Tuesday, 1 October 2013

"High in the clouds" the movie

I have always been a fan of comic books and animated films, and so has Paul McCartney. Growing up in Norway in the sixties, cartoons on the TV was few and far between, but we did some times get to see an episode of "The Flintstones" or an old Popeye or the odd Donald Duck cartoon. In Norway, Donald was the main Disney character, having a weekly comic book, where Mickey Mouse was just another of the other Disney characters appearing in the magazine. I read that comic book on a weekly basis, and branched into super hero comic books at the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, in 1974 Paul and Linda McCartney hosted the annual Walt Disney Christmas cartoon show in the U.K., and the year after, they released the song "Magneto and Titanium Man" with their group, Wings. Clearly, McCartney was also a fan of both cartoons and comic books.

The Beatles, unknown to us, had a Saturday morning cartoon series of their own in U.S.A. from 1965-1967, before launching their own animated theatrical feature "Yellow Submarine" in 1968. It has been said that the Beatles' own involvement in the film was minimal, but their involvement has been greatly downplayed, they did actually come up with ideas for some of the film's scenes and characters.

Next, Paul McCartney acquired the rights to an animated version of the British comic strip character "Rupert The Bear" in 1970, the day after the Beatles officially broke up. However, his plan for making a Rupert film was a long and winding road, and the full length movie eventually became a short, "Rupert and the Frog Song" in 1984. Undaunted by the cartoons success, it's hit single song "We All Stand Together" became a pet hate of the British press, and was, for them, a never ending way to ridicule McCartney.

Paul McCartney's animation projects were also the subject of this blog post in 2009. At the end of that post, I announced the plans for an animated version of Paul McCartney's childrens novel "High in the clouds", but it now appears that those plans never came into fruitition. Until now.

RGH Entertainment and Unique Features announced Monday that the two companies will make an animated movie out of "High in the Clouds". Tony Bancroft will direct the movie from a script by Josh Klausner, who adapted the book McCartney wrote with Geoff Dunbar and Philip Ardagh.
It chronicles a squirrels quest to find Animalia, an animal sanctuary.

"Sir Paul McCartney is a masterful storyteller whose lyrics and music have captured our imaginations for over half a century," executive producer David Corbett said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be a part of his latest creative effort and look forward to working with our talented teams in Los Angeles, Amman and Manila to create a film worthy of the McCartney legacy."

Corbett is executive producing with RGH CEO Randa Ayoubi while Uniques Michael Lynne and Bob Shaye are producing. As with most of modern day animation films, the film will be made in 3D and is now set for a 2015 release. McCartney will compose several original songs for the film. “’High in the Clouds’ is a passion project for me,” McCartney said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be working in partnership with Randa Ayoubi and David Corbett at RGH, and David Michael Lynne and Bob Shaye of Unique Features. Working with the highly creative talent at these companies together with Josh Klausner and Tony Bancroft, we will be able to create a warm, funny and moving animated film that will resonate with worldwide audiences.”

This time, I'm hoping the film will materialise.

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