cartoon-animation

Thanks to the LATimes and journalist Deborah Vankin for this piece! 

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CLASS OF 3000 (2006)

an American animated television series created by André 3000 (best known as a member of the hip hop duo OutKast) for Cartoon Network. The series follows superstar and music teacher Sunny Bridges (voiced by 3000), who teaches a group of students at Atlanta, Georgia’s Westley School of Performing Arts. Bridges is a jazz and blues artist who occasionally lectures in Atlanta’s Little Five Points residential area.

Why was it special?: IT FEATURED UNIQUE MUSIC AND A UNIQUE CAST

This is a classic case of a cartoon with a unique premise, and a unique execution that was cancelled before it could really hit the ground running. It was well received by critics and viewers alike and had a bright future ahead of it but internal problems mired its success.

What the hell happened?

That’s a long story but let’s start at the beginning. Andre 3000 plays a magical, Willy Wonka-like performer who grows tired of the stress and strain of being one of the biggest stars in the world so he decides to hide out in Atlanta. There, he teaches a music class and acts as the mentor to a diverse group of young kids with a big love for music. The series pretty much follows these kids and their various problems; dealing with fame, peer pressure, love, rivalries, standard stuff that the young audience at home can identify with. Usually each episode would be capped off by the song of the week which usually bears a relation to the events and main lesson of the episode.

We’ve had music cartoons here at the Cartoon Badlands before but none quite had the style and pizzazz that Class of 3000 has. I should correct myself in saying that nothing has the style of Class of 3000, every song featured in the show is different and distinctive, no two sound alike, and I love that! I love when cartoons and just about anything put that kind of commitment and passion into their production. This was made by people who really love music and know all sorts of varieties of music.

So what gives? Why did this show only last 2 seasons– often with way too much time between new episodes?

The partial answer to that (at least to the best of my knowledge) can be attributed to the fact that episode productions ran late and went over budget too many times. Like the likes of Ren & Stimpy and Invader Zim before it, Class of 3000 was too costly to produce.

It’s those music videos, I wager.

Not only that but, I think, sometime during the show’s production or afterward, the network and Andre 3000 became engrossed in a tiresome legal battle. A former art student named Timothy McGee claimed he pitched an idea to Cartoon Network that was scarily similar to Class of 3000 years before but it got denied, The battle lasted so long that Cartoon Network was just finished with the show.

When I say finish, I mean it, they practically erased all traces of the show from their website, from i-tunes, from everywhere. It didn’t even show up for reruns on Boomerang.

Got dang, what a bummer.

TRIVIA

  • Class of 3000 was produced by Tom Lynch Company, Moxie Turtle, andCartoon Network Studios. It is also the final Cartoon Network show aired at the time Jim Samples was in charge of the Cartoon Network, who resigned the week after the January 31, 2007 Boston bomb scare had occurred 
  • The show received mostly positive reviews. On TV.com, the series has a “good” rating of 7.2. On IMDb, the show has earned a rating of 6.0 out of 10. The soundtrack is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
  • A DVD of the first season was released on December 3, 2008, in Region 4. Plus, in the UK, 3 episodes from the series were placed on a DVD.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

You know what I would’ve done that would’ve hopefully cut down on production costs and more quickly get to what people really came to see?

I honestly would have made this into a series of shorts. Yeah, 5 minutes each or so; enough to explain the plot, have the kids interact with each other, have a joke or two, then explain the lesson to be learned and have the music video and call it a day.

What, it worked as a series but we all came for the music and this way we would’ve gotten the music and a short but entertaining little vignette to go with it. Either way it was a decent show that was killed before it could make the waves it deserved to make

vimeo

Tiny Tunes “Future”

Tiny tune no. 3 of 5. The band perform a mini melody about the future.

Final designs for Aether, Caelum, and Ginsu! They’ll have their new gear by the end of the Zoter Arc! #manga #anime #animate #animation #disney #drawing #art #artist #artistoninstagram #comic #comicbook #webcomic #cartoon #cartoonnetwork #nickelodeon #story #funny #marvel #shonen #korra #nick #mangaka #artist #art #drawing #artistoninstagram #characterdesign #characterart