Educational Cartoons & Songs

CalMeacham mentioned Ludwig von Drake’s intro to color on Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in another thread, and it got me thinking about really fun songs and cartoons that actually teach you something.

I remember some of these from when I was in school, and others from when my kids were little. Here are my favorites:

[li]Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land - video in three parts[/li][li]Animaniacs: Yakko’s World - video here[/li][li]Animaniacs: Wakko’s America - video here[/li][li]Tom Lehrer: The Elements (song) - flash animation here[/li][/ul]

What are yours?

Why, Schoolhouse Rock, of course.


Remember the old Bell Labs science series, including “Hemo the Magnificent” (about blood), “The Unchained Goddess” (meteorology), and “The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays” (cosmic rays, duh!). These were produced by Frank Capra, and were quite good.

There was a little orange lumpy guy with a cane that used to give nutritional advice between Saturday morning cartoons. Time For Timer.

I loved Timer.

“Carefully! Poke the toothpicks through the plastic … stacks of snacks!”

Animaniacs presidents

Oh, yeah!

I came in to mention Hemo. It starts out a little dumb. It gets a bit trippy and VERY educational. It’s a very fun film that’s packed with information. Even a little bit on evolution got thrown in.

Does anyone else remember some shorts called “The Most Important Person” that were a mix of live-action and animation? They had this green bird-thing and some little hairy guy. “The most important person in the whole wide world…the most important person is you!”

I can remember one of them where this street vendor was selling talking boxes, that spoke when you opened a door on them. The line I most remember is “Come on, buddy! Shut the door!”

I think they were produced by HEW (Department of Health, Education and Welfare).

I didn’t learn it until I was in my 30s, but Fifty Nifty United States has proven invaluable. (I only know the states part, not the intro bit.)

And, of course, Schoolhouse Rock–who here can recite the Preamble? Without singing it?

I’m no fool, no siree
I’m gonna live to be 23!
I play safe for you and me
'cause I’m no fool!

I came across a cute anime called Moyashimon which reminded me a bit of the old educational cartoons I used to watch in school. Speaking of which: Does anybody remember a cartoon about a battle between the decimals and the fractions? I also vaguely recall a cartoon about the sun.

Written by “(the other) Ray Charles,” as he credits himself during the 4th of July concerts from Washington. I learned this song in elementary school, and it is indeed helpful- especially for knowing the states in alphabetical order. (Each of us also drew a state flag and held it up while performing the song during a school concert- mine was Connecticut.)