Rupert and the Frog Song
|Rupert and the Frog Song|
|Directed by||Geoff Dunbar|
|Produced by||Paul McCartney|
|Written by||Paul McCartney
|Music by||Paul McCartney|
|Edited by||Tony Fish
|Distributed by||MPL Communications|
|May 3, 1984|
Rupert and the Frog Song is a 1984 animated film based on the comic strip character Rupert Bear, written and produced by Paul McCartney and directed by Geoff Dunbar. The making of Rupert and the Frog Song began in 1981 and ended in 1983. The film was released theatrically as an accompaniment to McCartney's feature film Give My Regards to Broad Street. The song "We All Stand Together" from the film's soundtrack reached #3 when released in the UK Singles Chart. It was released in 2004 as one of the segments of Paul McCartney: Music & Animation.
- Paul McCartney (voice) - Rupert / Bill / Boy Frog
- June Whitfield (voice) - Rupert's Mother
- Windsor Davies (voice) - Rupert's Father / Edward / Father Frog
Rupert Bear decides to head off for a walk on the hills. With his Mother's blessing he sets off for a jolly trip, encountering his friends Edward Elephant and Bill Badger along the way, who are too busy to join him. As Rupert reaches a hill he props himself up against the trunk of an oak tree and sucks in the glory of the countryside. Suddenly he finds himself enveloped by a rainbow cloud of butterflies, and all of them swarm away from the leafless oak tree towards a rocky outcrop and Rupert could not resist following them. As he leaves, a large white barn owl and two black cats decide to follow him.
Upon the rocks, Rupert finds a large number of multicolored frogs. He walks into a cave behind a waterfall and sees three signs: "Frogs only beyond this point", "Everything except frogs must be kept on a lead", and "Guard frogs operating". He sneaks into the palace, trying to avoid getting caught by the frog guards. There, he witnesses the Frog Song, an event that occurs only once in a few hundred years in which various frogs of all shapes and sizes come together and sing "We All Stand Together". Around the end, the frog King and Queen rise out of the water before the crowd to finish off the song. After a thunderous applause from the frogs, the owl, who had followed Rupert in order to find where the frogs were hiding, launches for an attack on the royals, but Rupert manages to warn the frogs in time and they all quickly retreat, leaving the owl and the cats empty handed and the palace completely empty. After hearing his mother call him, Rupert excitedly rushes home to tell his family about what he saw.
McCartney had been planning his Rupert movie since at least the early 1970s, when his company, McCartney Productions Ltd., acquired the rights to the film the day after the Beatles' break-up. At one point, the song "Little Lamb Dragonfly," which was recorded in 1971 and released on the 1973 album Red Rose Speedway, was intended for the film.
The video was released simultaneously with the single "We All Stand Together" and became the biggest selling video of 1985 as well as being nominated for the 'Best Music Video - Short Form' at the Grammy Awards in 1986. The video also included two other shorts with music by Linda McCartney: "Seaside Woman" (a song credited to Suzy and the Red Stripes) and, "The Oriental Nightfish".
In 2002 and September 2004 the film was re-released on DVD Tales of Wonder Music and Animation Classics (also called Paul McCartney - Music & Animation Collection), to mark its 20th Anniversary, along with Calling All Toddlers 2 (which featured that opening as a music video) and two other shorts directed by Geoff Dunbar, Tropic Island Hum and Tuesday. This version contains an alternative opening, which begins in an old bedroom filled with Rupert merchandise. We see Paul McCartney opening a large chest and digging through old dusty books until he comes upon an old Rupert book. He takes it out of the chest, blows on it, and sparkling dust flies away from the book. McCartney opens the book to reveal his childhood house address, a possible reference to the VHS covers of this film. The page then turns to the title card. The print of this version is also matted, cropping the top and bottom of the image to an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen, which was how the film was exhibited theatrically.
Awards and nominations
In 1984, the year of its release, it won a UK BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Best Animated Short Film.
- "Television: Short Animation in 1985". BAFTA. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- Madiger, C. & Easter, M. (2000). Eight Arms to Hold You. 44.1 Productions. p. 176. ISBN 0-615-11724-4.
- Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, eds. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 978-0-7119-8307-6.
- Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.