Plot: Butch tells some scary stories just in time for Halloween.
Breakdown: Alright, Recess! Yet another nostalgia bomb for me. I loved Recess. It’s one of those shows where I think it started and ended very strongly. They even got their own movie, which I hope to review sometime. Today, however, we’ll be addressing their Halloween special, Terrifying Tales of Recess.
I love a good horror anthology, as you can likely tell. But does Recess really have it in it to tell funny spooky stories?
As bookends to each story is Butch, Third Street’s resident story teller and bearer of bad news, addressing the audience with some information on each story. The first story is Children of the Corn Chip, which is about a ‘mystery’ involving a shop keeper getting attacked by a monster. TJ and the others have to determine who the monster is, what caused the transformation and stop the monster before it turns everyone else into monsters.
This was….kinda lame. It would’ve been better if they didn’t show the monster was Corn Chip Girl at the start and that the tainted item was corn chips. They could’ve just had the shopkeeper talk about some untested food and then Galileo (Gretchen’s computer) could reveal that the item was corn chips, leading them to Corn Chip Girl. It’s just not a mystery story with any sort of twist if you show us who and what it is at the very first scene.
Well, I guess there is a twist….Gus damn near murders Corn Chip Girl by knocking her off the roof. He tries to explain that monsters turn back to normal when they’re up that high and falling or something (it’s very poorly explained) and that he knew Mikey would catch her, but 1) They never explain well why he figured the height or fall would turn her back and 2) there’s no way he could’ve been entirely certain that Mikey would catch her. Geez.
The second segment is called When Bikes Attack. It’s about Mikey’s beloved bike, Pegasus, coming to life in a thunderstorm, angered that Mikey left it out in the rain. This is a pretty entertaining story, and it doesn’t even have a happy ending like the first one basically did. The situation is more ‘frightening’ and out of control, and there are more funny moments.
I don’t have much else to say about besides that, so let’s move on to the final story, which is Night of the Living Finsters. This story centers around a hole that the Diggers dug. Seeing them run out of the hole screaming, Lawson dares Vince to spend the night in the hole all alone. Unable to refuse a dare, Vince does it (though how he’d prove it, I don’t know). TJ and the others arrive to support him, but since the rules of the dare were that Vince had to be alone, he triggers what is basically playground rule-breaking mojo.
The ground shakes and reveals the underground graveyard of Ms. Finster’s ancestors, who all come back to life and chase the kids through the school. It ends in that familiar ‘it was all a dream?’ and then ‘dunanana, it wasn’t’
This was an alright story. It was a tiny bit scary-ish, but it didn’t really have any particularly funny moments.
All in all, this was a fairly entertaining Halloween special but I think Recess could’ve done a bit better. Maybe it’s just not suited to the anthology format and needed a full episode of just one story?
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One thought on “Animating Halloween: Recess – Terrifying Tales of Recess”
Gretchen does real vector calculus in “A Genius Among Us!” I know because my bachelors is in electrical engineering and I saw the formula for the projection of vector a on vector b in the animation of that episode.
Gretchen’s my favorite character! I watched Schools Out when I was 7 but forgot all about it until my last year of university when I met a tall, tomboyish biology student and Fallout gamer who reminded me of this geek cartoon tomboy who was friends with this short army boy in a movie about kids storming the elementary school. After some googling, I rediscovered “School’s Out.”
I myself look and act like the male version of Gretchen. Seeing Gretchen at age 7 subliminally made me have a wicked crush on my Differential Equations classmate who was a geek autistic tomboy and looked like Gretchen.
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