The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. Their best-known lineup, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, became the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, introducing more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century.
Involvement with Disney
Although they never acted in Disney movies, the appearances, numbers, hairstyles, looks, accents, speech, and occupations of Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and Dizzy from The Jungle Book, and a group of singing bug characters called "The Bugs" from the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Rocky Mountain Lie" were based on them.
In 2009, Disney and Apple Corps announced a CGI motion capture remake of the Beatles' 1968 animated film, Yellow Submarine, to be directed by Robert Zemeckis through his studio, ImageMovers Digital. The film, set to feature the voice talents of Dean Lennox Kelly as Lennon, Peter Serafinowicz as McCartney, Cary Elwes as Harrison, and Adam Campbell as Starr, was canceled in 2011, following the closure of ImageMovers Digital and the box office failures of ImageMovers' A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms. Motion capture performance of the Beatles was to be performed by California-based tribute band The Fab Four, which regularly performed at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Terrace in the early 2000s.
Some of the former Beatles were originally slated as guests for different episodes of The Muppet Show, but due to budget and schedule conflicts, these episodes were never produced. McCartney's band, Wings, was considered for an episode. Jerry Nelson said in a 1999 interview, "They tried their best to get the Beatles, Paul was willing to do it, but we had to hire the whole band… When he was with Wings. It was too big time. We just didn't have the money. I think George would have done it, but they kept trying to negotiate with Paul... Ringo probably would have too. If they had asked me, I would have said, 'Hey! Get them! Don't dicker... Get the ones who are ready to commit.'"
References in Disney Media
In the Marsupilami episode; "Royal Foil", Marsupilami mentioned Richard Starkey (Ringo's birth name). Additionally, the characters of Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom have speech patterns modeled after the Beatles.
The band's song "Here Comes the Sun" is played in the 1998 remake The Parent Trap, although it is a cover version by Bob Khaleel. However, in the same scene where the song is played, the famous cover of the album Abbey Road was recreated by Hallie Parker and Elizabeth James crossing the same zebra crossing shown on the cover.
Rocket Raccoon is inspired by the Beatles song and character "Rocky Raccoon".
In the intro for 101 Dalmatian Street, feet resembling the Beatles are seen crossing the street, recreating the cover for Abbey Road.
- "I'm Looking Through You"
- The Muppet Show episode 119
- "In My Life"
- The Muppet Show episode 121
- "She Loves You"
- The Muppet Show episode 407
- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
- The Muppet Show episode 419
- "With a Little Help from My Friends"
- The Muppet Show episode 419
- The Muppet Show episode 503
- "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
- The Muppet Show episode 517
- Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses
- "Good Day Sunshine"
- The Muppet Show episode 522
- "All Together Now"
- Kermit Unpigged
- "Here Comes the Sun"
- "Drive My Car"
- Cars 3 (covered by Jorge Blanco)
- During The Jungle Book production, the development staff had beside thoughts of the famous band to voice the four vultures: Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and Dizzy. But because of an extra work planning, John Lennon declined the offer.
- Sgt. Floyd Pepper's name and usual attire references the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Janice and Zoot referenced the group in a Muppet Show at the Dance segment:
- Zoot: Say, do you wanna come to my place and listen to the beetles?
- Janice: Oh, I love their music!
- Zoot: Not music, I mean real beetles!
- In episode 106 of Muppets Tonight, Johnny Fiama shows off his Tony Bennett album, Sergeant Tony's Lonely Hearts Club Gang, which he claims came out a week before the album with "those other guys" (referring to the Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).
- In episode 201, Rizzo jokes that the only song that can possibly come up with in the commissary is "I Wanna Hold Your Ham", referencing the Beatles' song "I Wanna Hold Your Hand".
- A poster that came with copies of Dinosaurs: Big Songs had a photo of the four main family members crossing a street in Pangaea, parodying the cover of Abbey Road.
- The Beatles are referred to in the Schoolhouse Rock! song "A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing".
- The Muppet Show band is dressed as the Beatles from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in a 1977 puzzle.
- In Muppet King Arthur #2, Baskerville sings "Baby You Can Drive My Car", which wins the heart of Merlin, but fails to phase Arthur and Morgana Le Fay, who have no idea what a car is.
- The title of The Green Album is a reference to the Beatles' record, The White Album.
- The 1997 Muppet calendar called "With the Mupples" is a parody of With the Beatles album cover.
- In The Muppet Show episode 517, Statler introduces "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", noting how they had hoped to have the Beatles themselves perform it but had not heard back from any of them, when Waldorf rushes on stage with breaking news:
- Waldorf: Wait a second! I just talked to Ringo.
- Statler: Oh, great! What did he say?
- Waldorf: No.
- Paul McCartney Joins Johnny Depp & Crew For 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'
- "'Cars 3' Receives an Impressive Two-Soundtrack Release (Covers, Originals & Score) [UPDATED Track-Listing & Pre-Order]". Pixar Post (May 18, 2017). Retrieved on May 20, 2017.