Everyone knows Paul McCartney from his time in the Beatles, and afterwards, his own efforts and popular work with Wings. He has also dabbled in scoring movies and writing classical music. Enough for anyone, right?
Enter the Paul McCartney – The Music and Animation Collection:
Enchanted Animated Tales with Original Music
This set contains three original animated tales featuring one famous bear (who is not named Pooh), one book adaption, and one completely original effort (my favorite!)
But before we go on, below is some information about the two men who led the teams that created these wonderful pieces:
McCartney was definitely the man behind the music but equally important was the man behind the animation, Geoff Dunbar. Between them, I believe they produced some Oscar-worthy material!
Here you can select to play all three animated films in sequence, or select them one by one. There are also many extras to choose from, which we will touch on later.
You can choose from Rupert & The Frog Song (1984), Tropic Island Hum (1997), and Tuesday (2002).
Let’s have a look at each in turn:
Rupert Bear is a children’s comic strip character created by the English artist Mary Tourtel. He first appearing in the Daily Express newspaper on 8 November 1920. Rupert was a childhood favorite of McCartney and a natural selection for his first foray into animation.
Perhaps not as well know outside of the British Isles as Winnie the Pooh or Paddington Bear, Rupert is still a very popular character.
McCartney himself introduces the tale:
The book he is dusting off is presumably his own childhood copy of the original children’s book.
Shush! ‘The Frog Song’ is about to begin…
The Frog Song, actually called We All Stand Together, happens only once every 200 years or so, so listen now for you won’t have a chance to hear it again! It was released and reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984.
This animated film about Rupert stumbling upon the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of hearing The Frog Song is animated in a simplified style but with beautiful imagery. The highlight of the film, however, is the music.
One scene of the frogs swimming to the music is reminiscent of some of the work done for Disney’s Fantasia. Given how both collaborators praise Disney in the Special Features section, this homage is not surprising!
I just wonder why McCartney never did any more of the Rupert Shorts?
The next film is:
A squirrel is saved by a hot air ballooning frog and taken to a tropical island where animals of all sorts have gone to escape slaughter by man. Upon arriving, the two new friends are welcomed with a song.
Tropic Island Hum is a catchy, imaginative, animated musical romp! By far my favorite of the set. The single of the title song reached #21 in the UK. The animated Short accompanied Disney’s Hercules movie in theaters in 1997.
The final film in this set is:
This film is based on a children’s book by David Wiesner but contains no words, only images to convey the story. Other than croaking and a few comments from confused humans at the end of the story, and a final piece of narration by Dustin Hoffman, the film pretty much follows that storytelling device.
Flying Lilly Pads
The story takes place on a Tuesday around 8pm. Frogs are lifted into the air, much to their surprise, and enabled to fly. They do so, right into town, where they cause all sorts of mischief.
Like knocking on windows…
… and crashing houses to watch TV.
The town is left littered with debris and lily pads. The mystery is never solved. But this is not the end! It seems that this occurs every Tuesday, but not just with frogs:
Even pigs get a turn to fly!
And why now pigs? The closing narration tells us:
“The events recorded here are verified by an undisclosed source to have happened somewhere, U.S.A.. on Tuesday. All those in doubt are reminded that there is always another Tuesday.” So… why not, I guess?
The Special Features are interesting:
This is a nice collection of extras that round out the DVD collection. The set comes with a 16-page booklet with details about the production:
COOL FACTOR: 5/5
I love Paul McCartney’s music. I love animation. So having the two together is just amazing! The quality of animation is Disney-worthy and the soundtracks and original songs are obviously good. McCartney himself provides most of the voices for all three films with an assist by wife Linda for one female character.
If you are a Disney fan, an animation fan, or a music fan, this collection is for you! If only to hear Tropic Island Hum. Man, that’s one catchy tune! See for yourself: