February 11, 2016
Netflix Sets Animated Series Featuring Beatles Songs
Hilary Lewis / The Hollywood Reporter
‘Beat Bugs’ will feature Eddie Vedder, P!nk, Sia, James Corden and others covering well-known songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Netflix announced on Wednesday that it will premiere a new animated children’s series this summer, featuring superstar covers of some of the most well-known Beatles songs.
Beat Bugs was created by Josh Wakely, who will direct, write and produce the series following a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing for worldwide rights to record covers of the John Lennon/Paul McCartney “Northern Songs” catalogue, featuring some of the most well-known Beatles songs.
The series will incorporate songs from the Fab Four to tell uplifting and life-affirming stories. The tracks, woven into the narrative of each episode, will be covered by Sia, Eddie Vedder, P!nk, James Bay, The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, Chris Cornell, Regina Spektor, James Corden and Birdy, with additional artists joining the project set to be announced.
The songs featured include “Help!,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Come Together,” “Penny Lane,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour.”
The series will feature five best friends (Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz and Walter), aka the Beat Bugs, who band together to explore and learn in their overgrown suburban backyard.
Beat Bugs is the first series from Wakely’s independent film and TV production and development banner, Grace: A Storytelling Company, which he co-owns with executive producer Trevor Roy. The series is a co-production among Netflix, Thunderbird and Beyond Screen Production, with animation being done by Thunderbird-owned Atomic Cartoons.
“Bringing Beat Bugs to life on Netflix and having a platform to re-imagine this universally acclaimed music for families around the world is an exhilarating and rewarding experience,” Wakely said in a statement. “Our partners have been fantastic in making this concept a vivid reality, and this is a great example of the innovative and fresh storytelling at the heart of Grace’s ethos.”
Netflix’s director of original kids content, Andy Yeatman, added: “It’s a rare occasion to be presented with a truly one-of-a-kind children’s show that is so perfectly suited to Netflix. Josh and his team have not only developed a compelling children’s show filled with life lessons, but they’ve built a show that will transcend generations and have parents and grandparents enjoying right alongside their little ones.”
Meanwhile, Vedder said, “Personally I’m very grateful to be part of Josh’s vision. A tremendous show for kids that combines beautiful animation with great stories and obviously some of the best songs ever written.”
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