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School's Out!: The Musical

Walking is for poor people. —Sanderson

By June 2005, I had been watching The Fairly OddParents regularly since even before its official premiere on Nickelodeon in March 2001. I had watched and re-watched both the previous two television films, Abra-Catastrophe! and Channel Chasers, and had greatly enjoyed both of them, so naturally I was pretty enthusiastic when I learned of an upcoming third film. Sadly, today I cannot remember anymore if I first viewed this movie either when it premiered in the United States on 10 June 2005, or as a rerun shortly thereafter; regardless, I am certain that I first watched it during my summer break from school in 2005. (Very surprisingly, when I was searching on YouTube for videos of the songs from this film, I discovered that the entire thing had been uploaded to that site by the official distributor. The quality is quite good, though for some reason subtitles appear for the first five musical numbers of that particular video, while, very oddly, they are absent in the remaining six songs.)

Although as a kid back then I found the plot entertaining enough, my favorite thing about the film, and the parts of it which I am able most clearly to remember after all this time, are (quite predictably) the songs. The thing is a musical, after all, and the writers, pretty impressively, managed to squeeze in 11 musical numbers in the span of less than 50 minutes of animation, with each piece (besides the two reprises at the end) having its own unique sound and character that is distinct from that of the others. All the songs are very catchy and pleasant, and I enjoy listening to all of them, though my favorites are Kids Just Being Kids (skip to the 4:31 mark of the video) and its reprise (at the 45:08 mark), which can definitely be considered the film's rousing, energetic theme song; Da Pixie Rap (at the 15:53 mark), which was (in my opinion) a rather clever way to give the pixies a method by which to express themselves musically without having them sing, which would have been odd; and Where Is the Fun? (at the 26:27 mark), which plays at a pivotal moment in the film, and which, for a song in a children's television movie, is surprisingly powerful. (It is remarkable just how much of the melody, lyrics, and accompanying visuals I am able to recall for every one of these songs, despite not having seen this movie for many years.)

I also remember at one point during my summer break from school in 2005, after I had seen School's Out!: The Musical at least once, I was exploring the Web site when I happened upon the Flash game Rhythm Revolution, which is a rhythm game based upon the movie that is very similar in gameplay to the Dance Dance Revolution series, but with input being received from the arrow keys of the keyboard instead of a dance pad. The game is very easy, and even as a kid at the time I recall beating all the levels on my first try, but regardless I still found it fun, no doubt partly because it is based upon this excellent and highly entertaining movie, and today I remember it fondly as forming a small but irreplaceable piece of my experiences during the summer of 2005. (Unfortunately, when I was writing this page I could not locate a copy of this game on the live, nor even could I find one saved on a capture of that site by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine; instead, I had to settle with linking to a copy of it hosted on an unaffiliated third-party site.)

I should also mention that I consider School's Out!: The Musical as marking the end of the golden years of The Fairly OddParents. I am aware, of course, that it is the finale only of season 4, and that season 5 would still air before the show went on its fateful 2007 hiatus—after which, it is generally agreed, the series never again reached the level of quality and humor it possessed prior to it—but even during season 5 the drop in overall quality as compared to the earlier seasons was not insignificant. I don't mean to say that season 5 is terrible, or that it has no good episodes: it has the excellent fourth TV film, Fairy Idol, as well as the second and third installments of The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour crossover specials, and compared to the post-hiatus seasons it is still far more watchable, but nevertheless I don't consider most of its episodes classics of the show. Because of this, as I re-watch this movie today, I feel a bit of sadness that I am viewing the last high point of The Fairly OddParents, and that after it the show began its gradual decline in quality and popularity—and this sentiment is made even stronger by the fact that the show went out with a bang, i.e., by its closing its last golden season with a TV movie that featured 11 fantastic songs and that also celebrated the blissful freedom of childhood.

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This page last modified on 13 May 2021.