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Benjamin Leads Cartoon’s Class of 3000

Pasadena, Calif. -- Andre Benjamin, the animated singer-songwriter of OutKast, will get really animated as the star of his own cartoon series on Cartoon Network, Class of 3000.

The singer will star as Sunny Bridges, a rock star (and Nobel Peace Prize winner, according to production notes) who walks off the world stage to become a music instructor at the fictional Westley School for the Performing Arts in Atlanta.

Benjamin told the members of the Television Critics Association here that he wanted to make the “first true southern cartoon.” The Atlanta resident is working with network animators in his hometown and at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Benjamin will solicit support from his musician friends to voice characters in the series, which will feature a new original song in every episode. Benjamin told critics his cartoon influences include Peanuts, Fat Albert and, “of course, The Simpsons.”

Critics questioned whether Benjamin would be able to find time for the cartoon series, a recording career and to complete his much-delayed musical film, Idlewild,for which Benjamin and partner Big Boi have created all the music. Benjamin just shrugged and said he’d do what he has to do.

The cartoon series will debut in November, including a one-hour opening episode and 13 half-hour episodes.