Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Beatles Animated Series, Episode 7!

07-01The first segment of this episode is called "I'll Get You," and it opens on a jet plane landing at an aiport in Africa, where the Beatles look forward to a week away from screaming fans, but of course, fans there are at the airport, and they're all screaming! John spots a baggage cart, and they make a run for it, displacing the driver and the luggage it was carrying to drive off with it, because (as George put it), "It's an emergency!" Paul points out a convenient ramp, which they drive up and into an airplane, with Paul leaping out just before it goes in, while the other three ride into the airplane and out the other side! After the fans rush in, both doors are closed, and Paul yells, "Okay for takeoff!" and the plane takes off. John compliments Paul's quick thinking, but Paul says it's nothing any other genius would've thought of.

Suddenly, the cart (which has driven way off of the airport by now) crashes into an elephant, sending the cart out between its legs, while the Beatles are somehow placed on top of the elephant. They've also knocked out the elephant's owner, a big game hunter named Allan Watermain (obviously, a joke based on Alan Quartermain, the lead character of She and other books). Watermain leads them to where they'll be staying, but the hut is completely black inside! John asks who put out the lights, and Ringo asks hasn't he heard of "Darkest Africa!" Suddenly, Ringo feels teeth on his arm, and when a flashlight is turned on it, he sees his arm is in a tiger's mouth! Admittedly, the tiger's head is mounted on the wall! George shoots the tiger, which disappoints Watermain, as that was his finest tiger head, and he wonders why he agreed to this.

07-03John tries to convince him that they're just a bunch of fun-loving musicians, and then Ringo spots a flute on the wall! He reaches for it, but Watermain tells him it's not a flute... but it's too late! Ringo blows into it, and we see it's a blow tube for a poisoned dart, which strikes the mounted head of a buffalo (which shrinks in response). Ringo jokes that half a head is better than none. Later, Watermain drives the Beatles into the jungle to hunt game, and they soon spot Simba the lion! John thinks it would make the perfect rug for his living room, and he and Paul go off after it, despite Watermain's warning that the lion's a man-eater (Ringo jokes, "It's a good thing they're still teenagers!" -- an odd joke to make, given that this was 1965, and John and Paul would've easily been at least 25!).

07-04Then, George spots a tank -- actually, an enraged rhino (George jokes, "Enraged? She looks a bit young to be married!") that charges the car! And then the song starts, "I'll Get You," skipping over the opening bars and even the first verse and chorus, starting up with the second verse's "I think about you night and day..." John and Paul climb a tree to get coconuts to use against the lion, which is clearly afraid of them, as he's running away and hiding! It's no use, however, as John and Paul swing on vines in pursuit! Then, the lion thinks he's safe at last, but then looks up to see the duo in the trees! The chase continues, observed only by an odd bird in the trees, ending when Simba trips over a fallen log.

07-05Then, John pulls out... a camera, and takes a picture! Suddenly, a zipper's pulled down on the lion costume, revealing two men inside (?!?!?)! They're hired to keep things interesting during the tourist season. Picking up the now-empty lion skin, it gives John an idea! Back at camp, George and Ringo wonder how John and Paul are doing. Ringo jokes that mangy lion couldn't chew his way through a bag of marshmallows, when there's a sudden roar, and Ringo climbs up a pole of their hut (or whatever they're in) as John and Paul enter, in the lion costume. They soon reveal the gag, and Ringo claims he knew it all the time. Suddenly, Watermain leans in through the window with his gun and starts shooting! John and Paul (still in costume) run away! The men who were originally in the costume ask Ringo when they can get their costume back, and Ringo jokes, "I'm sorry, the lion is busy!"

07-06Next, it's time for the singaong, and the first song is "You've Really Got a Hold On Me," and it's introduced by George. Ringo's told the song is wild, and comes on like gangbusters, and Ringo goes offstage, and soon returns dressed as a gangster, and starts firing a machine gun at George! When George says the number comes on like gangbusters, not him, Ringo doffs his coat, revealing a prison uniform underneath, complete with his number there (681, if you're curious..., with 186 on the back).

07-07The singalong begins with the instrumental lead-in cut off entirely. The background features a riverboat, followed by a uboat, both on a river. They are followed by an alligator, a canoe, another alligator (which swallows the canoe, which Paul is piloting), a WWII mine (swallowed by the gator, which blows up). The scene then goes to a building that a giant gorilla enters, there's a fight, and a wobbly Paul stumbles out.  We also see the Beatles performing, although Ringo's playing a tree stump instead of his drums. There's a number of other edits in the music, making it rather jarring, with the lead-in added in place of the regular guitar solo, a line cut out of a verse... but at least there's no lyric mishaps on screen!

07-08After the song ends, it's time for George to introduce the next song, and Ringo is told to create an atmosphere that will get the folks back home to sing up a storm. Ringo runs off-stage, and in moments, a mechanical cloud comes onstage over George's head, pouring water on him! George complains to Ringo about it, and when Ringo then squirts him with the gag flower on his lapel, George punches Ringo in the eye! Ringo had joked about April showers bringing May flowers, and with his black eye, he jokes, "See? There's a black-eyed Susan already!"

07-09"Any Time At All" is the second singalong, and the backdrop involves an old western train. The only odd thing about this singalong is that the instrumental solo in the middle gets cut in half, but otherwise, no lyric mishaps -- that's two for two this episode!

07-10The final segment is called "Honey Don't," and it opens at a rodeo, which has a poster advertising a bull named Honey. The Beatles are there for the rodeo, Ringo wearing a cowboy hat and implying he's a regular cowboy. When John and George discuss the proper pronunciation of "rodeo," it gets two real cowboys arguing and fighting over it! Ringo decides to pull out his rope and play with it. Suddenly, the word goes out that a bull is loose! It manages to run into Ringo's lasso, pulling Ringo behind it, but when Ringo wraps himself around a pole, it puts a stop to the bull's rampage! Ringo's congratulated on his fancy rope work, and Ringo's only too happy to accept the compliments.

07-11Of course, when Ringo's asked if he's good at cow punching and riding, he manages to talk himself into participating in the rodeo, riding Honey, the fiercest bull in the west! John, Paul and George bring Ringo over to the bull, but before they place him on the bull's back, Ringo spots a horseshoe nailed to the fence, which he pulls off, kisses for luck, and tosses it over his shoulder -- landing square on Honey's head, stunning him! Ringo's tossed in, and everyone sees Ringo bouncing up and down behind the gate, but when the gate is opened, we see it's just Ringo jumping up and down. John and Paul come out with guitars, handing one to George, and start playing "Honey Don't."

07-12Ringo starts singing to the stunned bull, trying to get him to awaken... successfully! The bull's in a cheery mood when it wakes, and licks Ringo's face... then bucks him into the air, and onto his back! Ringo shoves his cowboy hat on Honey's head, and that gets his temper flaring, and he runs out of the gate and starts throwing Ringo up and down into the air (just in time for the chorus). When Ringo lands on the ground, he pulls out a polka-dotted handkerchief that he uses like a bullfighter! One of Honey's passes ends up tearing out the seat of Ringo's pants, and of course, Ringo's boxers are red. But when Honey charges him that time, Ringo ducks, and Honey crashes into a pole. Ringo tries to flee the arena, but Honey gets him back on his back anyway. In fact, shortly, he gets George on his back, too... and then somehow ends up riding on a wagon that Paul and John are using to try to flee, and then all five of them crash into a convenient Wild Bee Honey stand!

Ringo's congratulated on his bullriding, and Ringo says that they can handle anything but one thing. When he's asked what that is, he says, "That!" and points to where some screaming fans are rushing towards them! The Beatles run off, past the two cowboys who are still fighting over the proper pronunciation of the word "rodeo."

So... this was a pretty fun episode overall, but it seems like the Beatles spend way too much time in Africa, eh? Especially going big game hunting, and shooting stuff, which doesn't really fit their personalities. I'm also rather disturbed at the whole George punching Ringo thing in the singalong.  The giant gorilla that appeared briefly reminded me a bit of the cameo appearance of King Kong in the animated movie Yellow Submarine, and of course, Ringo's being the cowboy enthusiast really fit him quite well, given his fondness for country music.


  1. LOL, I love the Beatles cartoons! They're so goofy but awesome.

    I draw them a little bit for fun (that's where all the inconsistent animation becomes a bit of a problem; when you try to draw from the cartoons and they don't look quite right)

    1. I've noticed that myself Amanda. Nice sketches on your blog, would live to see some finished ones of the animated Beatles!


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