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