Friday, November 9, 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoons

The other day I was explaining to the BG that, when I was her age, before the Cartoon Network and the DVR ushered in the era of on-demand viewing, the only time that I could watch cartoons was Saturday morning, the most magical time of the week.

Part of Saturday mornings on ABC was the beloved Schoolhouse Rock, a series of short animations teaching math, grammar and history with music and humor. I bought the DVD for the OG when she was 5, and she spent a lot of time with it, a devotion that was rewarded last week, when one of her teachers promised extra credit to anyone who could sing the preamble to the Constitution in the melody from the show. Of course, like me, it is so ingrained in her head that  she could manage it without any practice.

The series was made into a musical about ten years ago, and, as luck would have it, it's the show that the BG's school is putting on this year. She sang "Unpack your Adjectives" for her audition, and was rewarded with a callback, where she was asked to sing "Interjections," perhaps the best known of all.

The cartoons, all three minutes long, contain a perfect blend of humor and melody, while at the same time imparting knowledge without being in any way didactic. Some are better than others, and I confess that I had largely outgrown cartoons in the late 1970s when the Science and Computer Rock series debuted. But nevertheless, I think it's wonderful that an important part of my childhood has assumed an even more prominent role in the lives of my daughters. Indubitably, as father, son and Lolly would say.

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