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Debuting July 4 on Netflix, We the People features 10 animated music videos that contain empowering U.S. civics lessons. It includes musical performances by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andra Day and Adam Lambert, as well as poet Amanda Gorman.
Nee, the award winning creator and executive producer of Doc McStuffins and Vampirina, teamed with executive producers Barack and Michelle Obama to make the series.
“The last couple years have been really dark and tough,” Nee says, explaining that the impetus of the project was the desire to respond. “As I watched what has happened in our country, I have felt a strong sense that we no longer had a common language to talk about civics and about governance and understand that civics is not a partisan conversation. I think we have allowed ourselves to believe that we don’t have power, and I believe there are forces trying to make us believe we don’t have power — and I believe that the superpower of animation and songs could potentially remind kids at the ages of 14-18 that they are active citizens and they can drive the ship of this country if they get involved.”
She notes that the Obamas “were very, very hands-on partners from the beginning,” adding “The President was hands-on in picking the topics and he came up the with idea of doing an active citizens’ piece.”
During the conversation, which includes clips from some of the songs, Gutierrez described the inspiration for his episode, titled “Immigration.” Gum describes work on “The Bill of Rights” and Ye shares the story behind her episode, “The First Amendment,” which contains the song “Speak your Mind,” written and performed by Brandi Carlile.
Gum’s episode features the song “These are Your Rights,” performed by Lambert and written by Anderson-Lopez and Lopez.
“Immigration” features the song “American Citizen,” performed by Bebe Rexha and written by Scott Krippayne and Michael “Smidi” Smith.
Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Behind the Screen features conversations with cinematographers, composers and other artists behind the making of motion pictures and series programs.
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