I rarely get excited about kids TV shows but I’m buzzing about Beat Bugs. It’s a truly extraordinary show that kids, parents and grandparents will love. It’s a new animated series on Channel 7TWO inspired by the music of The Beatles.
Beat Bugs follows the adventures of five cute young bugs, Buzz, Crick, Jay, Kumi and Walter who reside in an overgrown suburban backyard. The series is built around the iconic music of The Beatles and each episode features a different adventure based on a particular Beatles song. Aimed at kids aged five to seven (but will appeal to younger and older) it introduces a new generation of kids to The Beatles. Songs on the show include hits like Come Together, Penny Lane, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, With a Little Help from My Friends and Yellow Submarine.
The Beat Bugs series launches on July 25 in Australia on 7TWO but a special preview is available now on the Yahoo 7Plus website. My six-year daughter and I watched two episodes of the show ‘Help!’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ and agreed that we loved Beat Bugs.
Here’s the official Netflix trailer.
Visually the series is gorgeous. The creative animation brings to life the evocative music of The Beatles. The musical segment Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is particularly stunning. These unforgettable lyrics are brought to life with Lucy the dragonfly with kaleidoscope eyes, newspaper taxis and cellophane flowers of yellow and green.
After growing up listening to the music of The Beatles, it’s a bit surreal to have the music being used in a kids TV show but the concept works. The Beatles melodies are timeless and fit in perfectly with the premise of the show. Keen-eared fans will even notice how some of the dialogue incorporates The Beatles lyrics.
My daughter enjoyed the cute characters and interesting plot. I appreciated the positive messages intertwined in the storyline such as teamwork, community and love. And we both loved the music! Long after the show finished, we were still singing ‘All you Need is Love and ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’.
Watching my daughter sing along with the melodies of the music while watching the imaginative stories was unforgettable. For adults, these songs are so familiar and it’s not until you see children getting excited about these tunes do you realise the enduring appeal of The Beatles. I actually had to explain to my child that all of these songs are more than 45 years old.
As you would expect the music in this series is superb. Artists such as Sia, Eddie Vedder and The Shins have recorded covers for use in the series. The rendition of ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ performed by P!nk gave me goosebumps as are many of the other tracks. The Beat Bugs soundtrack is now available having been released globally released by Republic Records/Universal Music on August 3rd.
The show also has a Newcastle connection. Josh Wakely who wrote, directed and produced the series is originally from Newcastle while fellow Novocastrian Daniel Johns (ex-Silverchair) is the musical director. A major roadblock in the project was obtaining the rights to The Beatles music catalog. It took a number of years but eventually Josh acquired the worldwide rights to the Lennon/McCartney ‘Northern Songs’ music catalogue. From this extensive catalogue of over 300 songs, Josh will be using 50 songs in the first two seasons of Beat Bugs.
A father himself to a three year old boy, Josh hopes the show will inspire a new generation of Beatles fans. “There’s a reason for the mania that surrounds the Beatles,” he says. “Children love being around joyful music and bright melodies. Bringing that to a new generation with Beat Bugs has been my life goal.” It took Josh six years from the conception of the idea until now. “The idea was for a children’s show that would be life affirming with the message of all you need is love”.
So whether it’s travelling through strawberry fields, living in a yellow submarine or going on a magical mystery tour, watch Beat Bugs and get ready to rediscover the music of the Beatles with a new generation.
The Beat Bugs series launches on July 25 with its world premiere on 7TWO but a special preview is available now on the Yahoo 7Plus website.The Beat Bugs soundtrack has been globally released by Republic Records/Universal Music exclusively on Apple Music on August 3. Visit the new Beat Bugs website for more information about the show, episode excerpts and activities.