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Recess is Cancelled

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Recess is Canceled
Season 04, Episode 07
Recess in Cancelled
Air Date September 22, 1999
Previous Rumor Mill
Next Tattletale Heart

Recess is Cancelled is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Recess which was first broadcast on September 22, 1999.

Plot

The Government uses Third Street School as a pilot school to test out the effect of cancelling recess on improving test scores. The kids are understandably frustrated by this, and confused when government agents Barnes and Noble begin handing out standardised tests. These agents assert their authority quickly, by having a word with Ms Grotke when she tries to play paper football with the kids, and later sealing the staff bathroom door shut due to overuse.

Over time, the kids become demoralised, mindlessly going through each day. To make matters worse, the program ends up having the opposite effect of what was expected - test scores plummet to their lowest ever. In interviews with the kids, it is shown that the kids desire time in the day to go outside and have fun.

The Secretary of Schools then develops an alternative program for Third Street.  He calls it "Reversing Effects of Continuous Educational Stress Syndrome" or "RECESS" (pronounced "wreck-is"). Introducing it to the school immediately raises the spirits of the children, bringing them back to normal, and bringing the test scores back up.

Goofs

  • Animation/continuity error: When Vince hands his test back to Agent Noble, it's already graded, when it shouldn't have been.
  • Coloring error: When Vince tells T.J. that he has to have a plan, his entire arm is colored gray.

Trivia

  • The events of this episode later on lead-up to the events in the movie.
  • This is one of the very few times where God is mentioned on a Disney television series (with Gus's line, "Was that...God?"), the other show God was mentioned was in 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
  • The use of desaturated color when recess is cancelled is meant to represent the loss of hope in the children via color language.  Once "RECESS" is instigated, the colour quickly resaturates, to represent their return to normal.
  • This is the first episode to be colored with digital ink-and-paint instead of hand-drawn cels.
  • This is the only episode with animation from Anivision.

Cultural References

  • Agents Barnes & Noble appear to be based on Agents Mulder and Scully from the X-Files series.
    • Their names also appear to be a reference to the Barnes & Noble company.

Cast

  • T.J. Detweiler - Andrew Lawrence
  • Vince LaSalle - Rickey D'Shon Collins
  • Ashley Spinelli - Pamela Segall-Adlon
  • Gretchen Grundler - Ashley Johnson
  • Mikey Blumberg - Jason Davis
  • Gus Griswald - Courtland Mead
  • Miss Finster - April Winchell
  • Miss Grotke - Allyce Beasley
  • Principal Prickly - Dabney Coleman
  • Miss Lemon/Agent Noble - Tress MacNeille
  • Gordy - Klee Bragger
  • Coach Kloogey - Paul Wilson
  • Mr. Dunn/Secretary of Education - Frank Welker
  • President - John Forsythe
  • Secretary of Education/Agent Barnes/Man - Gregg Berger
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