Paul McCartney – The Music And Animation Collection

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Paul McCartney as Rupert/Edward/Bill/Boy Frog
Dustin Hoffman as the Police, Narrator
Amanda Massa as Monica
Robert Stanger as Man
Windsor Davies as Rupert’s Father/Father Frog
June Whitfield as Rupert’s Mother

Special Features:
Interview with Paul McCartney

The Making of Tropic Island Hum

The Making of Tuesday

Storyboards and Line Tests

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 43 Minutes

Synopsis:
“Paul McCartney – The Music And Animation Collection” features three short animated films with original music and performances by Paul McCartney. Each is less than 15 minutes long.

The first film is “Tropic Island Hum”. It tells the tale of Wirral, a squirrel on the run from hunters. He barely escapes being shot thanks to Froggo, a frog in a hot air balloon. Froggo takes him to a tropical island paradise filled with other animals that have also been hunted or mistreated. Led by Chief Bison, they sing a song about their life in paradise.

The second film is “Tuesday” which is based on the book by David Wiesner. One Tuesday night in a small American town, a group of lily pads from a pond take flight with a bunch of bullfrogs sitting on them. The frogs fly all over town exploring their surroundings and having fun. As dawn nears, the lily pads fall to the ground and leave the waking humans to wonder just what went on the night before.

The final film is “Rupert and the Frog Song”. Based on a comic strip character, Rupert is a young bear who goes exploring. While out in the forest, he happens upon a cave that is the central gathering place for some frogs. Rupert secretly watches as the frogs begin a rare ceremony where they sing a song – We All Stand Together. But what will happen when two cats and an owl crash the ceremony?

“Paul McCartney – The Music And Animation Collection” is not rated, but the content is definitely G rated.

The Movie:
I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this DVD when I got it, but I knew I liked Paul McCartney, so I was willing to give it a chance. I popped the DVD in and sat down with the kids. We all ended up loving it. I enjoyed the music and the kids loved seeing all the frogs flying, singing, and generally being funny. They also enjoyed the monkey and other animals in Tropic Island Hum.

These movies are obviously pet projects of Paul McCartney and the late Linda McCartney. Tuesday was released in 2001 while Rupert and the Frog Song came out in 1985. While these two seem to be just whimsical tales from McCartney’s past, Tropic Island Hum has a definite “vegetarian message” of some sort. Moral lessons about eating animals side, the short films are fun cartoons that McCartney has his fingerprints all over. McCartney even provides most of the character voices. (While some of his voices sound like a man trying to sound like a kid, they are a fun novelty.)

There are two big songs in these films. The first is a Jamaican sounding song in Tropic Island Hum. The second is “We All Stand Together” which was sung by the frogs in Rupert and the Frog Song. Several days after watching these films, I still find myself humming the tunes around the house.

While the animation isn’t as slick as modern computer animation, it still looks good. In fact, Paul McCartney says in the extra features that he specifically wanted the 2-D hand-drawn look. Each film has its own stylistic look and feel that is unique.

The shorts are also funny. The frogs in Tuesday do fun stuff like flying into a lady’s house and watching David Letterman, chasing a dog, and tapping on a man’s window late at night. Also listen for a cameo by Dustin Hoffman as one of the baffled humans that find the lily pads lying all over the city the next morning. The frogs in Rupert’s short are also funny as they dance and croak out the chorus to their song.

All in all this is a fun video and it makes me believe that Disney should call up Paul McCartney and do their best to try and get him in on their next 2-D feature.

The Extras:
The extras on this DVD are longer than the three short films put together.

Interview with Paul McCartney – Paul McCartney talks about each of the films and discusses why he made them with Geoff Dunbar. It’s apparent very quickly that this was a labor of love for him. He even jokes that he doesn’t know why his films have so many frogs. This video is 5 or so minutes long.

The Making of Tropic Island Hum – This is an in-depth look at the making of Tropic Island Hum. They show the early story process, the animation, voice recording, and more. The video concludes showing an animated Paul and Linda McCartney greeting viewers. It is around 15 minutes long or so.

The Making of Tuesday – This is another in-depth look at the making of Tuesday. I was amazed at the detail they went to considering how short the original film is.

Storyboards and Line Tests – These are rough early versions of the animation. They range from pencil drawings to storyboards to, in some cases, final animation. It’s an interesting look at how the final product differs from the early version.

The Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of animation or Paul McCartney, this is one DVD well worth checking out.

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