Like all Gen-Xers, everything I learned from Elementary school (that I’ve managed to retain) was pumped into my head every Saturday morning in between episodes of Superfriends and Dyno-Mutt and Jabberjaw and Captain Caveman and etc…
Through Schoolhouse Rock
we all learned (Manchurian Candidate-style) to recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, the inner working of the human digestive system, the principle of speculative fiction through the POV six-fingered extraterrestrials and to rattle off the multiples of three in reverse order while keeping in mind three’s inherent connection to all mystic trinities.
I dare say that if the current financial crisis was explained to us using singing , animated foreclosed homes we could all figure a way out of it.
was originally conceived simply as an album to teach kids multiplication tables. The first song recorded was "Three Is a Magic Number,"
written by jazz musician, Bob Dorough
. Artist, Tom Yohe listened to the first song, and began to doodle pictures to go with the lyrics and suggested songs would make good animation. Cartoons were produced and sold to ABC for its Saturday morning lineup.
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The shorts aired in between cartoons and commercials from 1973 to1986, where they branched off into topics of Grammar, History, Politics, Science and Finance. Once they were off the air though, that was it…until Rhino records released the songs on CD nearly 15 years ago. There was a bit of zeitgeist which spawned a touring (off)Broadway musical, but there was still no way to watch the old cartoons except for some shoddily produced videotapes.
Then a few years ago Disney came to the “rescue” but swallowing the Schoolhouse Rock property and releasing a 30th Year Anniversary DVD
. This DVD is everything a fan could hope for. It includes ALL of the SHR cartoons, including the rarely seen “Scooter & Mr.Chips” and a few the never aired- One being “Three Ring Government” which ABC didn’t air because of fear that allegorizing our government as a circus might offend Senators.
The cartoons look better than they ever did originally and there’s a great ‘Making Of’
…Oh, but I’m supposed to be telling you about the new DVD
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: Election Collection
is a collection of cherry-picked cartoons from the History Rock, Science Rock and Money Rock division, all with a political bent. It’s blatantly just Disney being opportunists and trying to siphon off a little heat from the very hot upcoming presidential election between Barrack Obama vs. John McCain. I guess it’s hard to blame them, and I certainly don’t mind something as effective as Schoolhouse Rock getting more publicity.
My problem is that this is such an inferior collection. For the same price (or maybe only a couple dollars more) you buy the 30th Anniversary DVD which contains ALL of these same cartoons and more. This ‘Election Collection has no extra features, save for two indistinguishable versions of a useless commercial.
Honestly, I couldn’t recommend Schoolhouse Rock: Election Collection
DVD to you unless you had absolutely no way to your hands on the 30th Anniversary DVD OR you just really, really hate multiplication and grammar.
You can purchase Schoolhouse Rock: Election Collection here
...BUT you can also purchase Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) here!
Non-sequitor: The Great Bob Dorough
later went on to record the theme song for a character I used to have a small association with:
's TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN!