Daniel Johns has had a long and fascinating career outside of fronting Aussie icons Silverchair, but his new project is one of the most surprising yet.

As it happens, Johns is now working with an Australian producer and Canadian animation house to produce an animated children’s television show – with a soundtrack comprised of nothing less than the music of The Beatles.

Johns will be working on the project, appropriately titled Beat Bugs, as musical director and arranger, and will be joined by other music giants like Australian hitmaker Sia, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, pop icons Robbie Williams and Pink, and even comedian and presenter James Corden, News reports.

Beat Bugs is the brainchild of Newcastle director/screenwriter Josh Wakely, who previously worked with Johns on the 2011 short film My Mind’s Own Melody, and has now given Johns the monumental task of rearranging 34 Beatles tracks for the initial run of 52 episodes.

A big ask, but when overwhelmed, Johns would simply ask himself “what would John Lennon do”, he says.

“I would defy any musician to say no to this but I was scared because it’s so iconic and everyone knows every part of their songs,”

The new project is an ambitious one. The Beatles’ enormous catalogue of hits is notoriously difficult to gain access to, so securing the rights to have any of them re-recorded by modern artists was always going to be a tough ask.

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“This has been like my life’s work, for want of a less pretentious term, for five or six years,” Josh told the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that he “looked utterly crazy” in hindsight, hoping to nab the elusive tracks to use in an animated children’s show.

Ultimately, his vision won out, and he was able to convince everyone involved – including the most prominent obstacles in Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono – that the Beatles tracks were a vital part of the project.

“It absolutely needed that. It was the celestial rocket fuel for the series.”

The idea came about when Wakely re-listened to ‘All you Need Is Love’, now seen through the lens of fatherhood.

“I heard the chords and lyrics to ‘All You Need Is Love’ and thought wouldn’t it be powerful to bring that to children and to bring that to animation?”

“From that seed the whole idea would grow. I thought it was something that would often be a platitude but it’s a simple but brilliant thing to teach anyone, especially young person.”

After years of pursuing this singular vision, Wakely will finally be the one to deliver that world-famous message to a new generation of budding music fans.

The series is out now on Netflix and free-to-air channel 7Two.

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