The Beatles

ABC (ended 1969)





The Beatles Fan Reviews (14)

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  • Standard 1960s Saturday morning fare, rising above the norm with the Beatles' brilliant music.

    The Beatles weren't the first music group to get a cartoon show; that distinction belongs to Ross Bagdasarian's "The Alvin Show" four years earlier.

    However, where the UPA-esque designs, scripts and animation were perfectly fit to Alvin, et al, the Beatles' cartoon show is saved from being a taciturn excursion into the atypical by the group's timeless music. The show was aired on ABC, and even given that the first season was bankrolled by toymaker A.C. Gilmer, this was Saturday morning so quality control was going to be a big issue, animation-wise. At least three first season episodes--"I'm Happy Just To Dance With You," "Mr. Moonlight" and "I Saw Her Standing There" had horrible animation. There is spelling and syntax issues with the sing-along lyrics (in "I Should Have Known Better," the words "You're gonna say you love me too" is printed as "Your gonna say you love me to"). Many harped about the choice of voices as well, Paul Frees and Lance Percival.

    Then again, the show, when it hits a stride of knowing Beatle idiosyncracies, can be a treat to watch. "Anytime At All" has John wiggling his eyebrows at us and doing his "gi'e us a kiss" bit which is hilarious. "Strawberry Fields" (the word "Forever" curiously left out) was presumably the last first-run episode made but was part of the first show of season three and has some terrific graphics (Private Gripweed, Lennon's character in the movie "How I Won The War" appears) some atypical Beatle banter, and the song itself, making this episode a gem. It is to the show's credit that the now-departed John and George watched the show ("it's so bad or silly that it's good and the passing of time may make it even more fun today," says George). The Beatles cartoon may be an obscurity by today's standards--your average Hannah Montana fangirl would probably squirm during any half hour of it--but it's a throwback to the time when we kids nurtured through the 60s waited for Saturday morning anxiously for 10:30 AM.