04 November, 2009

The MUSIC and ANIMATION COLLECTION – Paul McCartney (2004)

One of the biggest rock-star perks is that you get to be taken seriously in a second career, usually in a field where no-one would have taken you seriously under any other circumstances. Madonna is an actress, Nick Cave is an author, David Bowie was an ISP for a while and everyone from P Diddy to Liam Gallagher has been a fashion designer.

As might befit his fame, Paul McCartney has a few secondary careers on the go. He is a music publisher, a talent school patron, a painter (apparently) and a producer of short animated films, three of which are collected on this disc. Tropic Island Hum, Tuesday and Rupert & the Frog Song are all directed by Geoff Dunbar with music and voices by Paul. Of the three, Tuesday works the best, probably because it was based on an existing story rather than being developed by Paul himself. Multitalented though he is, his stories can be thin on substance. What’s evident in all of them, and in the bonus material, is a great love for the form and the traditional way of animating with hand-painted cells.

The other thing this collection makes you notice, (if you hadn’t already) is what an incredibly versatile composer and musician Paul McCartney really is. Even someone deeply familiar with his style would probably have a hard time picking some of the music as McCartney if you didn’t already know. Of course, there will be those who complain that it’s all kids’ stuff. To them, I would say, DUH! The Frog Chorus is regarded by many – including big fans – as the defining moment in Macca plot-loss, but he wasn’t out to impress hipsters or rockers with it. It’s a kids’ song and as such, it works perfectly for what it is. If you’d rather hear him belt out Helter Skelter, you still have that option. He’s also pretty good at character voices, which is interesting considering the fact that every live action film he’s ever been in has shown that he can’t act his way out of a paper bag.

While it would ruin this disc’s G-rating, it’s a pity it doesn’t include another McCartney/Dunbar production, Daumier’s Law from the early 90s.

On the extras side, the making-of programs are interesting but the line tests and storyboards will probably only interest serious enthusiasts.

Highlight: Tuesday
Feature: * * * ½
Extras: * * *
Audio: Dolby 5.1


  1. We All Stand Together is a great song. It shows off his vocal talents like no other. I don't know why so many of his loyal fans "cringe" when they hear it. It's odd to me how so many of his songs make so many of his fans cringe. I can't think of any song by anybody that makes me cringe.

  2. I cringe at a few things he's done. Freedom, for one - although that too was an excellent piece of songcraft in terms of achieving what it set out to do, and being a tune that any busker can learn on the first listen.

    Then there's ruining one of the best pop tunes he's written in years with the lyric, "One two three four five, Let's go for a drive." But we know what to expect from him and we forgive him a lot.

  3. Not everything he touches is gold but what I don't understand is why so much of his work makes his fans cringe. Maybe I'm just less cringe-sensitive than his real fans.

  4. We're harshest on the ones we love the most.