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The Best of the Electric Company
The Best of the Electric Company
Directors: Henry Behar, John Tracy (II), Bob Schwarz
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
UR     2006     10hr 30min

20 OF THE BEST EPISODES FEATURING BILL COSBY, MORGAN FREEMAN, RITA MORENO, SPIDER-MAN and More! If you were between six and ten years old during the years 1971 through 1985, then there is a good chance you learned to rea...  more »


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Movie Details

Directors: Henry Behar, John Tracy (II), Bob Schwarz
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Comedy, Family Films, Comedy, Kids & Family, Classic TV
Studio: Shout! Factory
Format: DVD - Color - Best of,Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/07/2006
Original Release Date: 10/25/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 10/25/1971
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 10hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Hey You Guys! It's about time!
David Michael Cohen | California | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As any child of the 70's will tell you, "The Electric Company" was a milestone in educational TV. Its educational emphasis was on basic word recognition, spelling and pronunciation. The fact that so many adults recall specific scenes from the show (as evidenced on numerous message forums) attests to the show's potenecy.

What really set "The Electric Company" apart was its high standards. The cast included many acclaimed actors (including oscar-winner Rita Moreno and Bill Cosby) and actors who earn their star status later (such as Morgan Freeman and June Angela). As for the music and dialogue, it was nothng short of brilliant. The show made frequent use of humor that could be appreciated by all age groups. Contrast that to most children's fare today, which talks down to children and seems designed to alienate adults.

One aspect that stood out for me was the frequency of inter-racial couples in the show's skits. Not only did such couples appear (which you rarely see today) but the characters did not make a big deal about it, unlike say, Sesame Street, where they seem to insist on applauding themselves every time two people of different ethnicities interact.

My one concern is the comment that they are targetting the adult nostalgia market. It makes the show seem dated. I used to watch the show on Noggin with my daughter, and I can truthfully say that the show is every but as effective, and as enjoyable, as it was back in the day."
We're gonna turn it on......we're gonna bring you the powwww
David M. Rossi | 11/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Electric Company was just what it's name implies: a company of players, presenting an energetic show of fun sketches and animation with word sounds and letters on an almost electric level. I used to love to tune in to this show, even at the age of 4 which was earlier than the show's target audience of 6- 7. So many reviewers here have commented on the show's obvious appeal to even adults, but it's so much more than that. The fast paced show is obviously tuned to the merits of Sesame Street's 1970's approach to smart children's programming but unlike Street which is so heavily geared towards very young kids, Company pays off huge dividends in entertainment for anyone who is a fan of sketch comedy.

As for the reviewer discussing hidden agendas or messages in the show, come on, lets get real here. The Electric Company was designed to be a phonics teaching medium that is STILL light years ahead of any of the many boring, pedantic excuses for learning systems or shows of today. The message is fun, and as a professional in the field of alternative modes of education for developmentally or crisis challenged kids, I can tell you that if you make learning fun and the child doesn't know he or she is learning, that's the most winning formula there is. Bottom line: if you are a fan of the show, buy the "best of" dvd's so that they get the message that we want ALL of the episodes of the show, not just what they consider the best ones. If you never have seen the show but are curious about it or love sketch comedy, check the show out. I promise you, you won't be disappointed. For the rest who want so much to find something wrong with ANYTHING positive, please go elsewhere to find your negative dosage. If you want to tear down children's shows, I assure you, there are many more worthy candidates that really WILL have you actually reaching for alcohol to numb your brain of the stupidity elsewhere that passes for children's programming. I seem to remember there is a large, bulbous headed purple dinosaur who deserves to have the stuffing ripped out of his idiotic suit.....why not start there instead?"
Previews not kid appropriate
M. Gingras | Cincinnati, OH | 02/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great set of DVD's for this show. However, I do think parents should be aware of the previews for other shows that seem targeted to the 30-something crowd and not something I would want my 4 and 7 year old to see. For example, there is a scene in one of the preview ads for a show where a girl asks a guy, "so, you want to have sex?" NOT a DVD that you can just pop in for your little kid and walk away. I was VERY disappointed in this marketing ploy."
" tr " . . ... . . " ip " . . ... . . " TRIP "
My Uncle Stu | Boston | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Growing up, I think I was a little resentful of the baby boom childhood nostalgia being foisted on us. Leave it to Beaver, Kuklah Fran and Ollie, Howdy Doody... never did it for me. So I found myself feeling a little sheepish ordering the Electric Company on DVD and trying to convince myself it was for my children.

I love this show. I am stunned at how vivdly I can recall these episodes when I see them. Sesame Street gets a lot of credit for educating my generation, in part because of its longevity and overall decency. However, I think I learned a lot more watching the Electric Company. It's probably where I learned to spell. That's nothing for the producers to feel proud about since I'm a lousy speller, but I was pretty good back in those first few grades, when mastering concepts like the 'silent E' got you pretty far.

I was surprised at how flashy, trippy, and rapid-fire the show was. I don't know exactly where I stand on the argument that TV has caused an epidemic of ADHD. Viewing hours as a prime cause seems an over-simplific stance. I think there are probably far more complex variables to take into account. I'm sure too much of the wrong kind of stimulation can trigger it in susceptible individuals. Conversely, a moderate amount of good, educational TV can also be benificial. I watched a lot of TV as a kid. That TV was on a lot more than my parents would admit to, and I bet this is true for many people my age. And I'm a working, functioning member of society. On the other hand, I don't have the greatest attention span. So, maybe... I don't remember where I was going with this.

I do agree with some of reviewers who have pointed out that both the episode selection and the bonus features suggest that they were marketing this DVD package more for nostalgic parents than for children. That's understandable from a business point of view. But I do wish, instead of a collection of episodes from each season, that they just chose a sampling of bits and sketches from each season that would represent a balance of the more educational, more entertaining, and more memorable bits. That would make it a little easier for me to pretend I was buying this for my children and not myself.

But it is what it is, and on the whole it's good, worth the price.