"Rupert and the Frog Song" is the real gem on this collection. It follows legendary comic character Rupert the Bear as he explores the country one night and finds a special gathering of frogs. I bought the DVD because of this piece; it was such a huge favorite of mine as a child I just had to revisit it and see if it still held the same magic it did as a child. I have to say, it still holds up very well. The song in it, "We All Stand Together" is a great song written by Paul and arranged by the Beatle's producer George Martin.
"Tropic Island Hum" is a fun little cartoon that Paul and his late wife Linda produced. Paul and Linda do nearly all the voices. It has a very good song at its core but doesn't quite capture the magic of Rupert. Interestingly, it was one of the last cartoons ever to be produced purely by hand animation where all the coloring is done by hand. Nowadays all the coloring in "hand-animated" films is done with a computer after the outlines are drawn by hand.
"Tuesday" has almost no dialog and features only a musical score with no song. It follows a group of bored frogs one Tuesday night as their lily pads take off and fly into the town so the frogs can have a night of fun for a change. I think it's the least successful of the three films because there are no main characters to follow. But it is a very atmospheric cartoon with great music. It's based on a storybook and follows the pictures in it almost exactly.
The three films together have a running time of about 45 minutes, including a short intro with Paul in a library expressing his love for animation.
Extras on the DVD are plentiful... There is a making of documentary for both Tuesday and Tropic Island Hum that are quite interesting and obviously had high production values since animation in interweaved with the live action in the documentary in a few places. We get to see the animators in action, Geoff Dunbar directing it, and how Paul guides the whole process.
There is also a short interview with Paul in which he talks about how each film came to be and what his future plans for animation are (he wants to make a feature of Trpoic Island Hum).
There are line-drawings, storyboards and line tests for each film. These are hard to watch unless you are really interested in the in-depth technical details of animation. The rest of us will find this very tedious since it basically involves watching the films as line sketches without music in some cases. Still, it's nice they're archived for posterity on this DVD.
I would give 5 stars to this DVD but unfortunately it loses a star because it does not include the short animations "Oriental Nightfish" and "Seaside Woman" that were on the VHS of Rupert and the Frog Song.
Overall, I highly reccomend this DVD to fans of family-oriented animation fans (and rabid Paul McCartney fans, since he is featured heavily on this disc). It has a very high re-watchability factor and I know if I had kids in the future they would love it, and I would enjoy watching it with them!
I like the way respect for all forms of life is emphasized in this video. Paul McCartney, a long time advocate for animal protection does an extraordinary job of imparting love for nature and its creatures in these short animated stories. This is very family friendly indeed.
There are three short animated features. Read more