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Recess: School's Out
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Recess: School's Out More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as the series - but damn close!

Author: liammurphy1 from United Kingdom
28 August 2003

I really liked the TV series - i used to watch every episode on the Disney Channel,But i don't think the movie is quite as good as the series:

For instance The writers are used to coming up with 10 minute stories, but with the movie it seems like a 10 min episode streched out to 80 minutes so i'ts not as good as i would have hoped, but the acting is still superb and very convincing. The animation is strangely NOT as good as the Series it seems very flat and uninspired. On the good side it's got a really cool story even if it could have been done in half the time & JAMES WOODS (his voice anyway) is really good as the bad guy. It has really cool 60's songs towards the end of the movie.

all in all a really good movie which will delight kids and adults alike,just a shame it's not as good as the series

my rating 10/10 for pure enjoyment

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

If you like Recess on TV you'll LOVE the movie.

Author: jjs402 from Gurnee, Illinois, USA
11 March 2001

Recess the TV show is about kids having fun, and teachers being teachers (good and bad). There's good character development and personality variation on the small screen and it carries well to the big screen.

The movie puts the kids in the role of spies who need to break INTO school to save their lifestyle. Along the way, there are great 60's flashback scenes and songs, lots of funny spy movie cliches including the mob-scene climax.

The characters are caricatures but it IS a cartoon after all. There's good voice casting (including James Wood, Melissa Joan Hart and a great sounding Robert Goulet). The plot is complicated (and just a little goofy), but my 8 and 10 year old had no trouble following the action.

There are good messages about friendship, respect, integrity, duty, but these aren't done in a preachy way.

The animation quality is variable. There are some great 3d zoom-sweeps, but for part of the movie the characters look like they've been singed. However, the few animation flaws are only an issue for nitpickers (like me).

See it with someone who knows that characters and likes them. It'll be a good rental or a nice afternoon in the theater.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of the funniest Disney movies ever made...

Author: Andrew DiMonte (NoArrow) from My House, Canada
29 June 2003

...I had never thought Disney could redeem themselves after movies like "Tarzan" and "Mulan" until I seen this classic. Yes, I just said that Recess: School's Out is a classic. I loved this movie, and I'm a teen who hates most cartoons.

There is nothing about this movie that isn't funny, from Robert Goulet making a 'cameo' as character Mikey's singing voice to all the overdone teen cliches in character T.J.'s older sister Becky (Mellissa Joan Hart). This movie never even tries to be overly-dramatic as most other Disney movies, it's just straight, top of the line fun.

Without a doubt the greatest thing going for this movie is James Woods as the Dr. Evil type villain, pulling all the cliches of the James Bond bad guys. That's the great thing about Recess, it basically uses cliches, but makes fun of them too.

Hilarious movie, 8/10.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: Gerald Brown from Brooklyn, NYC
2 November 2001

Theodore Detweiler Jr. Vincent Lasalle. Michael Blumberg. Gustav Patton Griswald. Gretchen Grundler. Ashley Funicello Spinelli. Peter Prickly. Seven heroes out to save Summer Vacation from a madman who really whomps! Recess. School's Out. If you like the cartoon series, you'll love the film. Funny, inventive, and dare I say it for Ashley fans, SCANDALOUS! Featuring the voices of Andrew Lawrence, Rickey Collins, Pam Seagal, Dabney Coleman and James Woods as his greatest Disney villain since Hercules kicked his Hades' fanny, Recess; School's Out immortalized the children of Third Street School to icons of movie magic. Robert Goulet gives a perfect performance as Mikey's singing voice. His "Green Tambourine" video was just awesome! Do yourselves a favor, Recess fans, get off your fat, saggin' butts and WATCH THIS FILM! It's Tenderrrrrrr!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A film about 6 school friends who are trying to save their school from bad guys.

Author: husnain ali from London, England
3 October 2005

I love the film and thought it has everything a perfect film needs.The action,the comedy and everything else that makes the actual movie great.Rickey D'sh on Collins,Ashley Johnson,Paul Willson,Jason Davis,Andrew Lawrence,Courtland Mead,Pamella Segall,Dabney Coleman, April Winchell were perfect as the voices of the characters and so was everyone else that was involved with the movie.I love watching the cartoons on T.V. and don't really think that they are for little kids.Recess schools out shows the story about 6 school friends who find out some strange goings in their school and save it from bad guys who are trying to get rid of summer vacation.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Psychedelic History of 3rd Street School.

Author: Ddey65 from United States
26 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere's "Recess" cartoon shorts, which ran on ABC when the Walt Disney Company first bought the network and transformed the entire children's programming department, were exaggerations of how many kids see life on the school playground. Since the series ran long enough, and seemed relatively popular, it should be no surprise that Disney would end it with a movie, whether it's a feature film or a made-for-television movie. While it's intended audience might not be able to relate to a soundtrack of wall-to-wall classic rock, the story itself is much easier for both kids and their parents to relate to.


T.J. Detweiller is as happy as anybody else at 3rd Street Elementary School that school is out for summer, because he thinks it's going to mean a couple of months of fun with his friends. Unfortunately, they've all gone to their numerous specialty camps, none of which turn out to be what either of them hope, but that's besides the point. Left at home by himself, he ends up with a great deal of spare time riding his bike around town. Suddenly he finds out that very weird activities are going on in his school, and they include secret service look-alikes and a green glow in the cafeteria windows. When he tries to tell his parents and the cops, they don't believe him(would you?), so he runs to the last person he wants to see... Principal Pete Prickly. And when he reluctantly follows TJ to investigate, he seems to dematerialize. This leaves him with no other choice but to get his older sister to gather his friends from camp and stop whatever evil plot might be going on. And only when the other kids see what looks like a huge laser beam coming out of their school auditorium do they decide to break in and stop whatever IS going on. Upon this break in, TJ is caught, and finds his hated principal alive and well.

During their capture, Principal Prickly reveals that more than three decades earlier, 3rd Street Elementary was an easy-going school with a faculty population of reform-minded hippies, including the currently hard-nosed Ms. Finster and Prickly himself. But one of those hippies, former principal Phillium Benedict turned out to be a complete fake who used standard hippie-slang to score with the female teachers, and his only "reform" was the abolition of recess. Today, he's a disgraced former secretary of education who plans to abolish summer vacation, by abolishing summer completely!! Frankly, I find it difficult to believe that any school district would allow their fleet of buses to be painted psychedelic colors. The only ones that were painted that way were sold off to real hippies. The idea that somebody would use standard 1960's slang merely to pick up women(or score dope), however is very easy to believe. I also don't remember childhood being as happy-go-lucky as either the show or the movie suggests. At least it recognizes that Gus doesn't share the same memories as his friends(a fact which the 2003 straight-to-video "All Growed Down" ignores). And after three allegedly "crazy stories" about weird things going on at 3rd Street School, I'd think the local cops would be suspicious enough to think something must be going on. Flaws like this aside, not to mention a gimmicky CGI beginning and ending, don't detract from the fact that this is a movie that warms the heart a little as it tries to cash in on the success of a then existing cartoon series.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Summer vacation; the ultimate recess"

Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
28 May 2011

As a youth, I remember the show Recess with great memories. I remember it playing on Toon Disney (now Disney XD, respectively) at around 3:30pm when I was in the third grade. I used to rush home and watch it before carrying on with my homework. It was childhood nostalgia at its finest. I wasn't introduced to the series till around 2004 or 2005, so when the film came out in 2001 I had no interest in seeing it because, well, I didn't know what it was.

It wasn't until about six months of watching the show I finally found Recess: School's Out and watched it. Back then, I thought it was one of the greatest animated movies of all time. I was shown it again at the end of the year in forth grade when the whole grade watched it at once. Memories like that will never die for me.

Not seeing this since around sixth grade, I used to rewatch it at least twice a year, seeing it again in 2011 kind of saddened me. I hesitate to watch old animated films I adored as a kid and some films like Fools Rush In which was a kid favorite of mine because I fear of tarnishing my memories of those movies. I remember them to be "amazing" and "hilarious." When reality catches up to me, most of my childhood favorites are only average pieces of film.

First of all, the film focuses on a bizarre storyline. T.J. Detweiller's forth grade year comes to an end and he has plans of riding bikes, camping out, and just hanging out with his five friends Mikey, Spinelli, Gretchen, Gus, and Vince. Only problem; they are all going to some sort of camp for most of the summer leaving T.J. secluded.

T.J. spends his first days of summer riding his bike and moping, like any kid with no friends over the summer would do. He notices strange activity going on in the school. There is a giant laser beam, satellite monstrosity inside of it and when he goes to the principal for help, the principal is dematerialized right before his eyes after trying to unlock the front door.

It turns out, that Dr. Phillium Benedict, former principal of the school, is trying to realign the moon to make a "year round winter" so summer vacation will be obsolete. His obsession with "test scores" and "improvement" leads to this chaos, so T.J. rounds up the gang to have an adventure and save their summer from extinction.

The plot is entertaining, but it is unbelievably strange and awkward. Eliminating summer vacation? I could see that. Hell, it is already happening in some schools. But I don't know if any proctor is planning to realign the moon. Another thing, where are the neighbors to the school? Don't they see the laser beam come out? And who wouldn't notice the long beam of green light light up the sky? The police are absolutely no help either. I can understand if a kid comes in saying "people are in a school with a laser beam" and the cops not believe him. But if multiple people, even adults, came in saying nearly the same thing don't you think the police would at least investigate. In order for this plot to work, half the town has to be a bunch of unaware nitwits.

And for a kids movie, it doesn't really have any attract factor for adults. The sixties music and the retro scenes are actually something adults may like. They only last for a short while though. Some scenes in this film like the scene of T.J. riding his bike with One is the Loneliest Number and the end credits with the whole Recess gang covering My Green Tambourine was actually the most favorable parts of the movie. I remember from my youth watching those scenes.

The animation is a bit different from the show. The show was hand drawn, and the movie is CGI. In 2001, CGI still wasn't a normal thing for all animated films. It's that awkward period between the past and the present. The buildings look blocky, but the characters look great. It isn't the beauty and remarkable quality Toy Story has, but animation isn't everything. It gets by.

Recess ranks up with the biggest nostalgic memories with me. While appreciating the movie when I was younger, the movie doesn't really serve more as a purpose than an extra trip to the theater. This could've easily been a TV movie, but maybe Recess deserved a film adaptation to the big screen. While some of the fun has deteriorated, there is still some there that will most likely never go away. The scenes in the treehouse were still as fun as they'll ever be.

Starring: Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, James Woods, Paul Wilson, Ashley Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, and Dabney Coleman. Directed by: Chuck Sheetz.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Likeable Cartoon Feature

Author: jimorris from VA
10 February 2001

This is a likeable cartoon feature for both parents and children because it moves along and holds your attention. Fortunately, no one bursts out singing, but the oldies background music is a plus. James Woods does a fine job as the voice of the baddie. NOTE : Have never seen the TV show so am judging the film on its own.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bright, colourful and entertaining.

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
20 July 2009

Recess:School's Out is one of the biggest surprises I had recently while watching films, for I found it bright, colourful and very entertaining. Yes, it's a kids' movies, but adults will like some of the voice actors and the music. Sure, the story is a little forgettable, and there are some slow parts, but the feel-good nature of the film compensates. The animation is very good, and is moreover true to the style of animation in the TV series. The script is quite funny, my favourite line being "I have a fat saggy butt, which I like to scratch every hour on the hour". The voice cast breathe life to a likable host of characters, and are fantastic, the obvious standout being James Woods in a wonderful performance of Dr Benedict. The music is great, and Mike has a remarkably good singing voice. There are some very funny moments like anything to do with Randall and Ms Finster, and the fight at the end. All in all, engaging and entertaining, more reared at kids, but still likable for adults too. I honestly wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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School is Out.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
6 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recess: School's Out (2001): Dir: Chuck Sheetz / Voices: James Woods, Dabney Coleman, Andy Lawrence, Melissa Joan Hart, Peter MacNicol: Based on the Saturday morning cartoon about the reckless boys of the school ground. Animation regarding freedom within its view of recess. School is closing for the summer but it is believed that an alien invasion is upon them when the principal disappears. This leads to a ridiculous climax. Director Chuck Sheetz does his best but the animation is on the same low level as South Park. James Wood voices Dr. Benedict wishes to take over the elementary school. Dabney Coleman voices the principal who tells of Benedict's nasty past. Those two adult characters actually carry their scenes effectively until the idiotic third act. The kids are elevated beyond a level one can identify. They throw themselves into danger that no normal kid would dare do and that isn't counting the implausible elements. Yes, this is a kids animation but certainly not the best in that league. Other voices include Andy Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart who won't likely brag about this film on their next awards appearance. Although a message may exit, it seems more determined to sell a cartoon that had no quality to begin with. Children may enjoy this film but it is hardly engaging entertainment as oppose to something by Pixar. This animation has all the creativity of dog barf. Score: 3 / 10

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