Recess: School’s Out (2001)

(On VHS, September 2001) While fans of the TV Show will undoubtedly enjoy the film more than brand-new viewers, it’s far from being a total waste of time for the latter group. A good opening sequence efficiently introduces all the characters you need to know, and incidentally demonstrates a competent level of writing. Adults need not fear to be bored by the story; while this obviously remains a kid’s show, the various allusions, winks and general storytelling competency will hold your interest. Chances are that if nothing else, the “sixties flashback” sequence is designed specifically for the parents watching the film with their kids. (the latter Pink Floyd reference is guaranteed to have you howling) There’s also a more serious, and as effective, moment where the characters have to contemplate the passing of time and effect thereof on friendship. Some characters get unfortunately short thrift (more Spinelli!!) and the animation level -save for some computer-generated sequences- remains strictly Saturday-morning level. But don’t let that stop you; Recess: School’s Out is good fun. Stay for part of the end credits, as a hypnotically compelling version of “Green Tambourine” is sung by Robert Goulet.

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