How Paul McCartney Almost Made a Rupert The Bear Movie

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<p><figcaption class=we are all together from the animated movie rupert and the frog song, it reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984. (Parlophone)

As Sir Paul McCartney turns 80, we remember his failed attempt to make a rupert the bear movie.

Bears have been a big business in movies for the last few years, with Winnie the Pooh enjoying box office success through Christopher RobinY paddington becoming a bona fide franchise success thanks to two wildly popular films, with another on the way.

But another bear, as cute as Winnie and Pads, and as well known in the UK, didn’t get an invitation to the celluloid party. Rupert —the one with the yellow scarf, the red sweater and the tweed pants— made his debut on the pages of the daily express in 1920, and his adventures have entertained children of all ages ever since.

But despite success on the small screen across multiple television shows, Rupert has yet to make his big screen debut.

Although about 35 years ago, a Beatle was close.

can buy me love

Rupert Bear, star of the new musical ‘The Rupert Show’, rests in Hyde Park. (Standard Night/Getty Images)

Paul McCartney enjoyed Rupert’s stories as a child and particularly loved the illustrations by Alfred Bestall, who spent more than 40 years creating tales and images for the bear. But it wasn’t until he told his daughter Heather those stories that McCartney saw the character’s full potential.

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With The Beatles coming to an end, McCartney was looking for new endeavors, so he reached out daily express editor Sir Max Aitken, and convinced him to sell the film rights. With Macca lamenting the Americanization of winnie the pooh by Walt Disney, promised to keep American accents out of this very British story.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney, with his wife Linda in the background, at the opening night of his three sold-out concerts at London's Empire Pool, Wembley, on Oct. 19, 1976. (AP Photo/John Glanville)

Former Beatle Paul McCartney, with his wife Linda in the background, 1976. (AP Photo/John Glanville)

McCartney planned an animated musical feature film and wrote a series of songs for the project throughout the 1970s, with names like ‘walnut wood sceneWalking through the meadowY ‘Rupert’s Song. In the early 1980s, he became close to Argentine animator Oscar Grillo, with whom his wife Linda had worked on the animated short film. woman by the sea — and released a Rupert short film before embarking on a feature film. But very quickly money became an issue.

Speaking to Stills movie magazine in June 1984, McCartney explained: “Oscar wanted to spend a lot of money on it, so I don’t blame him. You know, if it was someone else’s money, I’d like to spend $50 million as soon as I see you. But for a pilot, just to see if the idea worked, I thought it was a bit of a risk.”

Rupert and the Frog Song

(Original subtitle) Sporting a preppie-style button-down shirt and khaki pants, Paul McCartney was hard at work late last month at Air Studios mixing sound for his cartoon, Rupert the Bear.

(Original subtitle) Sporting a preppie-style button-down shirt and khaki pants, Paul McCartney was hard at work late last month at Air Studios mixing sound for his cartoon, Rupert the Bear.

However, the singer-songwriter was still eager to make the short, telling Stills, “We’ve got all these ideas cooking up, but I don’t think anyone was eager to take the $40 million job without knowing a lot more.” So he turned to director Geoff Dunbar, whose first animated Lautrec won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and whose second effort took home the Golden Bear in Berlin.

The result of their collaboration was Rupert and the Frog Songa 13-minute cartoon inspired by an illustration by Alfred Bestall in the 1958 Rupert yearbook. The film featured the vocal talents of June Whitfield and Windsor Davies, while McCartney himself voiced Rupert and his friends.

The story, which was written by Paul, Linda and Geoff, began with Rupert taking a walk in the hills near his house. He says goodbye to his parents and invites his friends Edward Elephant and Bill Badger, though they are too busy to tag along. So Rupert sets off alone and soon encounters a kaleidoscope of butterflies, leading him to a cave where a sign says “Frogs only from this point”.

Rupert ignores the warning, goes inside and witnesses a musical performance that happens only once every 200 years. Amphibians are everywhere, and they launch into the world written by McCartney. ‘We are all together’ as fireflies light up the cavern, illuminating singing fish, a ballet dance, and frogs flying in hot air balloons overhead. Then an inexplicably evil owl interrupts the proceedings, the frogs scatter, and Rupert heads home for dinner.

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Both the song and the film were huge successes, the former reaching No. 3 in the UK charts and the latter becoming one of the best-selling videos of 1985. It also won the BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film and was screened in theaters alongside the McCartney film. Give my regards to Broad Streetwhere it was the undoubted main course of that double billboard.

Walt Disney’s influence

Oct. 14, 1947: Alfred Bestall, author of the 'Rupert the Bear' children's books, reads one of the books with Captain Marshall.  (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)

Alfred Bestall, author of the rupert the bear books, reading one of the books with Captain Marshall. (False images)

The animation ended with the words “That’s it for now”, paving the way for the full-length feature. And McCartney had big plans, telling Stills, “I’m looking for something equivalent to Walt Disney, insofar as it’s highly rated animation.”

He added: “We’re playing around with the idea of ​​’How can you go Disney?’ Because obviously Rupert is anchored in Bestall’s books. We take the ’40s as our period, where Rupert is in full color and where I think there’s a Disney influence. The great discovery was going back to annuals. We started out taking a lot of license, saying ‘Well, this is a movie now, so we can do whatever we want.’ We moved in a few directions that we had to come back from, and eventually we got closer and closer to Bestall.”

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While the title bear was a largely passive character in the frog song, was to be the focal point of the film. “He would have a much more central role to play,” McCartney told Stills. “One of the problems with Rupert is that I don’t think the stories are very good. Generally, he tends to leave home, have an affair, and then come home to tea. That’s fine, but there is no great story like Cinderella.

“I have an idea for a whole story that is kind of a quest. We spend a lot of time on it now and we’re starting to feel like it’s coming together, that we’re figuring it out. But then it’s like having written as a song: I to know when I have a blow.

the end of the road

Paul McCartney and his Linda McCartney arrive at the concert to see Frank Sinatra.

Paul McCartney and his Linda McCartney arrive at the concert to see Frank Sinatra.

Unfortunately, however, McCartney never found such success. As Philip Norman explains in Paul McCartney: The Biography, “Another producer bought the rights from Rupert and insisted that the feature version could only be made by his company and his MPL. [McCartney Productions Ltd.] in association. With that, the project withered.”

Withered yes. But she did not die completely. McCartney is rumored to have collaborated with George Martin on a new tune for the film a few years later. While songs from those original Rupert sessions have been showing up on bootlegs ever since. In fact, many can still be found online if you know where to look.

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So, with bears being big business right now, it seems like the right time to resurrect this cross-species collaboration. So that Rupert can take his rightful place next to paddington Y poop In theaters.

And so that both Beatle and Bear can give celluloid glory one last chance.

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