Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Beatles Cartoon, Episode 8!

08-01The first segment in this episode is "Any Time At All," and it opens with the Beatles at a museum in France, looking at a portrait of the Three Musketeers. It doesn't take long for the Fab Four to imagine themselves as the famous quartet of swashbucklers, and we go right into a fantasy sequence where a highwayman's captured a coach and is fleeing with his captives! But he stops immediately when he runs into the Three Musketeers/Beatles, and they immediately capture the villain!

08-02Then, the song begins! The damsel they rescued seems very impressed with them (even though when Ringo draws his sword, it's always a drumstick), and she gives all of them a kiss, except Ringo, who gets a kiss from a horse instead! The coach rides off, and it's on to the next rescue! This time, the damsel's captured in a castle, but never fear, our heroes are soon on the scene! Even when he thinks he's captured them, they turn the tables immediately on him.

08-03Finally, Ringo swings down on a rope to knock the villain out a convenient window, but still the damsel won't kiss him -- but she doesn't kiss any of the other Beatles, going instead for the traditional Prince Charming type! Such is the life of a hero, and the fantasy sequence ends with the Beatles back in the museum, where Ringo muses it's too bad there's no chance these days to rescue a lady in distress.

Suddenly, a French woman in sunglasses and trenchcoat opens a door, saying she's a lady in distress, will Ringo rescue her? Of course, the Beatles are happy to help, even though there are two men following her! The Beatles aren't much help, though, as the two toughs bowl them over easily, but fortunately miss seeing where the lady's hidden herself. Ringo looks up and spots a chandelier overhead as they notice that the toughs are coming back, so he darts up to a balcony, grabs the rope and swings down, but just before he's about to collide with the villains, the weight of the chandelier pulls him up, and the chandelier crashes on the other three Beatles and the woman!

But all is well, as the toughs are actual inspectors of the French police, and the woman is Fifi LeCrooque, the most wanted jewel thief in Paris! When one of the inspectors ask the Beatles their names for the newspapers, they respond, "Athos! Porthos! Aremis! And Ringo!"

Next, of course, it's the singalong! This time, John is introducing it, and the intro is a rerun from a previous episode, where Ringo brings a boxing kangaroo on.

08-06The singalong begins, the song being "I'll Be Back," with the background featuring a train which the Beatles are riding on. The first verse is cut off just before the end, and the second chorus is edited out to go to the middle eight, which is very disruptive! Anyway, also on board the train are a lot  of female Beatles fans, so of course the limited animation here features the Beatles escaping them. At least there are no lyric problems on-screen!

John does the next intro, and this is is another repeat, where Ringo comes on as a ballerina.

08-07The next singalong is "Little Child," and it seems to have been somehow inspired by the Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi old people characters from Laugh-In (despite that show not having come out yet), at least halfway, as it features John wearing a grey beard sitting on a park bench with a cute woman he's obviously trying to entice. I know, weird. The other Beatles show up in grey beards, too. There's only one very minor lyric problem... the final line of the last verse goes "Yeah, come on, come on, come on," and the screen shows it as "Just come on, come on, come on," as if it was a repeat of the previous line. I know, picky.

08-08The final segment is "Twist & Shout," and it opens at another art show in Paris, where adults aren't allowed unless accompanied by a weird-o. Paul would like to see a real Paris art show, but wonders who they can get to take them in. At the entrance, a real weird-o is just preparing to enter, with a face like a Picasso painting! Then, just behind them is a typical Pythonesque upper class twit, who asks "you four weird-os" if they'd take him in! So, they enter! The first painting we see says "Help!" on it, while others are just rather bizarre.

08-09Paul asks what some of these looked like before paint was thrown all over them, while John points out an all-white painting titled, "Picture of a polar bear eating vanilla ice cream during a blizzard." George is admiring another sculpture, but it turns out to be a drinking fountain! Ringo finds what looks like a set of drums, but it's a stone sculpture instead.

Later, a female artist is ridiculed because her paintings look like their subjects, which gets her crying. Paul spots her painting of a pussycat, and he likes it, but the artist complains she wants to be able to paint wild and hip like the others. Paul offers the band's help to inspire her, and, using odd sculptures that resemble guitars (as well as the drum sculpture), the Beatles start performing the title song. This gets the artist inspired immediately, and she grabs an armload of paintings and gets to work as the boys play.

08-11The artist throws paint at a canvas, but it becomes the Mona Lisa, to her dismay! Another throw, and she gets what she wants, and goes to work on other pieces, each odder than the last, before starting to change some of the other pieces there, too, and the pieces mostly bear a resemblance to one Beatle or more!

First price in the art show goes to the female artist, but the prize is for her pussycat painting, because the curator likes pussycats! The Beatles shrug in confusion.

So overall, I enjoyed the episode quite a bit... although having two art-themed sequences in one episode might've been a bit much -- although we've seen that this wasn't the only episode with two similarly-themed cartoons in them. I like that the reference to "Help!" was snuck into the one cartoon, and of course, one can't help but think of the Beatles' White Album when seeing the all-white painting (although that wasn't to come out for a while yet).

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