Netflix subscribers will soon be able to introduce children to the music of The Beatles in a new way with Beat Bugs, a CG-animated kids show inspired by the legendary band, Netflix announced today.
Beat Bugs was created by Australian filmmaker Josh Wakely, who told USA Today that he has "very strong memories as a child of imagining what it would be like in the world of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' or 'Yellow Submarine.'" The series follows the adventures of five friends — Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz, and Walter, the eponymous buglike creatures — as they learn about the world by exploring their backyard in the suburbs.
Netflix has already ordered two seasons of Beat Bugs, according to USA Today. The seasons are broken up into 26 11-minute episodes that will run in half-hour pairs. Each episode will focus on a single Beatles song, with the show using the tunes to "to tell uplifting and life-affirming stories filled with hope and melody," according to a press release from Netflix. Wakely has secured the rights for more than 300 Beatles songs from Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a process that took three years because of how tough it is to license the band's music.
The teaser for Beat Bugs features a cover of "Magical Mystery Tour" by Eddie Vedder, and mentions a few others: "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" by P!nk, "Drive My Car" by Chris Cornell and "Blackbird" by Sia. Artists listed in the press release include The Shins, Regina Spektor and James Corden. Beat Bugs will include covers of Beatles classics such as "All You Need is Love," "Come Together" and "Penny Lane."
Netflix is undertaking a major effort to expand its original content offering, with a $6 billion investment in 2016. That includes a focus on family-oriented shows like Beat Bugs — Ted Sarandos, the company's chief content officer, said last month that Netflix is "doubling down on kids and families," and plans to add 20 family-friendly shows to its slate this year.
"Josh and his team have not only developed a compelling children's show filled with life lessons, but they've built a show that will transcend generations and have parents and grandparents enjoying right alongside their little ones," said Andy Yeatman, director of children's content at Netflix, in today's press release.
Beat Bugs is scheduled to premiere this summer.