Netflix’s We The People uses animation to teach kids important civics lessons

To coincide with Independence Day, Netflix has released a new series titled We The People that “combines the power of music and animation to educate a new generation of young Americans about the power of the people”. The series, which was created by screenwriter and producer Chris Nee with the help of executive producers Barack and Michelle Obama and Kenya Barris, is composed of ten animated music videos that each focus on a different civic lesson, from voting to immigration. The videos are set to original songs by renowned artists such as H.E.R., Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, Kyle, Andra Day, and poet Amanda Gorman; and animated by studios Buck and Titmouse, with episode directors Peter Ramsey, Trisha Gum, Victoria Vincent, Benjy Brooke, Mabel Ye, Tim Rauch, Jorge R. Gutierrez, Daron Nefcy, Everett Downing and Kendra Ryan. Chris Nee says she created the show after asking herself the question “how do you get kids to actually click on something about civics in this day and age?”
“As the dialogue continues around voting rights and accessibility in the U.S., we need a common language to talk about civics for kids,” she says. “But we needed to make it cool. A million people have wanted to capture the ethos of Schoolhouse Rock and it just felt like the right combination and the right time.” For We The People, Chris has taken the educational aspect of the popular 70s musical TV series Schoolhouse Rock – which taught kids about subjects such as grammar, science, economics, history, and mathematics – and brought it into the modern day, enticing Gen Z viewers with catchy soundtracks and contemporary animation styles. The animation itself changes with each episode, giving a mix of different animators the chance to put their own unique spin on the topic at hand.

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