A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this cartoon -- which was created by Grammy winner Andre "3000" Benjamin of OutKast -- features a racially and socio-economically diverse cast of kids. The main character is a worldwide music superstar who's searching for the fulfillment that fame hasn't brought him; his work with the kids both excites them and inspires him. The show is full of positive messages about creativity, self-respect, friendship, and the importance of a well-rounded education. While it's mostly devoid of iffy content, occasional cartoon violence and some scary characters (ghost-like creatures with snake tongues, for example) might be too much for very young viewers.
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What's the story?
Created by Grammy-winning musician Andre "3000" Benjamin of OutKast, CLASS OF 3000 centers on a group of musical prodigies whose lives change when an international superstar takes over as their music teacher. Haunted by an inexplicable emptiness, famous musician Sunny Bridges (voiced by Benjamin) returns to his hometown of Atlanta and takes a teaching job at his alma mater, the Westley School for the Performing Arts. Laid-back Sunny really connects with his students, inspiring their creativity in new ways and giving them real-world advice. In no time, Li'l D (Small Fire), Tamika (Crystal Scales), Eddie (Tom Kenny), and the others are playing to a new beat; through their excitement, Sunny finds renewed inspiration for his own music.
Is it any good?
Class of 3000 offers a rich cast of diverse characters, colorful animation, and fun (if sometimes somewhat far-fetched) storylines. Young viewers will be hard pressed to miss the many positive messages about friendship, education, and self-confidence that jump out of each episode.
In addition to his creative responsibilities, Benjamin also contributes original songs and music videos to each episode (a tie-in album is available) -- the entire package may just leave your kids with a renewed interest in music.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about music and the arts. Why is it important to study the arts? Kids: How does music make you feel? What are your favorite instruments or songs? Parents can take this opportunity to encourage an interest in music by exposing their kids to concerts and musicals. Families can also talk about friendship. How do people become friends? What is it about your kids' friends that they like? How do friends resolve differences?
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