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Toon: Class of 3000 Season 1

class of 3000

If you’ve ever wondered why there hasn’t been a cartoon made which teaches kids simple moral lessons, over a backdrop which consists of all manor of musical styles — with a modern infusion — and a design aesthetic bound to emulate a bad acid trip, all while using easily distinguishable character archetypes, and set in a classic 70’s cartoon universe… then look no further, The CLASS OF 3000 Season 1 DVD is the very thing you’ve been looking for!

Class of 3000 is the brainchild of OutKast member, André 3000 (creator, executive producer and star). It tells the story of Sunny Bridges, a musical mega-star who grows tired of the soulless world in which he finds himself. Frustrated, he walks away from a world tour and returns to his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, where he takes a position as a music teacher at Westley School of Performing Arts.

Fortunately for Sunny he ends up teaching the smallest classroom in America, but even with only seven students to attend to, he finds them a handful. Lil’D, Tamika, Kim and Kam, Philly Phil, Eddie and Madison are a musically talented collection of clichés and stereotypes: From no nonsense Tamika, to poor little rich boy Eddie (Edward Phillip James Lawrence the 3rd) the basis of these characters is two dimensional at best, however they each surely serve as identifiable counterparts for younger viewers of this series.

There are many elements of Class of 3000 which may fly high over the heads of its young audience. There are many references to other cartoons (mostly classic Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers titles like The Flintstones and Road Runner) and there appears to be almost no fourth wall to be found: Characters randomly acknowledge the ‘wobble’ effect which takes place before a ‘flashback’ sequence, or even request to be taught in flashback form.

Any lack of originality in the story or characters seen in this series is made up for though by the creative angles that the stories are attacked from. In a lot of ways I was not only reminded of, but felt almost compelled to find some old episodes of Fat Albert. Like Cosby’s toon, Class of 3000 is very much intended as a moral compass for its audience and uses a mixture of comedic shenanigans and musical exploration to entertain along the way.

To be completely frank, this series didn’t grab me at all. It’s not that I wasn’t entertained by the music or the psychedelic visual design, and it’s certainly not that this show is in any way ‘bad’. It’s just that this is one of those situations were I find myself completely disconnected from the content of the series. My memory tells me that The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was far more entertaining and much subtler in its moral stance. However I fully acknowledge that I may feel the very same disconnect from that show if I managed to find any episodes of it for comparison today.

Class of 3000 completed two seasons on the cartoon network during 2006 and 2007. The first season DVD, available now, contains all 13 episodes from the first season.

To me, this is the kind of show that you’re going to want you’re kids to watch, enjoy and learn from. However unlike many of the other toons I’ve reviewed lately, I’m not entirely sure how many parents are going to get a kick out of this series. Having said that, I have had the show’s theme stuck in my head for the last three days. [source] [source]

© 2008 Cartoon Network. CARTOON NETWORK, the logo, CLASS OF 3000 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © 2008 Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
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