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Beatletoons: the Real Story behind the Cartoon Beatles Paperback – 15 Oct 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wynn Publishing Company,US (15 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964280876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964280878
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 19.7 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,965,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Author

Now, for the first time ever.you can discover the story behind the enormously successful Beatles cartoon series, which premiered in the United States in September of 1965. "Beatletoons"; includes interviews with many of the original series participants including creator Al Brodax, animators, directors, voice-over artists, scriptwriters, and more. The book also gathers a large collection of series memorabilia, many items never before seen, including cels, production drawings, character designs, storyboards, scripts, and photos of The Beatles at the cartoon premiere. "Beatletoons"; also includes a complete episode guide detailing each show in the series with production notes such as errors in some of the episodes. This historical reference book is a must-read for Beatle fans, but also a great read for "babyboomers", cartoon fans, and everyone in-between.

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"Ladies and gentlemen...the Beatles." Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Humphries on 20 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
Since I was born 5 years after the Beatles split up, I never got to see the cartoons. Wish I had. This book makes me want to see the animated "Fab Four" even more. The cartoon Beatles look more like them than those seen in Yellow Submarine. There are even drawings on how each Beatle stands, sits etc. A good buy for cartoon fans and Beatlemaniacs everywhere. Just waiting for the episodes to beleased on video or shown on the telly now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 40 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Beatletoons: Just when you thought you've seen it all... 29 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's rare that the very first book on a particular subject can stake claim to being the definitive source on that subject, but such is the case with Beatletoons; The Real Story Behind The Cartoon Beatles,by Mitchell Axelrod. Without a doubt, this is the only book you'll ever need to own about the Beatles Saturday morning cartoon series, which made a huge splash in the mid-60's, inspired the 1967 animated feature, Yellow Submarine, then disappeared into virtual obscurity for more than thirty years.
With the recent re-release of Yellow Submarine, Beatle fans around the world are suddenly rediscovering this gem of a weekly cartoon series which predated Submarine by three years and placed the animated mop tops in and out of all kinds of comical situations, ala Hard Day's Night. Author, Mitchell Axelrod has traveled far and wide to provide not only an in-depth look at the making of The Beatles cartoon series, but an inside look at the history of pre-digital animation, when each cartoon frame was sketched and colored by hand and photographed frame-by-frame.
Beatletoons traces the brief but successful history of the series from its inception at the height of "Beatlemania" to its demise with the arrival of the Sgt. Pepper era, when the Beatles new look and new sound became too difficult and controversial to be presented in cartoon form. Using original proposals, letters, and early memos between King Features executives, the book provides a captivating look at the business behind turning the hottest rock and roll group in the world into a marketable Saturday morning cartoon that would appeal to young and old alike.
Author Mitch Axelrod has been an avid Beatle fan since the age of three or four, when the Beatles cartoon series first aired. The series was a huge hit in America and in several other countries, but was never aired in England and was never, until recently, a very big hit with the four Beatles themselves. Perhaps for this reason, Apple Corps, LTD., the Beatles business company, has rarely licensed the cartoon episodes for TV broadcast over the years, with the exception of a brief, but successful run on MTV back in the 1980's. It was around this time that Axelrod began collecting cartoon episodes on video tape and eventually purchased the complete 16mm original film collection of all 76 episodes. From then on, Axelrod devoted himself to becoming a Beatle cartoon afficionado.
When he learned that many of the series animators, writers, and other contributors to the original series were still around and, in many cases, still very much involved in cartoon production, he set off on a mission throughout Europe to track these people down and get their stories. Many, he learned, played major roles in the production of Yellow Submarine, which was recently rereleased, but had even fonder memories of the original TV series. As he shared pints with John Coates, Norman Kaufman, and other unsung heroes of both The Beatles Cartoons and Yellow Submarine, he was treated to first-hand stories about the Beatles' reactions to the series, how animators had to recruit their teenaged children to learn which Beatle played which instrument, etc. And, as the icing on the cake, he even spent a few hours in the offices at Apple, the Beatles business corporation, discussing plans for a future re-release of the cartoon series.
So, Beatletoons is in no way another cheesy cash-in on the Beatles enduring success. The fact that the author shelved it for almost four years while waiting for a publisher who would handle it with the care and dignity he felt it deserved is a tribute to the fact that this book is a labor of love. And the fact that so many of the original participants in the series have lent so much support gives Beatletoons an even greater shot of credibility.
I highly recommend this book to all Beatle fans who think they've seen and read everything that exists about the Beatles. Beatletoons is a quick read that tells the entire story of a lost piece of Beatles history. Be sure to pick one up for the Beatle fans on your list this holiday season!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Back Story for Brodax' Up Periscope Yellow 4 Dec. 2004
By Al Brodax - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I produced this series for the ABC network. It was a huge hit and cleared the path for my production of the motion picture, YELLOW SUBMARINE. Axelrod's book was well researched and offers the complete story graphically and otherwise of the series. I was very pleased with it. Makes a wonderful X-Mas gift.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Saw the TV show? Now read the book! 30 Jun. 2001
By Mark Dillman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At age 12, I delighted in watching the Beatles cartoon series when it premeired on ABC in 1965. Along with radio and bubblegum cards, it was for me a major connection to the Beatles. As much a fan of animation as I am to rock 'n' roll, it was a thrill to read "Beatletoons" for two reasons: (1) the author's passion for his subject matter which really shows and (2) the extent to which the author shares technical data regarding production and marketing of the TV series without apparent fear of going over the heads of the readers.
These days general overviews of the Beatles seem to be no longer needed (the Beatles recent "Anthology" being the BIG exception). Books that focus on specific aspects of the Beatles are what fans appreciate the most. "Beatletoons" is an excellent example.
The only improvements that I can suggest for future editions, if any, are that the book be printed on a higher grade of paper and with more color artwork from the cartoons.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Trip Down Memory Lane With A Real Expert! 12 Dec. 2003
By Ted Aitken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Everybody that's famous has a bubblegum card or a cartoon series. That's what Lucy in 'Peanuts' said. The Beatles were popular enough to have both! The author has chosen to research and document the more fun of the two.
This is an in-depth study of the Beatles cartoon series that aired on Saturday mornings in the height of Beatlemania. It looks like, from the material, Mitch has a real passion for the subject. I can remember watching them when they first aired. I can remember watching them in syndication. Both my children watched them on recorded videos and we still continue to have our Beatles Cartoon marathons. So you might say I have a bit of a passion for the subject as well. But after reading this, I have to admit... this is the tome on this particular subject.
The product deals with everything about the Beatles cartoons. Like how much an episode cost to make (he's got copies of the receipts), where the episodes where made (they were made in studios all over the world... even hear in Canada! Who were the different artists, producers, voices. Every detail! There is an episode by episode write up that even points out the goof-ups. I guess they would Beatles cartoons out-takes. Did you know there are three different openings... I didn't. What are the original artists doing now... you would be surprised. Some of them have moved onto some pretty famous work.
If you are part of that generation that watched these or you are into animation, then you need this book.
I'm on my third reading and I'm still gleening nuggets of information about these treasures.
Let's hope that Apple in all their corporate wisdom decide to release a DVD box set of the Beatles cartoons. If they do, this book will be invaluable to that market.
Thanks Mr. Axelrod... this is a entertaining book on an entertaining subject!
Vive les Beatles! (even in cartoon form)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I really do. It brings back memories of a fun cartoon that aired on Saturday mornings from 1965-69. I remember when I was a very little girl, loving the cartoon. My favorite part was the sing-a-longs because I could read the lyrics while the real Beatles (a recording of a song) sang.
This book is a treat any Beatles fan will love. The stories behind those who created the cartoon, the input the Beatles themselves offered and the rationale for using American actors to do the Beatles' voices ("American kids would find American voices easier to understand") and the individual characteristics of each animated Beatle.
Mr. Axelrod has done a wonderful service in providing us with this book. It will not only bring back memories for those who enjoyed the cartoons, it will make everyone yearn to watch these cool cartoons and bring smiles to faces of all ages. I agree -- I would have liked to see more color cells. I am not disappointed; I am DELIGHTED. This book is a wonderful gift and something that will bring joy to anyone lucky enough to receive it.
I give it two thumbs up, a round of applause and a hearty YEAH, YEAH, YEAH! I love it!
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