The info below is taken mainly from

    Paul McCartney's Rupert And The Frog Song

  GB 1984 / MPL Communications
  13mins / cel animation


       'Win or lose, sink or swim,
         One thing is certain we'll never give in,
            Side by side, hand in hand, we all stand together...'

                                                                             - 'We All Stand Together'
                                                                                by Paul McCartney

     Rupert The Bear's transition from print to screen has been a long and convoluted
     affair. TV gold has been struck on a number of occasions - firstly and most
     successfully with
 Mary Turner's splendid puppet series of the 70s - but mining
     the Feature Film Motherlode has proven far tougher. One particularly keen
     (and famous!) Rupert fan has been chipping away for two decades, and in 1984
     his short film came within a whisker of being the perfect theatrical launchpad...

     Back in the seventies, singer/songwriter/genius Paul McCartney who has always
     been a keen animation aficionado, started work on a proposed Rupert feature to
     be helmed by animator Oscar Grillo. Indeed he put together a whole album of
     songs for the film in 1979, but for whatever reason, no film followed. Jump forward
     five years and now we find animator Geoff Dunbar donning the director's hat in
     order to bring one of McCartney's songs 'We All Stand Together' into leaping,
     rippling life as an extended pop promo and advert for McCartney's Grand Plan...
     It's a simple premise: Rupert decides to take a walk in the hills one day. With
     his Mother's blessing he sets off for a jolly trip. En route he encounters
     friends Bill Badger and Edward Trunk and Rupert asks them to join him,
     but both are just too busy. Once in the hills, Rupert props himself against
     the trunk of an oak and sucks in the glory of the countryside - and suddenly
     finds himself enveloped by a rainbow cloud of butterflies. The butterflies swarm
     away towards a rocky outcrop and Rupert can't resist following them.
     Upon the rocks Rupert finds a collection of hopping frogs. They lead him
     to a pool and on toward a waterfall. Here he discovers a secret cleft behind
     the curtain of water that leads to a cavern, and a sign:

                                      FROGS ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT
                                         GUARD FROGS OPERATING

      This is the cavern of the Frog Show, and from here on there are a menagerie
      of froggy folk, families, fireflies, will-o-wisps, orchestral amphibians, ballet
      dancers, balloonists, even a splendid goldfish - all performing to the
      hummable, sing-a-long delights of 'We All Stand Together'. This amazing
      spectacle is finally interrupted by a swooping barn owl, and two slinking cats.
      But nobody is hurt and Rupert eventually returns home to his watchful
      Mother full of froggy joy, and wonder...

       Rupert And The Frog Song book

As a promotional tool it worked splendidly.
The animation was beautiful and utterly faithful
to the original creation. Back in '84 'We All Stand
Together' became a hit record around the world,
reaching number 3 in the British Singles Charts.
The Frog Song film was released theatrically as
an accompaniment to McCartney's live-action
feature 'Give My Regards To Broad Street'
and subsequently acquired a clutch of high-
profile awards including a BAFTA for Best
Animated Short. On video the film was packaged
with animated promos for 'Seaside Woman' and
'Oriental Nightfish'. The half-hour tape went on
to be one of the best-selling retail titles of

      But amazingly, even with such high-profile success to build upon, McCartney's
      long-gestating film did not materialize. In 1987 the project awoke when Macca
      recorded another new Rupert song with arranger George Martin, but the track
      was never released as a single and alas yet again, no feature followed. Since then,
      the high-profile tv series from Nelvana has feasted upon the world market and it
      now seems unlikely that the McCartney film will ever see the light of day...

      But a most successful partnership has flourished on the back of Macca's efforts.
1989 McCartney laid down a musical score for a new film project, 'Daumier's Law'.
      Dunbar was commissioned to direct and produce the 15min short which brought the
      drawings of French artist Honore Daumier into animated life. It premiered at the
      Cannes Film Festival in 1992 and, like Frog Song eight years earlier, collected a 
      BAFTA for Best Animated Short. In 1998 Macca and Dunbar teamed again on the
      video to 'Tropical Island Hum'. And then, last year they premiered their acclaimed
      new short film 'Tuesday'. Adapted from the book by David Weisner, this is another
      amphibian-filled fantasy about frogs on Lilly pads who, on one particular Tuesday
      evening take a twilight flight into town. The film is narrated by actor Dustin Hoffman
      and is dedicated to Paul's late wife Linda. It was shown at the Venice Film Festival
      and went on to give the Macca/Dunbar partnership their third BAFTA Nomination.
      Whilst promoting the project in Italy Macca was very vocal about his passion for
      animation and commitment to making a full-length feature soon - even giving a hint
      that it might again feature frogs...
Frogs are good, but little bears would be
      better still, eh?

      Officially the full Frog Song film title is 'Paul McCartney's Rupert And The
      Frog Song', and the song credit for 'We All Stand Together' cites Paul McCartney
      and The Frog Chorus - the latter being an ensemble of The St Paul's Choir together
      with The King's Singers...

      McCartney's connections with animation began in the sixties with the Beatles
      TV series which, in turn, lead to that triumphant mixture of music, motion and
      Meanie mayhem 'Yellow Submarine'. Apparently, his favourite animated feature
      is 'Lady And The Tramp'...

      Director Geoff Dunbar is a most influential animator. His career started at the
      W M Larkins studio in London. A stint with Halas & Batchelor followed. In 1975 he
      collected a short film award at Cannes for 'Lautrec' - a film which brought to life
      Toulouse Lautrec's cancan drawings. His most daring work was displayed in
      'Ubu', an adaptation of a notorious award-winning play by Alfred Jarry released
      in 1979. Half funded by the Arts Council Of Great Britain 'Ubu' is a bold, outspoken
      twenty minute film which shocked critics and distributors and collected several
      notable awards - including a 1980 Golden Bear. The contrast with his subsequent
      work on Rupert couldn't be more dramatic. And indeed, Dunbar's recent work has
      moved further into the safety of the nursery with directing chores on three of
      TVC's splendid Beatrix Potter adaptations: 'The Tale Of Peter rabbit And Benjamin
      Bunny' (1992), 'The Tale Of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle And Mr Jeremy Fisher' (1993),
      and 'The Tale Of Mr Tod' (1994)...

      Frog Song fans should keep their eyes peeled for the small, but perfectly
      formed, Ladybird tie-in book filled with splendid screen shots from the film.
      'We All Stand Together' was also released as a fantastic shaped picture disc
      featuring Macca and Rupert (similar to the photo, top). On video, a collectable
      edition was packaged to resemble a book, with a special owner's bookplate
      on the inside...

        Frog Song frogs - naturally...



      1985 BAFTA - Best Animated Short Film

      See also

      Rupert The Bear

      In the news

      The Hound: September 2003

      Rupert rights wrangle sorted...

      The Hound: April 2003

      Rupert rights wrangle...

      The Hound: June 2000

      Rupert Annual at auction...

     director:              Geoff Dunbar
     writers:               Geoff Dunbar, Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
     exec prods:         Paul and Linda McCartney
     music arranger:   George Martin
     song:                  'We All Stand Together'
                               words and music by Paul McCartney
                               performed with The Frog Chorus
                               (aka The King's Singers)
                               and St Paul's Choir
        voices:            Paul McCartney (Rupert/Edward/Bill/Boy Frog)
                              Winsor Davies (Rupert's Father/Father Frog)
                              June Whitfield (Rupert's Mother)
                              Linda McCartney


      On the web

       The Followers Of Rupert

       The official site for all things Rupert related, although The Frog Song
       doesn't get too much site space. Indeed, whilst there are plenty of
       Rupert sites out there (see the Rupert page), The Frog Song gets
       ne'er a mention that I can find. Oh well, I'll keep looking...

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