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Beatle McCartney Dreams of Making Disney-like Feature

Sir Paul McCartney would someday like to make a traditional Disney-like animated feature and is currently developing a story that he first wants to publish as a children's book. In fact, he told journalists, including REUTERS, that it's been his ambition since he was a Beatle back in the '60s. As part of a baby step toward achieving that goal, McCartney has produced PAUL MCCARTNEY: THE MUSIC AND ANIMATION COLLECTION, a DVD to be released through Miramax Home Ent. on April 13. The DVD contains three animated musical shorts made in collaboration with director Geoff Dunbar.

The two-year labor of love includes Rupert the Bear in "Rupert and the Frog Song," Wirral the Squirrel in "Tropic Island Hum" and a community of frogs in "Tuesday," based on a book by David Wiesner.

McCartney's Rupert animation was already a success in Britain as the top-selling video of 1985, accompanied by the chart hit "We All Stand Together." Sir George Martin, the longtime Beatles producer, arranged the music for "Tropic Island Hum."

The 61-year-old McCartney, who grew up adoring the Disney animated classics when he was a lad in Liverpool, England, has been pursuing his interest in animation for more than 20 years: creating characters, writing stories, consulting on the look using the hand-drawn Disney style for inspiration, doing voices and composing the music and singing the songs.

McCartney credits Walt Disney with giving us "a compassion for animals," and cites BAMBI, THE JUNGLE BOOK and THE FOX AND THE HUNT for their conscious raising, but suggested that LADY AND THE TRAMP is his personal favorite.

As for CGI, McCartney says it certainly has its place but that traditional animation has a softer, warmer, more artistic look. He would use CGI for coloring, but wishes to stay away from the shiny, squeaky clean look of 3D animation.

The PAUL MCCARTNEY: THE MUSIC AND ANIMATION COLLECTION will be screening in L.A. at the The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre on April 17, 2004. For more information, visit AWN's Calendar of Events.