Control the palette!
As much as I want everything to be hyper-gaudy, this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kQllLy_X4I&list=PLV2X3tgajVlFROS5fuIVKLGs78_fC4JTN re-inspired me to go with a more purposeful set of color choices.
With that in mind, I think I want to restrict all colors to reds, greens, and very desaturated blues.
Except that Ned and the Indian kid will have yellow and purple.
In the Indian restaurant, everything will be warm colors.
I'm thinking that maybe Ned will be very vaguely Asian. I really want to avoid race, but color-wise I think it might be good to separate Ned subtly. So the other kids who are not black will have redder skin tones. Especially on the nose and cheeks from the cold.
I'm back to thinking that I want to go the Peanuts route with the voices again. Very young kids.