Rock and became
a huge hit. This was soon followed by Grammar Rock; then, in time for
the Bicentennial, America Rock. Later, Science Rock was added, with
Money Rock still later.
The cartoons are an excellent blend of creative visuals, catchy songs, and simple, repetitive delivery that really lets the info sink in. For those of us who experienced it firsthand, it became our hit music. All we had to do on the playground was say, "Conjunction Junction," and someone else would answer, "What's your function?" We knew the preamble to the Constitution by heart! We knew that a verb was "what's happening!" The cartoons led to some strange events. Teachers reported hearing humming when they administered the required Constitution tests. Congressional offices requested copies of "The Three Ring Circus," and "I'm Just a Bill," to train their staffs about the functions of the branches of government and the legislative process. A stage show was put together in the 90s, by a group of nostalgic fans.
These cartoons are a must for any parent. They will do more to teach your children than anything from Baby Einstein, Sesame Street, Disney, or anything else. The songs are wonderful and the cartoons make learning fun and even inspiring. The only word of caution is in America Rock, which tends to over simplify some subjects, especially "manifest destiny," (Elbow Room) or the American Revolution (The Shot Heard Round the World); but they are still better than some of the jingoistic revisionism of the political pundits. If nothing else, they feature wonderful songs and entertaining cartoons that you and your child can enjoy together. Watch "Three is a Magic Number" and not feel a little emotional when you view the scenes of the man and woman holding their baby, then running together along the countryside.
Even though much of this series dates back to the Nixon-Ford era(!),
the tunes are still fresh and the content is still relevant even if the
garish Peter Max-ish backgrounds seem a bit much.
For example, "Energy Blues" still rings true today even though it was inspired by a political event.
Yes, I watched these when they first aired and I memorized the (slightly truncated) Preamble and more. Later, the set was restored and reissued on DVD just in time for my son to enjoy. Quite frankly, when it came time to help with science homework, I popped in the previously "banned(*)" Weather Show and in 3 minutes the "highs" and "lows" were as clear as a sunny day! I ripped the audio tracks and play them in the car...electricity, E-LEC-TRICITY! Watch the newest short too...considered "fair and square" my Aunt's fanny! ;) (*) This short was never aired because it contained the words "Greatest Show on Earth," trademark of that famous circus; the reissue cuts those works from the opening and replaces them at the end with circus music. They should have used the music for the opening also.
While CBS had In The News & NBC never attempted anything until 1978
with The Metric Marvels, ABC had a classic with all those Schoolhouse
Rock cartoons. But only on Sundays, the full credits were shown after
"Make A Wish" or "Amimals, Animals, Animals". And the songs heard on
the full credits; The Good Eleven, Lolly Lolly Lolly, The Preamble or
Not so Dry Bones.
My favorite of the bunch will always be "Sufferin 'Till Sufferage", women's rights to vote.
Jack Sheldon's the best performer of the series ad Bill, Conjunction Junction, Rufux Xavier Sasparilla, Energy Globe.
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