SUMMARY: Rupert Bear witnesses a rarely performed ritual by a group of frogs in which they sing and dance to the song ‘We All Stand Together’.
WHY IT’S HERE: Produced and co-written by Paul McCartney, ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ was something of a labour of love for the former Beatle. Having grown up reading the Rupert comic strip, McCartney had acquired the rights to make this short in the early 70s. The end result is a beautiful 13 minute featurette which is testament to McCartney’s love of the character. Directed by Geoff Dunbar, with voices by McCartney, June Whitfield and Windsor Davies, the centrepiece of this polished piece is ‘We All Stand Together’, an original song by McCartney, which charted at number 3 in the UK. Lushly orchestrated, with accompaniment from the King Singers and the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, ‘We All Stand Together’ has been the cause of much unfair ridicule aimed at McCartney. The song has even been cited as a sign of his declining writing abilities and mocked for its light subject matter. One has to wonder how any serious critic could so completely ignore the context of the song, which was always meant to accompany the animation for a children’s film. It is true that ‘We All Stand Together’ isn’t much to get excited about on record but when seen with the visuals its the perfect accompaniment and works beautifully. ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ is a magnificent little achievement and a piece of British animation history that is cherished in some quarters as much as ‘The Snowman’.