Facts and Figures
Run time: 3 mins
In Theaters: Saturday 6th January 1973
Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5
IMDB: 8.3 / 10
Schoolhouse Rock! Review
Man, I love that song. And boy does listening to it again on this 30th Anniversary DVD brings the memories back. (Ya know, 1973 to 2002 isn't quite 30 years, but who's counting? Er, counting? Wait a sec...) .
As you might expect, this long-anticipated two-disc DVD set includes all 46 original songs made for ABC's Schoolhouse Rock! For the uninitiated, Schoolhouse Rock! was not quite a TV show, not quite a commercial. I was all of two years old when it got started, and frankly I'm not quite sure what these music videos were all about, when they were aired, or why. I just know that I saw an awful lot of them while I was growing up, over and over again.
Reliving the Rock experience is a freaky trip back to the 1970s, a reminder of how most members of my generation learned about how a bill becomes a law, how the bones of the leg fit together, the text of the Preamble of the Constitution, various multiplication tables, how the American Revolution was fought, the origins of electricity, and the arcana of the figure eight ("that's a circle that turns 'round upon itself"). If you were really into it, you might even have learned the basis of tax deductions and how Wall Street works. Sort of.
As far as wholesome family entertainment goes, this collection is about at the top of the list. Today's kids may not get the quick references to Chubby Checker or a healthy stock market (I wish!), but even I've got to believe my coming-soon daughter will be humming "Conjunction Junction" for the next 30 years, just like me. (That said, some of the ultra-crooning folk songs like "The Great American Melting Pot" are hard to get through these days.)
For this disc collection, you not only get the 46 original songs -- including many you've probably never heard before ("The Tale of Mr. Morton"?) -- you also get the three computer-oriented "Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips" tunes produced in the 1980s, a new tune about the electoral college (nope, still doesn't make any sense), a few extra songs, and a ton of behind the scenes footage like the commercial Nike made with "Three is a Magic Number." For families with little kids that find Teletubbies loathsome, you have to check this DVD out. For nostalgia buffs, well, you've probably already preordered the disc anyway, so why are you still reading this review!?
(Speaking of "Conjunction Junction" and the rest of the grammar rock tunes -- you know, the filmcritic.com staff could really stand to watch this DVD a few times over. And I'm not kidding.)