Recess: School's Out

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

Last day of school! Fourth grader T.J. (voice of Andy Lawrence) can't wait to hang out with his friends, then finds out they are all going to camps to prepare for their "careers." Pugnacious Spinelli (Pam Segall) wants to develop her boxing skills, nerdy Gretchen (Ashley Johnson) is eager to study math and science, talented singer Mikey (Jason Davis, singing voice of Robert Goulet) is going to a theater arts camp, and Principal Prickly (Dabney Coleman) looks forward to playing golf. Feeling betrayed and lonely, T.J. roams the town on his bike. He notices some sinister-looking men going into the empty school and later sees a mysterious laser beam aimed at the moon rising from the roof. When his parents and the police laugh at his ridiculous story, T.J. calls his friends back from camp to help him investigate. Those familiar with the popular Disney TV cartoon will agree RECESS is a good action-filled movie with the same clever, funny characters. Songs and flashback scenes of the principal and teachers from their "hippie" 60s will delight moms and dads. For more fun, at the end of the movie, the Recess kids are flashed on screen dressed as though they were back in the 60s. SCHOOLS OUT is an enjoyable film, particularly for families with elementary school children.

In the midst of the action, good messages emerge. The kids create mayhem and make fun of the principal and teachers on the last day of school, but discover these authority figures were kids once too. Mr. Prickly and T.J. find themselves captured in a potentially dangerous situation but, working together, they defeat the villains' scheme to stamp out recess. Teamwork showcases blending the unique talents of each individual child, allowing them to perform heroic rescue efforts to free T.J. and Mr. Prickly. Young viewers learn that jealousy, greed and holding grudges ultimately produce failure. There are no really scary scenes that would frighten youngsters. And action scenes include attacks with water-filled balloons, soccer balls, left-over corn chowder poured over villains, and many slips and falls as the children's ingenuity defeats the villains. Although the children make fun of grownups and deliberately harass them on the last day of school, RECESS delivers wholesome, fun entertainment with a few lessons.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon, Libby Cravens (age 11) and Sarah Cravens (age 8)
Buena Vista (Disney), 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few times Moderate (butt)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Cartoon action scenes/ no injuries (water balloon attacks, vat of chowder poured on villains, chases, falls, captives tied up)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Importance of recess; teamwork gets job done, not greed, jealousy and holding grudges; children learn to respect principal; boy confiscates sister's diary and ridicules principal

Running Time: 84 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 5 to 11

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