Recess (TV series)
The main characters of the series. From left to right, Vince, Spinelli, Mikey, TJ, Gretchen and Gus.
|Format||Animated series, Comedy-Drama|
|Created by||Paul Germain
Rickey D'Shon Collins
Erik von Detten
Blake McIver Ewing
|Composer(s)||Denis M. Hannigan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||65 (128 segments) (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22 Minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Television|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original channel||ABC (ABC Kids)
UPN (Disney's One Too) (1999–2001)
|Original run||August 31, 1997– November 5, 2001|
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. 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.
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.
Recess first premiered on ABC on August 31, 1997, as a "sneak preview", and later transmissioned to ABC'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.
The series was cancelled 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 2001 to 2009 (when the channel ceased operations), and Disney XD from 2009 to early 2010. 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.
Major cast 
Minor cast 
|Season||Ep #||First Airdate||Last Airdate|
|Season 1||13||September 13, 1997||January 17, 1998|
|Season 2||13||September 12, 1998||February 27, 1999|
|Season 3||8||September 11, 1999||January 22, 2000|
|Season 4||23||September 12, 1999||July 17, 2000|
|Season 5||5||September 9, 2000||January 6, 2001|
|Season 6||3||October 31, 2001||November 5, 2001|
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.
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 
Lilo & Stitch 
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 
Recess: School's Out 
(Released August 7, 2001)
Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street 
(Released November 6, 2001)
- Principal For a Day
- The Great Can Drive
- Weekend At Muriel's'
- Yes Mikey, Santa Does Shave
Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade 
(Released December 9, 2003)
Recess: All Growed Down 
(Released December 9, 2003)
- The Legend of Big Kid
- Wild Child
- The Kindergarten Derby
- All Growed Down (un-aired episode)
- Bonus DVD Episodes titled as "Fans' 3 Favorite Episodes"
- The Challenge
- The Story of Whomps
- One Stayed Clean
Worldwide media release 
- Family Channel (1997–2011)
United States 
- American Broadcasting Company (1997–2001) (re-runs, 2001–2005)
- UPN (1999-2001) (re-runs, 2001–2003)
- Disney Channel (re-runs, 2003–2010)
- Toon Disney (re-runs, 2003–2009)
- Disney XD (re-runs, 2009–2010, October 27–28, 2011)
United Kingdom 
- Disney Channel (1997–2011) (2013–present)
- ITV (1998–2005)
- Toon Disney (2000–2006)
- Disney Cinemagic (2007–2013)
- RTE 2 (2000–present)
- SIC (as "Recreio" 2003)
- Disney Channel (as "Recreio" 2001–2008, 2012–present)
- Disney Cinemagic (as "Recreio" 2008–2012)
- TVE1 (as "La Banda del Patio")
- Disney Channel (as "La Banda del Patio")
- Toon Disney (as La Banda del Patio)
- Disney Cinemagic (as "La Banda del Patio")
- TF1 (as La Cour de récré 1999–2006)
- France 4 (as "La Cour de récré")
- Disney Channel (as "La Cour de récré")
- Toon Disney (as "La Cour de récré")
- Disney Cinemagic (as "La Cour de récré")
- RTL (as "Große Pause")
- Super RTL (as "Große Pause")
- Disney Channel (as "Große Pause")
- Toon Disney (as "Große Pause")
- Kabel eins (as "Große Pause")
- Disney Channel (as "Disneyn Välitunti")
- Toon Disney (as "Disneyn Välitunti")
- Disney XD (as "Disneyn Välitunti")
- Disney Channel (as "Byle do przerwy" 2006–2009, 2012–present)
- Disney XD (as "Byle do przerwy" 2011–present)
Czech Republic 
- Channel One (as "Переменка" ("Peremenka"), 2001)
- Disney Channel (as "下课后")
- Disney Channel (as "リセス ・ ～ぼくらの休み時間～")
- Toon Disney (as "リセス ・ ～ぼくらの休み時間～")
- Disney XD (as "リセス ・ ～ぼくらの休み時間～")
Asia Pacific 
- 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...
- 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...
- Amazon.com: Recess - Taking The Fifth Grade: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel ...
- Amazon.com: Recess - All Growed Down: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel Morgan,...
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