Sunday, August 29, 2010

Toon Rock: Schoolhouse Rock (1973)

Seeing how CBS had started airing short news pieces between their children's shows, ABC decided they'd do something similar, but without the aid of their news department. Instead, they launched what would be a long-running franchise, Schoolhouse Rock.

Schoolhouse Rock was broken down into different components, starting with Grammar Rock & Multiplication Rock. As time passed, the scope was expanded to include "History" & "Science", among others. Here, courtesy of YouTube, is a "History" number that is a personal favorite of mine. From 1977, it's "Sufferin' Till Suffrage".

In the 90's, a compilation CD was released that featured alternative artists covering some Schoolhouse classics. "Sufferin'", unfortunately, wasn't one of them. Just as unfortunate is the fact that ABC and its corporate parent, Disney, don't believe it's necessary to commission new Schoolhouse shorts, or revive the classics yet again. It falls under the FCC's "educational & informative" (E/I) guidelines, more so than the Disney Channel sitcoms being repurposed on ABC to fill their Saturday lineup nowadays. You can bet your bottom dollar that if one of Disney's tween idols (i.e. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato) covered any of these songs, then the suits would reconsider.

Rating: A-.

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