Thank You Todd,
I'm using the links and trying to learn how to do this
I'm not familiar with the character, but the nice thing with 2d animated characters, you also might be able to create a matte to make your life MUCH easier.
What sometimes works for me, is creating a duplicate copy of the footage, and linear color keying the character. Start by keying out the skin. Then duplicate that keying effect (not the entire layer) and select another color of the character.
Try to do that for as much as you can, without it selecting areas of the background, especially close to the character. You might be able to then create a garbage mask to clear out any bits of the bg still left.
Also, use the matte effects to expand the keyed out character, so it includes the ink line. Then use that as an alpha track matte for your original footage.
Roto is a pain, but usually that's what's required. I suggest stabilizing the shot first, if there's any camera moves on it. And then depending on how much the character is animated, create multiple masks for different sections of the character.
(CG artist on Dora The Explorer)
I don't know what you experience level with After Effects is, but this is something that can be done. But, if the person who suggested After Effects to you gave you the impression is would be 'easy to do with After Effects' (ie, push a button and remove the background), then they have mislead you.
The suggestions provided are good ones, and should work to achieve your objectives.
If you are fairly experienced with After Effects, learning rotoscope techniques won't be that difficult for you.
On the other hand, if this is your first After Effects project, you're in for an intensive learning experience
p.s. also be aware of licensing/copyright issues (ie King Louie) if you plan to use your work in any public way.