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.
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[1]
Paul & Joe Productions (seasons 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.
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[1]
Paul & Joe Productions (seasons 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"). 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. During recess, the children form their own society, complete with government and a class structure, set against the backdrop of a regular school.

In 2001, Walt Disney Pictures released a theatrical film based on the series, Recess: School's Out. It was followed by a direct-to-video second film entitled Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street that same year. In 2003, two more direct-to-video films were released: Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade and Recess: All Growed Down. The characters also made an appearance in a 2005 episode of Disney's Lilo & Stitch: The Series.

Recess first-ran on ABC and UPN from 1997 to 2001, and reruns continued to air on both channels until 2003. The success and lasting appeal of the series saw it being syndicated to numerous channels, notably Toon Disney (from 2001–09), Disney Channel (from 2003–10), and Disney XD (from 2009–12).

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 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. The series' 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 ended on November 5, 2001; reruns continued to air on ABC and UPN until September 2, 2003.

Disney Channel added Recess to their lineup on September 3, 2003. Fillmore!, The Legend of Tarzan, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command were all pre-empted in favor of a 90-minute showing of the series.[3] It temporarily ceased airing on September 2, 2005, but resumed on August 14, 2008[4] and continued until June 30, 2010.[5]

Toon Disney aired the show from September 3, 2003[6] to February 12, 2009.[7] When Toon Disney was converted to Disney XD, the series was carried over and aired from April 14, 2009[8] to 2012.

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)
Jack RileyGolfer
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, 1999July 17, 2000
Season 59September 9, 2000January 6, 2001
Season 65October 31, 2001November 5, 2001

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)[9]

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)[10]

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)[11]

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

Recess: All Growed Down[edit]

(Released December 9, 2003)[12]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (August 11, 1997). "Cable Chief Tries to Bring Cool Into Disney Children's TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (February 16, 2001). "As Seen on TV: Making the World Safe for Vacations". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.toonzone.net/forums/disney-pixar-forum/85070-disney-channel-september-info-now-up.html#.VJI18Yd-9E5
  4. ^ http://www.tvschedulearchive.com/disney-channel/2008/081108.txt
  5. ^ http://www.tvschedulearchive.com/disney-channel/2010/062810.txt
  6. ^ "Toon Disney - Schedule - This Week's Schedule". Toon Disney. Archived from the original on 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2003-08-01. 
    "Toon Disney - Schedule - This Week's Schedule". Toon Disney. Archived from the original on 2003-12-06. Retrieved 2003-12-06. 
  7. ^ http://www.tvschedulearchive.com/disney-xd/2009/020909.txt
  8. ^ http://www.tvschedulearchive.com/disney-xd/2009/041309.txt
  9. ^ Amazon.com: Recess - School's Out: Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, Ashley Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Courtland Mead, Pamela Adlon, Dabney Coleman, Robert Goulet, Melissa Jo...
  10. ^ Amazon.com: Recess Christmas - Miracle on Third Street: Andrew Lawrence, Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, Ashley Johnson, Courtland Mead, Pamela Adlon, Allyce Beasley, Apri...
  11. ^ Amazon.com: Recess - Taking The Fifth Grade: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel ...
  12. ^ Amazon.com: Recess - All Growed Down: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel Morgan,...

External links[edit]