Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toon Rock: The Beatles (1965)

As proof of their status as the most popular pop group on the planet, The Beatles granted a license to King Features Syndicate's television division to produce an animated series, which aired initially on ABC from 1965-69 (the final season, all repeats, aired on Sunday afternoons). The inestimable Paul Frees (Rocky & His Friends and a zillion other cartoons) spoke for John Lennon & George Harrison, but the flaw was that his vocal style for both singers was almost exactly the same! Actor Lance Percival of England's "Carry On" movie series voiced Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney, and actually came closest to nailing the parts. Vertigobates uploaded the episode, "Rock & Roll Music", to YouTube:



Each episode title was named after a well known Beatles song, such as, for example, "Penny Lane" or "And Your Bird Can Sing", which was also the series' theme for the 3rd season.

The series found new life in the late 80's when it made its way to cable, airing first on MTV and its sister network, Nickelodeon, and was last seen on the Disney Channel some 20 years ago. At least MTV had the good sense to schedule it right back where it started, on Saturday mornings, back when MTV actually cared about music.

Rating: B.

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