Civics gets illustrated in ‘We the People’ trailer from Obamas, Netflix

We the People Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Move over Schoolhouse Rock, We the People is here to take your spot as the animated musical series teaching kids the basics and importance of civics. Created by Chris Nee and executive produced by former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as Kenya Barris, We the People is a new Netflix animated music series that will debut, fittingly, on July 4.

The series will feature 10 animated shorts with their own original songs that cover many basics lessons of U.S. civics. The songs have been written and performed by Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, H.E.R., Andra Day, Brandi Carlile, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, Kyle, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Daveed Diggs and Brittany Howard. Inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman also contributed to one of the shorts.

Each short will feature its own unique animation style and direction. Credited directors include Peter Ramsey, Trisha Gum, Victoria Vincent, Benjy Brooke, Mable Ye, Tim Raunch, Jorge R. Gutierrez, Daron Nefcy, Everett Downing and Kendra Ryan.

As a kid of the ‘90s, I remember Schoolhouse Rock and learning about some of the basic functions of government through it. However, as much as I have “I’m Just a Bill” in my head, even as a kid it was clear that an update to the original 1970s cartoons were going to be needed at some point. We the People could be just that.

Watch the trailer below.

We the People is another project that is part of the overall deal that Netflix made with the Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, back in 2018. Among the projects that have already premiered on the streaming service are the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory and the Oscar-nominated Crip Camp, as well as the kids programming Waffles + Mochi that debuted in March.

Netflix will premiere We the People on July 4.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.