Netflix are announcing new shows left right and centre at the moment – with everything from a revamped Black Mirror to hip-hop musicial extravaganza The Get Down on their books for the coming months. Yet the show that’s tickled our fancy the most is Beat Bugs, an animated kids series that owes everything to John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Beat Bugs premieres on August 3 and despite nobody seeing it yet, it’s evidently so good that its already been commissioned for second series, which will be released on November 18. Using over 50 songs from the Lennon/McCartney songbook, the show sees a gang of five bugs all learning and growing with each other to the soundtrack of a Beatles classic in each 11 minute long episode. But the bugs won’t be doing all of that growing up alone. Oh no. joining them will be a host of musical guests, from Eddie Vedder and Sia to Regina Spektor, Of Monsters and Men, Pink, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Frances and Aloe Blacc, James Bay, The Shins, The Lumineers, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Cornell. Blimey.
I mean, even if you’re not quite into anthropomorphised insects, you’re probably into a roll call of A listers singing some of the greatest songs of all time, right?
The show’s been devised by writer Josh Wakely – who’s also working on programmes based on the music of Bob Dylan and of the Motown record label, the latter of which he’s brilliantly described as “Banksy for children as done by Pixar”. Speaking to the New York Times, Wakely explained that making Beat Bugs was kind of a no-brainer. “I realised that these extraordinary melodies would make sense for children, but also the full level of imagination and visual imagery that the Beatles had in their songs,” he said. “What is it to go into a strawberry field forever? What would it be like to actually be inside that yellow submarine?” He’s got a point.
It’s not just all brightly coloured bugs though – the show’s important because it’s managed to do something very rare – which is secure the licensing to some of the most well known songs ever penned. But it didn’t come cheap. To have access to 250 odd tracks cost an estimated $10 million and over three years of deal-making. And after all that hard work, the show definitely deserves a watch, no?
Check out the full list of guests and the tune’s they’ll be singing below.
Beat Bugs Season 1
P!nk: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
James Corden: “I’m A Loser”
Aloe Blacc: “Rain”
Robbie Williams: “Good Day Sunshine”
Eddie Vedder: “Magical Mystery Tour”
Frances: “In My Life”
The Shins: “The Word”
The Lumineers: “Honey Pie”
Beat Bugs Season 2
Rod Stewart: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Chris Cornell: “Drive My Car”
Regina Spektor: “And Your Bird Can Sing”
Jennifer Hudson: “I’ll Follow The Sun”
Of Monsters and Men: “Eleanor Rigby”
James Bay: “Hey Bulldog”
Tori Kelly: “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”