News & Politics

The Obamas Have Produced Animated Civics Lessons for Netflix

Think of "We the People"—which features artists like Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Brandi Carlile—as a modern "Schoolhouse Rock!" reboot.

A scene from the “Active Citizenship” episode of "We the People," directed by Peter Ramsey with a song, “Change,” performed by H.E.R. Photograph courtesy Netflix.

Taxes. Checks and Balances. Citizenship. No, there will not be a civics test at the end of this paragraph—they’re some of the topics tackled by a new Netflix series executive-produced by area residents Barack and Michelle Obama, among others. Think of it as a modern “Schoolhouse Rock!” reboot, I guess?

We the People will debut ten animated music videos on Netflix July 4, but Washingtonians can get a peek at the series on June 24, when they’ll be shown at this year’s AFI Docs festival.

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Artists performing songs for We the People include Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Brandi Carlile accompanying the work of various animators.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.