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How Paul McCartney nearly made a Rupert The Bear movie

We All Stand Together from the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song, reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984. (Parlophone)As Sir Paul McCartney turns 80, we look back at his failed attempt to make a Rupert The Bear movie.Bears have been big business at the movies over the last few years,…

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How Paul McCartney nearly made a Rupert The Bear movie

'<i>We All Stand Together</i>‘ from the animated film <i>Rupert and the Frog Song</i> and reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984. (Parlophone)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_Y4j2S1Qflk_PLnFP6o4Vg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/Ri1vdF_otlFvZ8uUQsmCkQ–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5cb730c5230000bd026db468.jpeg” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_Y4j2S1Qflk_PLnFP6o4Vg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/Ri1vdF_otlFvZ8uUQsmCkQ–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5cb730c5230000bd026db468.jpeg”></img>
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<p><figcaption><em>We All Stand Together</em> from the animated film <em>Rupert and the Frog Song,</em> reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984. (Parlophone)</figcaption>
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<p>As Sir Paul McCartney turns 80, we look back at his failed attempt to make a <em>Rupert The Bear</em> movie.
<p>Bears have been big business at the movies over the last few years, with Winnie the Pooh enjoying box office success via <em>Christopher Robin</em>, and <em>Paddington</em> becoming a bona fide franchise smash thanks to two hugely popular films, with another on the way.
<p>But another bear — as cute as Winnie and Pads, and just as well-known in the UK — failed to get an invite to the celluloid party. Rupert — he of the yellow scarf, red jumper and tweed trousers — debuted in the pages of the <em>Daily Express</em> in 1920, and his adventures have been entertaining children of all ages ever since.<div class=Advertisement

But in spite of small screen success via multiple TV shows, Rupert is yet to make his big screen debut.

Though some 35 years ago, a Beatle came close.

Can buy me love

1972:  Rupert Bear, star of the new musical 'The Rupert Show', which is shortly to open at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London, has a rest in Hyde Park.  (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Rupert Bear, star of the new musical ‘The Rupert Show’, has a rest in Hyde Park. (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Paul McCartney enjoyed Rupert’s stories as a kid, and particularly loved the illustrations of Alfred Bestall, who spent more than 40 years crafting tales and pictures for the bear. But it wasn’t until he was telling those stories to his daughter Heather that McCartney saw the character’s full potential.

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With The Beatles coming to an end, McCartney was looking for new endeavours, so approached Daily Express editor Sir Max Aitken, and convinced him to sell the film rights. With Macca bemoaning the Americanisation of Winnie the Pooh by Walt Disney, he promised to keep U.S. accents out of this very British story.

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

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

McCartney planned an animated, feature-length movie musical, and wrote a series of songs for the project throughout the 1970s, with names like ‘Nutwood Scene’, ‘Walking the Meadow’, and ‘Rupert Song’. In the early 1980s, he approached Argentinian animator Oscar Grillo — with whom his wife Linda had worked on animated short Seaside Woman — and pitched shooting a Rupert short before embarking on a feature. But very quickly money became an issue.

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

Rupert and the Frog Song

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

(Original Caption) Sporting a preppie style button-down shirt and khakis, Paul McCartney was hard at work, late last month, at Air Studios mixing sound for his cartoon, Rupert the Bear.
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The singer-songwriter was still keen to make the short however, telling Stills “We’ve got all these ideas cooking but I don’t think anyone was eager to go into the $40m job without knowing a hell of a lot more.” So he turned to director Geoff Dunbar, whose first animation Lautrec won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, and whose second effort took home the Golden Bear in Berlin.

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

The story, which was written by Paul, Linda and Geoff, kicked off with Rupert going for a walk in the hills near his house. He says goodbye to his parents, and invites friends Edward Elephant and Bill Badger, though they are too busy to join him. So Rupert sets off alone, and soon encounters a kaleidoscope of butterflies, who lead him to a cave where a sign reads “Frogs Only From This Point.”

Rupert ignores the warning, enters, and bears witness to a musical performance that occurs just once every 200 years. There are amphibians everywhere, and they launch into the McCartney-penned ‘We All Stand 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 proceedings, the frogs disperse, and Rupert heads home for dinner.

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Both the song and film were a huge success, with the former reaching No.3 in the UK charts, and the latter becoming one of the bestselling videos of 1985. It also won the BAFTA for Best Animated Short, and screened theatrically alongside McCartney feature Give My Regards to Broad Street, where it was the undoubted highlight of that double-bill.

The Walt Disney influence

14th October 1947:  Alfred Bestall, author of the 'Rupert the Bear' children's books, reading 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. (Getty Images)

The animation ended with the words “That’s All For Now,” paving the way for the full-length feature. And McCartney had big plans, telling Stills: “I’m aiming for something equivalent to Walt Disney, in as much as it’s very highly skilled animation.”

He added “We’re playing with the idea of ‘How Disney can you go?’ Because obviously Rupert is anchored in the Bestall books. We took the ‘40s as our period, where Rupert is in full colour and where I think there is a Disney influence. The big discovery was to go back to the annuals. We began by taking a lot of license, saying ‘Well this is a film now, so we can do what we want.’ We moved in some directions that we had to come back from, and in the end we got closer and closer to Bestall.”

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While the title bear was a largely passive character in The Frog Song, he was going to be the focal point of the film. “He’d 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 go away from home, have an adventure and then come home for tea. That’s nice, but there’s no one, big, Cinderella-like story.

“I’ve got an idea for a full-length story which is kind of a quest. We’re spent a lot of time on it now and we’re starting to feel it’s coming together, that we’re cracking it. But then it’s like having written as song: I know when I’ve got a hit.”

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.

Sadly however, McCartney never found that hit. As Philip Norman explains in Paul McCartney: The Biography, “Another producer acquired the Rupert rights and insisted the feature-length version could only be made by his company and MPL [McCartney Productions Ltd.] in partnership. With that, the project withered away.”

Withered yes. But it didn’t completely die. McCartney is rumoured to have collaborated with George Martin on a new tune for the movie a few years later. While songs from those original Rupert sessions have been popping up on bootlegs ever since. Indeed many can still be found online if you know where to look.

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So with bears big business right now, it feels like the right time to resurrect this inter-species collaboration. So that Rupert can take his rightful place alongside Paddington and Pooh in cinemas.

And so that both Beatle and Bear can take one last shot at celluloid glory.

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FNAF: Security Breach Coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Xbox Breach It’s been about six months since release, but FNAF: Security Breach is coming out soon for more platforms. It launched on PC, PS4, and PS5 in late December 2021. While the game received praise for finally evolving its gameplay a bit, its release was not without technical issues. Yesterday, developer Steel Wool Studios…

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FNAF: Security Breach Coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Xbox Breach

It’s been about six months since release, but FNAF: Security Breach is coming out soon for more platforms. It launched on PC, PS4, and PS5 in late December 2021. While the game received praise for finally evolving its gameplay a bit, its release was not without technical issues.

Yesterday, developer Steel Wool Studios released a short teaser for the Xbox version of the game. It shows Monty Gator in a commercial for Gator Golf. After the reveal, there is a brief, but lengthy disclaimer for the death, dismemberment, and all around gruesome fates you may encounter in the game.

FNAF: Security Breach

Currently, all the main series Five Nights at Freddy’s games up to Security Breach are available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. FNAF: Security Breach is expected to come out for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S this fall. A collector’s edition for PS4 and PS5 is available for pre-order and will ship in December.

Monty’s amped for you to find him at Gator Golf! Will you be able to hit that hole-in-one? pic.twitter.com/swdQTewwb3

— Steel Wool Studios (@SteelWoolStudio) June 24, 2022

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Sometime next year, FNAF: Security Breach DLC titled Ruin will be coming out. It will be released for free. Ruin supposedly takes place after the “Burntrap Ending” of the game, which is considered to be the true ending of the game.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach is available for PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch. It is expected to come to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S in the fall.

Have you played all the FNAF games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jurassic World Evolution 2 New DLC Lets Players Work at Biosyn

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Dominion Biosyn Improved Sandbox Experience Jurassic World Evolution 2’s new expansion is going to be called Dominion Biosyn. It will allow players to play through the massive corporation’s first days. With that said, they will have an understanding on how hungry the company was at bringing back never-before-seen dinosaurs. That is,…

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Jurassic World Evolution 2 New DLC Lets Players Work at Biosyn

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Dominion Biosyn Improved Sandbox Experience

Jurassic World Evolution 2’s new expansion is going to be called Dominion Biosyn. It will allow players to play through the massive corporation’s first days. With that said, they will have an understanding on how hungry the company was at bringing back never-before-seen dinosaurs. That is, before everything takes a turn for the worse.

Fans of the franchise witness Biosyn working at full capacity in the movie Jurassic World Dominion. The corporation genetically created dinosaurs and other dangerous creatures at such an alarming pace. Jurassic World Evolution 2’s Biosyn campaign flows harmless from mission to mission. Players were successful with very little push back.

jurassic world evolution 2 new dlc biosyn

Some of the dinosaurs ended up getting sick while others tended to misbehave. However, gameplay was essentially a stress-free playthrough that allows players to interact with a lot of new dinosaurs. Examples of these new species are the Giganotosaurus, Pyroraptor, Quetzalcoatlus, and the Dimetrodon.

The campaign does not really ask that much from Jurassic World Evolution 2 players. Guest satisfaction is not a priority. The main focus is to build working habitats for the new dinosaurs. Players can build an invisible fence. However, this feature may be challenging to work with when the map is heavily wooded. These special fences look amazing in different habitats. Being able to see how the dinosaurs interact with the existing lot makes the game even more fun to play.

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With that said, players may want to check their overhead heat maps first so they can see the perimeter. This will make it easier for them to apply any ranger posts and feeding stations. The game’s underground railway system may also be difficult to chain together.

Jurassic World Evolution 2’s Dominion Biosyn expansion expands the core game in small yet meaningful ways. Overall, the DLC hugely improves the sandbox experience.

Are you playing the game? Let us know in the comments below.

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ConcernedApe Has Plans to Improve Modding in Stardew Valley

The Mod Squad Though the development of Haunted Chocolatier is well underway, Stardew Valley still has a massive active community. Developer ConcernedApe knows this and still has plans to improve the indie farming-sim. Though development has mostly slowed down, you can be sure there is more to come. Last week, when asked about plans for…

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ConcernedApe Has Plans to Improve Modding in Stardew Valley

The Mod Squad

Though the development of Haunted Chocolatier is well underway, Stardew Valley still has a massive active community. Developer ConcernedApe knows this and still has plans to improve the indie farming-sim. Though development has mostly slowed down, you can be sure there is more to come.

Last week, when asked about plans for Stardew Valley and Haunted Chocolatier, ConcernedApe gave a bit of insight. In the next Stardew update, 1.6 will not have very much in the way of new content, but it will be be more mod-friendly. Recognizing the modding community and their work, the next update will make it easier for modders.

Stardew Valley Beach Farms

As for Haunted Chocolatier, Eric Barone says that there will be some connections between the new game and Stardew Valley. It will not be a sequel, but it will have similarities, such as relationship-building with the NPCs. There will also likely be some shared world elements. Maybe a Joja billboard or something.

1) 1.6, yes. But it’s mostly a modding-focused update (makes modders lives easier). There will be some new content but it won’t be huge. 1.7? Who knows.


2) Yes, but I haven’t decided how deep the connection will be exactly. I want Haunted Chocolatier to have its own identity

— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) June 23, 2022

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Anything on update 1.7 or beyond for Stardew Valley is anyone’s guess. It doesn’t seem like even Barone has any plans at the moment. Stardew Valley is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices.

Do you like to use mods for Stardew Valley? Let us know in the comments below.

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