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Archive for Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cartoon teaches financial lessons

July 25, 2009

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— Kids will finally have a chance to learn financial lessons from billionaire Warren Buffett when his cartoon is released online this fall — three years later than planned.

Buffett is starring in “The Secret Millionaire’s Club” that is designed to teach kids financial principles, such as avoiding debt.

Buffett said he hopes the cartoon will be fun and informative.

“What better time to help educate our kids about financial responsibility,” Buffett said in a statement.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s chairman and CEO is donating his time to the project to foster financial literacy.

“This is a legacy item for him,” said cartoon creator Andy Heyward, who has been creating humorous cartoons for Berkshire’s annual meetings since the 1980s.

This won’t be the first time Buffett has done cartoon work. He also provided the voice of James Madison in a DVD called “Liberty’s Kids” that was created by Heyward’s previous company, which also made well-known cartoons such as “Inspector Gadget” and “Strawberry Shortcake.”

Originally, the cartoon was supposed to be released on DVD in the fall of 2006. Heyward says he began developing the Millionaire’s Club at his previous company, DIC Entertainment, which he sold last year.

Heyward’s new company, A Squared Entertainment, plans to release three- to five-minutes-long episodes of the Millionaire’s Club online.

In addition to the Buffett cartoon, Heyward plans three other celebrity titles designed to teach kids important lessons.

The other title scheduled to launch this fall is “Gisele Bundchen’s GiGi & the Green Team” where Bundchen is a supermodel by day and superhero protector of the environment by night.

Next spring, Heyward plans to launch “Little Martha” with Martha Stewart teaching about cooking, crafting and gardening and “Kosmos” based on astronomer Carl Sagan’s work.

All of the online cartoons will have their own Web sites, but the episodes will premiere on AOL’s site.

Buffett’s company owns more than 60 subsidiaries including insurance, furniture, clothing, jewelry and candy companies, restaurants, natural gas and corporate jet firms and has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

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