Our history studies here at home have been chronological, so we haven't yet touched on U.S. History except for Christopher Columbus. This is why I was excited to have the opportunity to view two episodes from Learn Our History's "TimeCycle Academy" series of animated history lessons.
Learn Our History, launched earlier this year by Governor Mike Huckabee, is a series of animated feature films that follow five teenagers who voyage through time and space as they learn the truth about United States history.
A variety of themes are presented to the viewers, such as:
Learn Our History's mission is to help children get excited about learning American history by making history fun.
TimeCycle Academy is an adventurous group of five students (ages 14-17) who build a time machine out of a bicycle and use it to travel back in time to experience history in the making. Four of the students are ages 14-15 and are in a classroom together at school, and one of the students, Connor, is big brother (age 17) to Addison.
Our family was able to view two movies from Learn Our History:
The historical content presented in both videos we viewed was accurate, interesting, and factual, without bias. I was pleased to see an accurate representation of two separate historical events in our nation's history.
The artistic content wasn't quite what we expected to see. Especially in the first movie we viewed ("The Birth of a Revolution"), some of the artistic content was disappointing. The dialogue didn't always match with the characters' mouth movements; the drawings of the inside of buildings was sparse and uncharacteristically plain. Addison's head was disproportionately larger than it should have been, and my girls, from an artistic point of view, were disappointed.
Our family was disappointed to see that Connor, age 17, looked and acted like an eleven-year-old. Sure, he was whiny and disrespectful, but in a 5th grader way, not like a typical 17-year-old. The younger students acted far older in their behavior, speech, and mannerisms. My girls didn't care for Connor's character, who wore a t-shirt that said, "I rule, you drool." The girls wished that he hadn't been a part of the movie. I think that if it had been a younger brother, age 11 or so, who acted immature but not so disrespectful and bratty, we could have tolerated it better. We also noticed that Addison, the girl, was definitely the leader of the pack, and she was dressed in masculine clothing, including a man's tie, and we didn't care for that, either. It seemed that the characters were designed around stereotypical public school students, and we all would have preferred to see the characters be designed more like role models for our children. Our girls were adamant about wishing the characters had been presented in a more mature, encouraging way.
However . . .
I must say that I enjoyed watching "9/11 and the War on Terror" much more than "The Birth of a Revolution."
The artistic content in "9/11" was much more developed; the backgrounds and scenes were portrayed clearly with detail. In only one scene, where a large crowd of people were cheering and singing, did the artistic content on the people in the crowd dip slightly from the rest of the movie. And, the music in the background seemed more applicable to each scene - and could be heard throughout the entire movie.
Overall, I look forward to hopefully being able to view more of these movies in the future. Learn Our History is using this series to relate the truths of our nation's history for students, and I appreciate that.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!