Recess poster toon

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 can spend time outside with friends, known as recess in Canada and the United States. 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 the Disney series Lilo and Stitch.


Recess portrays the lives of six fourth graders as they go about their daily lives in a highly clichéd school environment. The students of Third Street School 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, 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 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 nonconformity.

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 played homage to common themes in such films.


Recess premiered on 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. They are still shown sometimes on the Disney Cinemagic channel. On October 26, 2011, Recess reruns ran again on Disney XD.


Main article: List of characters in Recess (TV series)

Voice castEdit

Major castEdit

Actor(s) Role
Ross Malinger

Andrew Lawrence Myles Jeffrey

T.J. Detweiler
Pamela Segall Adlon Ashley Spinelli
Ricky D'Shon Collins Vince LaSalle
Courtland Mead Gus Griswald
Ashley Johnson Gretchen Grundler
Jason Davis Mikey Blumberg
April Winchell Miss Muriel Finster
Ryan O'Donohue Randall Weems,Digger Dave
Dabney Coleman Peter Prickly
Erik von Detten Erwin Lawson
Allyce Beasley Miss Grotke
Blake Ewing Menlo, Douglas
Toran Caudell King Bob
Anndi McAfee Ashley Armbruster
Francesca Smith Ashley Beaulet,Swinger Girl,Upsidown Girl
Rachel Crane Ashley Quinland

Ashley Tomasian #1

Ashley Johnson Ashley Tomasian #2
Klee Bragger Digger Sam

Minor castEdit


Main article: List of Recess (TV series) episodes

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


Recess: School's OutEdit

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 on wiping the entire school off the map . The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and was released theatrically nationwide on February 16, 2001.

Recess: Taking the Fifth GradeEdit

Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade is a Disney direct-to-video animated film released on December 9, 2003.

Lilo & StitchEdit

Main article: Lilo & Stitch: The SeriesLilo & 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 a giant alien called Dr.Hamstervil tries to use another alien to make everyone relaxed while he takes over the world. Luckily, Gretchen (from Recess) saves the day, since she believes work is relaxing.

DVD releasesEdit

Recess: School's OutEdit

(Released August 7, 2001)[1]

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 StreetEdit

(Released November 6, 2001)[2]

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".

  • Episodes
    • Principal For a Day
    • The Great Can Drive
    • Weekend At Muriel's'
    • Yes Mikey, Santa Does Shave

Recess: Taking the Fifth GradeEdit

(Released December 9, 2003)[3]

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

Recess: All Growed DownEdit

(Released December 9, 2003)[4]

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

  • Episodes
    • 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 releaseEdit

United StatesEdit


United KingdomEdit


Czech RepublicEdit


  1. ^ Recess - School's Out: Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, Ashley Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Courtland Mead, Pamela Adlon, Dabney Coleman, Robert Goulet, Melissa Jo...
  2. ^ Recess Christmas - Miracle on Third Street: Andrew Lawrence, Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, Ashley Johnson, Courtland Mead, Pamela Adlon, Allyce Beasley, Apri...
  3. ^ Recess - Taking The Fifth Grade: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel ...
  4. ^ Recess - All Growed Down: Ross Malinger, Andrew Lawrence, Justin Shenkarow, Elizabeth Daily, Andrea Martin, Tress MacNeille, Katey Sagal, Kath Soucie, Joel Morgan,...

External linksEdit