Recess (TV series)

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Recess
Recess poster toon.jpg
The main characters of the series. From left to right, Vince, Spinelli, Mikey, TJ, Gretchen, and Gus.
FormatAnimated series
Dramedy
Created byPaul Germain
Joe Ansolabehere
StarringRoss Malinger
(1997–1998)
Andrew Lawrence
(1998–2001)
Rickey D'Shon Collins
Ashley Johnson
Pamela Adlon
Jason Davis
Courtland Mead
April Winchell
Dabney Coleman
Allyce Beasley
Ryan O'Donohue
Toran Caudell
Erik von Detten
Blake McIver Ewing
Anndi McAfee
Helen Slayton-Hughes
(1999–2001)
Composer(s)Denis M. Hannigan
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes65 (127 segments) (List of episodes)
Production
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Walt Disney Television Animation
Paul & Joe Productions (Season 5-6)
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC (ABC Kids)
UPN (Disney's One Too)
Original runAugust 31, 1997 (1997-08-31) – November 5, 2001 (2001-11-05)
External links
Official website
 
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For other uses, see Recess (disambiguation).
Recess
Recess poster toon.jpg
The main characters of the series. From left to right, Vince, Spinelli, Mikey, TJ, Gretchen, and Gus.
FormatAnimated series
Dramedy
Created byPaul Germain
Joe Ansolabehere
StarringRoss Malinger
(1997–1998)
Andrew Lawrence
(1998–2001)
Rickey D'Shon Collins
Ashley Johnson
Pamela Adlon
Jason Davis
Courtland Mead
April Winchell
Dabney Coleman
Allyce Beasley
Ryan O'Donohue
Toran Caudell
Erik von Detten
Blake McIver Ewing
Anndi McAfee
Helen Slayton-Hughes
(1999–2001)
Composer(s)Denis M. Hannigan
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes65 (127 segments) (List of episodes)
Production
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Walt Disney Television Animation
Paul & Joe Productions (Season 5-6)
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC (ABC Kids)
UPN (Disney's One Too)
Original runAugust 31, 1997 (1997-08-31) – November 5, 2001 (2001-11-05)
External links
Official website

Recess is an American animated television series created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere (credited as "Paul and Joe") and produced by Walt Disney Television Animation.[1] The series focuses on six elementary school students and their interaction with other classmates and teachers. The title refers to the period of time during the school day in which children are not in lessons and are outside in the schoolyard, in North American society. One of the main features of the series is how the children form their own society, complete with government and a class structure, set against the backdrop of a regular school.

Recess first aired on ABC from 1997 through to 2001, and reruns aired on Disney Channel in the United States. The success of the series saw it being distributed to numerous countries around the world, notably the United Kingdom, where it aired on multiple channels including Toon Disney and Disney Channel UK. In 2001, Walt Disney Pictures released the first of two films based on the series, Recess: School's Out, which was distributed theatrically. It was followed by a direct-to-video second film entitled Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street that same year. In 2003, a third film entitled Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade was released, along with Recess: All Growed Down. Both were also direct-to-video. The characters also made an appearance in an episode of Disney's Lilo & Stitch: The Series.

Premise[edit]

Recess portrays the lives of six fourth graders — mischievous prankster and leader of the little "gang" T.J. Detweiler, hot-headed tomboy Ashley Spinelli, popular jock Vince LaSalle, awkward genius Gretchen Grundler, gentle giant Mikey Blumberg and upbeat yet unlucky military brat Gus Griswald — as they go about their daily lives in a highly clichéd school environment at Third Street Elementary School, where students have set up a microcosm of traditional human society complete with its own government, class system, and set of unwritten laws. They are ruled by a monarch, a sixth grader named King Bob, who has various enforcers to make sure his decrees are carried out. The little society has a long list of rigid values and social norms that imposes a high expectation of conformity upon all the students.

Recess is illustrated to be a symbol of freedom — a time when children can express themselves and develop meaningful relationships. Most episodes involve one or more of the main six characters seeking a rational balance between individuality and social order. They are often defending their freedom against perceived threats by adults and school administration or social norms. The group's leader, T.J. Detweiler, tends to have the most complete vision of this struggle, though even he has times when he inadvertently leads the group too far toward an extreme of conformity or non-conformity, and needs to be drawn back to even ground by his loyal friends.

The show's introductory music, art design and style often evoked the feel of prison escape movies such as The Great Escape, and the playground hierarchy and school administration were often depicted in ways that paid homage to common themes in such films. Additionally, many episodes parody classic films such as Good Will Hunting, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Few Good Men.

Production[edit]

Recess first premiered on ABC on August 31, 1997, as a "sneak preview", and later transmissioned to ABC's Disney's One Saturday Morning programming block on September 13, 1997. Recess's success spawned two direct-to video-titles and one theatrical film, Recess: School's Out, which was released on February 16, 2001.[2]

The series was ended in 2001, and Disney stopped airing new episodes after November 5, 2001, but still continued to show episodes on ABC's One Saturday Morning until 2002 and UPN's Disney's One Too programming blocks until 2003 when both blocks were phased out. Re-runs also aired on ABC Kids until September 2004 (when the block turned into an all Disney Channel line-up), as well as Disney Channel from 2003 to 2006, and then 2009 to 2010, Toon Disney from 2003 to 2009 (when the channel ceased operations), and Disney XD from 2009 to 2012. This show is one of the few Disney television shows to be aired on all three major Disney networks. The show was aired every day on Disney Cinemagic in the UK until the network's closure in 2013. On October 26, 2011, Recess reruns ran again on Disney XD, however reruns only lasted that one week.

Characters[edit]

Major cast[edit]

Actor(s)Role
Ross Malinger
Andrew Lawrence
Myles Jeffrey
T.J. Detweiler
Pamela Segall AdlonAshley Spinelli
Rickey D'Shon CollinsVince LaSalle
Ashley JohnsonGretchen Grundler
Courtland MeadGus Griswald
Jason Davis
Robert Goulet
Mikey Blumberg
April WinchellMiss Muriel Finster
Ryan O'DonohueRandall Weems, Digger Dave
Dabney ColemanPeter Prickly
Erik von DettenErwin Lawson
Allyce BeasleyMiss Grotke
Blake EwingMenlo, Douglas
Toran CaudellKing Bob
Anndi McAfeeAshley Armbruster
Francesca SmithAshley Boulet, Swinger Girl, Upside-down Girl
Rachel CraneAshley Quinlan
Camille WinbushAshley Tomasian
Corey QuebedeauxBig Kwibbie
Klee BraggerDigger Sam
Kath SoucieButch

Minor cast[edit]

Actor(s)Role
Michael ShulmanHustler Kid (Francis)
Aria CurzonCornchip Girl (Theresa Levern Lamaize)
Klee BraggerSam, Phil (Seasons one to five), Guru Kid (Seasons one to four)
Ryan O'DonohueDave
Elizabeth DailySticky, Emma, Rigalli, and Hector (Season three onwards)
Eddie DeezenKnarf (Frank)
Pamela HaydenEvets (Steve)
Sam McMurrayGeneral Griswald and Bob Spinelli
Jason DavisTubby
Tress MacNeilleMiss Lemon, Lunchlady Irma, and Bus Driver Bertha
John AstinSuperintendent Skinner
Patrick RennaJerome
Ronnie SchellMayor Philip Fitzhugh
Justin ShenkarowJordan
Katey SagalFlo Spinelli
Mayim BialikKurst the Worst
Andrea MartinLunchlady Harriet
Ed AsnerThadeus T. Third V
Paul WillsonCoach, Mr. Kelso, T.J.'s dad
Warren SrokaMundy
Martin MullPrincipal (Peter) Prickly
Eric IdleGalileo
Benjamin DiskinVarious
Christine CavanaughLibrary Kid, Greta Grobler, Sue Bob Murphy (Season two only), Female Digger
Frank WelkerVarious animals
Kath SoucieButch, Hector (Season two), Cindy, Sue Bob Murphy (Season four onwards)
Alex McKennaC.J. Rotweiler
Danny CookseySkeens (Season five onwards)
Tara StrongBecky Benson
Kevin Michael RichardsonVince's Dad (Episode: Me No Know)
Sheryl Lee RalphVince's Mom
Kenny BlankChad LaSalle, Cheay

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEp #First AirdateLast Airdate
Season 126September 13, 1997January 17, 1998
Season 225September 12, 1998February 27, 1999
Season 316September 11, 1999January 22, 2000
Season 446September 12, 2000July 17, 2001
Season 59September 9, 2001January 6, 2002
Season 65October 31, 2002November 5, 2003

Reception[edit]

The show was generally well received critically and is widely regarded as a cult classic. The show also did well commercially and was one of the longest running shows on the Saturday morning lineup for Disney programming.

Movies[edit]

Recess: School's Out[edit]

Main article: Recess: School's Out

Recess: School's Out is an animated film directed by Chuck Sheetz and is based on the television series where the characters must intercept a gang of anti-recess terrorists plotting to bring about a new ice age to eliminate the institution of recess. The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and was released theatrically nationwide on February 16, 2001.

Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade[edit]

Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade is a Disney direct-to-video animated film released on December 9, 2003.

Lilo & Stitch[edit]

Lilo & Stitch featured an episode titled Lax, which included the TV series Recess, when T.J. and the gang go on a school vacation to Hawaii.

Disaster strikes when an imprisoned alien called Dr. Hamstervil and his henchman, a giant alien named Gantu try to use an escaped alien experiment to make everyone relaxed while he takes over the world. Luckily, Gretchen (from Recess) saves the day, since she believes work is relaxing.

DVD releases[edit]

Recess: School's Out[edit]

(Released August 7, 2001)[3]

It is an animated film based on the television series. This film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, and released to movie theatres in 2001.

Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street[edit]

(Released November 6, 2001)[4]

It is a Disney direct-to-video animated film. It compiles four unrelated episodes, including the program's Christmas special "Yes Mikey, Santa Does Shave."

Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade[edit]

(Released December 9, 2003)[5]

It is a Disney direct-to-video animated film.

Recess: All Growed Down[edit]

(Released December 9, 2003)[6]

It is a Disney direct-to-video animated film. It compiles four unrelated episodes.

Worldwide media release[edit]

Pakistan Pakistan

Australia Australia

Canada Canada

United States United States

Mexico Mexico

Brazil Brazil

Argentina Argentina

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Portugal Portugal

Spain Spain

France France

India India

Italy Italy

Germany Germany

Netherlands Netherlands

Denmark[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Norway[edit]

Finland Finland

Poland[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

Russia[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

Greece[edit]

Turkey[edit]

Taiwan(Republic of China)[edit]

Japan[edit]

Asia Pacific[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]