Animator draws from experience with the Beatles.

I have to admit that I simply love the Beatle cartoons.  As this article states, the Fab Four themselves were not too happy with the campy cartoons that beared their likeness. The animated Beatles were simply a way to cash-in on the mania and hoopla surrounding the group. 

The accents were horrible, the storylines, if you can even call them that, were paultry.  Yet, there is something loveable and endearing about the show.  It was a moment in time, and silly, but you had to love it.  It’s a shame that this series has not gotten the full-treatment on DVD.  I would love to see it with extended commentary, and in pristine video format.  It would be cool to catch the cartoonized Beatles having fun on the screen, even if the “real” Fabs had very little input into the show.  Yes, John it did look like the flippin’ Flintstones, and we eat up every minute of it. 

If you get a chance, hunt down a bootleg copy of the show.  It’s well worth finding for a trip down memory lane.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Turns out, an animated Beatle isn’t necessarily a happy Beatle.

Australian animator Ron Campbell, whose long career includes directing episodes of the Beatles’ Saturday-morning cartoon show that ran in the United States from 1965-69, plus work as an artist on the feature-length “Yellow Submarine,” recalled in a recent interview that the Fab Four didn’t much like the cartoon either.

“They were a bit snobby about it; there were also arguments about the voices [in the Saturday] show,” he said, laughing.

“All Englishmen shudder when they hear American actors try to speak in an English accent.”

“John Lennon, I think, he called it, ‘That [expletive] Flintstones.’ ”

Some of Mr. Campbell’s work is on display in Pittsburgh this week. He has a number of original drawings on display and for sale at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon tomorrow through Sunday; “Revolution” features artistic work by members of the Beatles as well photographs and memorabilia.

Still, “I think it [the cartoon show] was a tremendously good thing for the Beatles,” he said. “In my view, what happened was, an entire generation of children woke up on Saturday morning and watched it.”

One of “Yellow Submarine’s” (1968) screenwriters was Al Brodax, executive producer for the cartoon series. Mr. Campbell was brought in as an animator for the movie when the producers ran into production trouble.

“They were writing it as they went along,” he said. “They didn’t have the slightest idea how a feature film should be made, and that’s one of the strengths because it turned out to be such an unusual film.”

Alas, he said, “I have no original artwork [left over from working on the film]. “Revolution” does have an original work based on one of his Submarine drawings, however: “It’s a popular one.”

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


9 Responses

  1. I love the Beatles cartoons. I love cute things. I can see why boys wouldn’t like it though. It’s kind of a girl’s cartoon. (For girls just liking boys for the first time).

  2. You can see some of them on YouTube.

  3. back in 2004, they were discussing releasing them, even mcfarland created the toys to coincide with it’s release, but they have yet to be released.
    you can purchase bootleg copies on ebay, but apple should release them using the original masters.

  4. If they are going to take the time to remaster the music on these cartoons, then they should just redo the lousy voices too.

  5. I would love to see the entire Beatles cartoons series released onto DVD. I’ve never been able to see the shows, though I’ve found clips on youtube. It would be a great collectible that many Beatles fans would snatch up in a heartbeat!

  6. I grew up with the Beatle Cartoons. I loved them as a child, and I love them as an adult. I have a great niece and nephew that enjoy watching them.

  7. I love these cartoons, and while I hope they are remastered and officially released on DVD, I have my doubts. It seems like Apple is doing everything it can to burnish the Beatles image to a god-like status, and the quality of these shows from one episode to another (and sometimes within in the same episode) is wildly inconsistent. The hysterically inaccurate voices are usually the main target, but the quality of the animation can also be pretty low (often the four are out of scale to one another), and the writing runs the gamut from hackneyed to just plain weird. In spite of all of these flaws (and some times because of them) I like them.

    When I heard that Apple snapped up the rights to these cartoons years ago, I just figured, “that’s it, we’ll never see them broadcast or released.” I figure they put them in a vault somewhere. Find a bootleg DVD and enjoy it.

  8. wow i like it…………………………………………….

  9. that’s fantastic and the greatest band for ussss

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