Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Beatles Cartoon, Episode 16!

beatles16-01The first story in this episode is based around the song, "Can't Buy Me Love," which was written at least mostly by Paul McCartney (John Lennon, in one of his last interviews, pointed out that you could pretty much tell which of the two of them had written a song by who sang lead). The story opens with the Beatles relaxing in a largish grass hut on a beach, probably in Hawaii. George is doing his level best to open a coconut, unsuccessfully, and wonders how the monkeys manage to do it. A helpful monkey throws a coconut at George's head, which breaks open. John catches one of the broken shells, remarks on how helpful it is to have George on a trip, and starts eating the coconut. He's interrupted by the arrival of a native with a message: a tribal chief wishes John to honor them by accepting a ring. John accepts and puts on the ring (wondering if Ringo started out this way).

beatles16-02Shortly, John is told that it's almost time for the ceremony -- his wedding to the chief's daughter! (guess the cartoon John, unlike his real-life counterpart, wasn't married) John, of course, didn't realize that by accepting the ring from the chief, he was also agreeing to the wedding! John protests, but the natives grab him and are about to take him away when John, spotting two monkeys up in the palm trees nearby, asks out loud (as George did before) how those tiny monkeys manage to open the coconuts! The monkeys oblige by throwing two down, conking out the natives who were about to carry John off.

beatles16-03The song begins as John takes off, the natives in pursuit. John spots a wagon of pineapples and hides in its load, but when the wagon gets to a pineapple canning factory, he regrets this, as he gets picked up with the pineapples and dropped into a conveyor belt in the factory, where native women are slicing the pineapples open with what are either cleavers or axes! John's head misses being cut, but the seat of his pants is hit (causing him to exclaim "Ouch!" as the music pauses momentarily, with the native girl noting how the pineapples are getting noisy these days). Stunned, John's fed into the pineapple peeling machine, which strips him to his underwear, and then he goes into the crushing machine, crumpling poor John up! The line goes past a native who remarks on things, and then John goes into a canner, where the song abruptly ends (with the last chorus cut out).

beatles16-04Shortly, at the site of the wedding, the chief consults his sundial watch and notes that John is late. But he's interrupted by the announcement that he's to be presented with the first can of pineapple from the new factory! The chief licks his lips and orders the royal can opener to open the rather large can! Of course, as soon as the can is opened, John pops out! His prospective bride grabs him and is about to kiss him when she announces that she can't marry him -- he smells of pineapple, and she hates pineapple! The chief tells John he can keep the ring to mend his broken heart.

Later, Ringo tries to offer John some pineapple juice (which he turns down), and notices John's ring. John tosses the ring to Ringo, who puts it on, and then the chief's daughter appears, along with the natives, presumably to haul Ringo off to his wedding!

Next, it's time for the singalong, which George introduces as the most exciting part of the show. Ringo, of course, is still filling in for the prop man, and George wants mood for the song... and Ringo, of course, brings out a cow -- which "mooed".

beatles16-05The song begins, "Anna," which was from the first Beatles' album. The pictures that accompany the lyrics feature Paul with a caged bird who wishes to escape her cage to be with her mate, who is free. Kind of odd that they have Paul here, as it's John singing the song in the recording. An oddity in the lyrics is what I've always heard as "What am I, what am I supposed to do" is rendered as "What'm I, what'm I supposed to do..." As with the last episode, girls screaming are edited onto the end of the song!

beatles16-06George comes back on stage to compliment the kids at home, except for Marie, Peter and Shiela (whose parents are apparently outsinging them). The next song is a singing ringer-dinger, and it's the bell and Hunchback bit again (just as we've seen before).

The second song to sing along with is "Mr. Moonlight," which features the Beatles exploring on an island, perhaps near Africa. Each Beatle wears a different hat, i.e. an explorer's hat, fez, etc. The song has a few edits here and there, just a measure or two at a time, but the lyrics appear correct.  There's a bearded chap who shows up at the end of the song for some reason.

beatles16-07The final segment is "It Won't Be Long," and as many of the stories do, it opens with the Beatles driving down the road, with plans to stop for a picnic soon. George is so hungry he could eat his guitar, but Ringo suggests a drumstick. John says it's disgusting that all the two of them can do is think of food, and Paul agrees (meanwhile the two of them are eating the picnic lunch in the back seat).

beatles16-08Apparently the Beatles are back in Japan again, as ahead on the road is the Miniature Gardens, maintained by Dr. Ah-So. Dr. Ah-So is a genius in shrinking plants with his special potion. He adds a bit of this potion to a pond, drops a large tree into it, and it comes out small! The two men watching this present Dr. Ah-So with a trophy, but he lets it slip out of his fingers, and drops it into the pond, shrinking it. Meanwhile, the Beatles stop there, and decide it's a perfect place for their picnic. John notices the pond and takes it for a swimming hole, despite the bubbling. Ducking behind a handy tree, John changes into a swimsuit and dives in, immediately shrinking. The other three Beatles hear his cries, and then see the tiny John, who they figure is a doll. John's accidentally dropped to the ground, and Paul orders his bandmates to find the doll, as it belongs to him.

beatles16-09"It Won't Be Long" begins as John rushes away, with his mates searching for him.  John tries hiding behind a flower, but it doesn't conceal him. He continues to run away (really an impressive feat, given his size, that he's able to outrun the other Beatles). John hides and lets his mates run past, but then a big green frog looks at him and licks its lips, so John rushes off again, running past his friends. His next stop finds him menaced by a bee!  Finally, John leads them back to the pond, where he uses a leaf as a boat, but his friends just dive in after him as the song ends.

beatles16-10Dr. Ah-So demonstrates how the formula has worn off, and of course this means that John's normal size, while his friends are all small! John announces that the picnic will continue, him taking a turkey and offering each of his shrunken bandmates an olive on a toothpick, saying "Don't stuff yourselves!" and laughing!

A few things strike me about this entire episode: First, the focus on John in the two stories (indeed, John even sings lead on the singalong songs, as well as "It Won't Be Long"); and second, how the stories feature elements that were in the Beatles movie Help! -- there's the ring in the first story (although in the film, the ring marks the wearer as a sacrifice and not a groom), as well as the tropical location that is shared with part of the movie... and then in the second story, there's the shrinking thing, which happens solely to Paul in Help! But perhaps the most striking thing about this particular episode is how often the Beatles (especially John) end up going fairly far off-model, which you may be able to tell from the screen shots!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant, I delete all spam! Thanks.