Ask Warren Buffett to work with kids and he gets animated – literally. The legendary investor will be starring in "The Secret Millionaire's Club," an online cartoon series that teaches children about financial literacy, debuting in the fall on AOL.
Like Buffett, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, domestic diva Martha Stewart and the late astronomer Carl Sagan, will also be featured in their own series of educational webisodes produced by A Squared Entertainment, a children's media company founded by industry veterans Andy Heyward and Amy Moynihan, in collaboration with AOL.
For Heyward, the former head of DIC Entertainment, the "Secret Millionaire's Club"series is a result of a longstanding relationship with Buffett.
The two met in the 1990s when DIC was bought by Capital Cities/ABC. Buffett was CapCities/ABC's largest shareholder.
"I got to meet Warren and he was looking to have somebody help the Omaha Children's Theatre, a charity he was involved with," Heyward said. "I volunteered to help them with story lines for children's theatre."
Heyward, who sold DIC to Cookie Jar Entertainment in 2008, was later recruited to produce humorous cartoon videos for the annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's holding company.
Heyward even featured Buffett as the voice of James Madison in the PBS series "Liberty's Kids."
Then in 2005, while still at DIC, Heyward approached Buffett with an idea to educate children about something the Oracle of Omaha was very knowledgeable about—money.
"We want to keep them out of trouble in the future and make sure they are informed citizens in our world," Heyward said. "Just look at the mess we're in today."
There will be 26 webisodes, each lasting three to five minutes. Each star will have their own show dedicated to specific topics.
"We felt that these were important areas and opportunities to educate and entertain kids," Heyward said of the celebrity selection. "There was no product about financial literacy for kids, no product about cooking and gardening in a branded, no product about space."
In the "Secret Millionaire's Club," Buffett will voice his character who serves as a financial mentor to a group of kids in his hometown of Omaha, Neb. In one webisode, Buffett advises the club during a board meeting on whether to invest in a local candy company and explains the meaning of "durable competitive advantage." In real-life, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway owns See's Candies Inc.
'One way or another, we all develop financial habits at an early age – either for good or for bad. These habits then last a lifetime, and when the habits are bad, almost invariably lead to much misery," Buffett told ABC News' Bianna Golodryga. "Andy Heyward and I hope that by weaving a few lessons into interesting stories, more young people will form habits that save their lives from financial stress."
Buffett is working on the project pro bono as part of his legacy, said Heyward, who could not comment on whether the other stars would be paid.
Bundchen will also voice her cartoon counterpart in "Gigi and the Green Team," a series about a supermodel-superhero working to protect the environment, to be released in the fall.