Running Time: :49
If you're of a certain age, you remember that during the middle of Saturday morning cartoons, you'd often see a little 2-3 minute bumper from Schoolhouse Rock which would give you a little education on things like the government, language, arts... you name it, they had it. Disney has just released, in time for the election, Schoolhouse Rock: The Election Collection which takes 14 of your old favorites dealing with the government and put them on one DVD. Then they also through in a brand new story, Presidential Minute, which urges you to get out and vote. So while you won't see old favorite Conjunction Junction on here, you will see a lot of old familiar tunes.
The DVD starts off with the classic, Energy Blues, which is highly relevant in today's world. It discusses the history of energy use in the world and how we need to find other sustainable energies before we run out. It's amazing that 30 years later the lament from the story is still felt today. After that there are a couple of stories I simply don't remember seeing and maybe because of that, I didn't enjoy as much. There was one called Tax Man Max which tells us how and why taxes are collected. There was one called Tyrannosaurus Debt which talked about how and why the U.S. Government is in debt. There was one called Walkin' on Wall Street which featured a bird who played the stock market. That one was probably one of the better of the 'newer' songs, although it seemed like a strange topic to cover. A couple of others I didn't really enjoy included I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College and Three-Ring Government. They didn't have the entertainment value of the others.
Besides Energy Blues my favorites included No More Kings, which I do remember from back in the day which talked about how the Americans rebelled against King George and declared their independence. Shot Heard 'Round the World, Fireworks and The Preamble also touched on the U.S. declaring their freedom from tyranny but in slightly different ways and with different types of music. Another classic is The Great American Melting Pot which as you might image, discusses the great many different people that came together to form this country. My favorite image had to be the Indian guy wearing a turban who was laying on a bed of nails. Sufferin' Till Suffrage was about women gaining the right to vote. What I found interesting about that was within the packaging of the DVD they give you an electoral college map so you can keep track of election results. But on the back of the map there is a short little history of voting and they talk about when African-Americans were given the right to vote. But I don't recall ever seeing a video about that. Are there topics that even Schoolhouse Rock won't go in to?
And finally, there is what is arguably the most famous of all the Schoolhouse Rock films, I'm Just A Bill. Is there anyone who doesn't remember this one? The story of a bill who has to work his way from an idea to a law is easily the greatest of all time. And to this day it is still the best example of how you can have a 3 minute short film that can tell a story and educate at the same time. And of course you have the singing voice of the great Jack Sheldon leading you along.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I liked Schoolhouse Rock: The Election Collection although there were some stories that I didn't think were as well done as others. Still, it's a good primer for young folks heading into this current election.
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