The Beatles is an American animated television series featuring the fanciful and musical misadventures of the popular English rock band of the same name. It ran from 1965 to 1969 on ABC in the US (only 1965 to 1967 was first run; later transmissions were reruns). The series debuted on September 25, 1965 and ended on September 7, 1969. A total of 39 episodes were produced. The series was shown on Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM EST until the fall of 1968, when it was moved to Sunday mornings at noon. Each episode has a name of a Beatles song, so the story is based on its lyrics and it is also played at some time in the episode. The original series was rebroadcast in syndication by MTV and Nickelodeon in 1986 and 1987.
The series consisted of short animated stories that essentially were intended to set up the visual illustration of Beatles songs that were played in their entirety. In addition, there were sing along sequences with simpler imagery complementing the full lyrics of particular songs.
The series became notorious for its static depiction of the band in their early "moptop-and-suit" look as depicted in the live action film, A Hard Day's Night, even though the band moved beyond it during the series' run. The producers did attempt to acknowledge the band members' contemporary appearances with photographs of them in the series' title sequence during its production run.
The band members themselves had nothing to do with the series' production beyond the use of their music recordings. American actor Paul Frees did the voices of John and George while Lance Percival (of the Carry On series) did the voices of Paul and Ringo. In fact, the band disdained the series (it is reported , however, that the band members enjoyed the cartoons in later years), which discouraged them from participating significantly in the later animated feature film, Yellow Submarine. Only when the band saw and were impressed by the Yellow Submarine ' s finished footage did they realize the film was a more ambitious creation. As a result, they agreed to appear in a short live action epilogue for it. In fact, Yellow Submarine producer Al Brodax and director George Dunning were involved in the production both of the animated series and of Yellow Submarine.
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