“We All Stand Together,” the 1984 hit by Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus, will be released as a limited edition, shaped 7-inch vinyl picture disc on November 6 via MPL/Capitol/UMe. The accompanying short animated film in which it was the focal point, Rupert and the Frog Song, will also be reissued on YouTube on the same day, to mark the 100th birthday of favorite children’s character Rupert The Bear.
“Congratulations to Rupert on his 100th birthday,” says McCartney. “The great thing is he never looks a day older. Having been a fan of his since my early days in Liverpool, I know what he means to generations of young and old kids.
“In his character and attitudes to the world, he sums up the best of British tradition and reminds us of an innocence we would all love to cherish. So, congratulations, my little bear. Your fans are celebrating your 100th birthday, and I, for one, think you deserve a telegram from the Queen.”
The picture disc is shaped exactly as the 1984 original, and the new edition comes with a poster, and the original B-side “We All Stand Together (Humming Version).” Both have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton.
The hit, which reached No.3 in the UK, was produced by George Martin and features the King’s Singers and the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral. McCartney recorded it in 1980 and began work writing and producing the Rupert and The Frog Song film in 1981 with animator and eventual director Geoff Dunbar. It has now been fully restored in 4k and has a new audio mix.
The film had Paul voicing the character of Rupert and featured the voices of much-loved British comedy actors June Whitfield, as Rupert’s mother, and Windsor Davies (Father Frog). The film became the UK’s biggest selling video of 1985 in the UK and won both an Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Soundtrack and a BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film, as well as a Grammy nomination for McCartney.
“I’ve always loved animation. It started with Disney cartoons and went on from there. As a kid, I would always get the Rupert Annual at Christmas,” he says, recalling a specific drawing from the 1958 edition. “I remember getting the idea for a film project when looking through one of them. There was a standout image in color, and when I saw it, I could imagine a concert of frogs with them all doing different parts, a choir, and an orchestra, and I could almost hear the music.”
McCartney had originally intended to make a feature-length film, on which work began in the 1970s. He wrote songs and stories for it that remain unreleased, one of them even dating back to The Beatles’ Let It Be sessions in 1969.
“I had wanted to make a Rupert feature film for a while but didn’t realize what a difficult task it actually was,” he explains. “I remember telling John Lennon about it, and he encouraged me to have a go, which was great, but you need more than that to make a film. There were so many different things to think about, things like securing the rights. It was all too much. Eventually, I had the idea to make a short film with an animator I admired, Geoff Dunbar.”
The director shared Paul’s childhood love of the character and took his inspiration from the demo of “We All Stand Together.” He began to visualize the film based on McCartney’s music, and they traded ideas as the project came to life. The pre-digital, handcrafted film has this year undergone a painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration and regrading process.
“It’s delightful and absolutely thrilling,” says Dunbar of seeing the film again. “I’m totally blown away by it and the sound quality too. I’ve always maintained what a marvelous piece of work it was. It was seriously adored and a massive hit all over the world.”
The limited edition We All Stand Together picture disc is released on November 6. Pre-order it here.