Beat Bugs

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Beat Bugs
Created by Josh Wakely
Directed by Josh Wakely
Voices of
Opening theme "All You Need Is Love" performed by Andy Bull, Gossling, iOTA, Lisa Mitchell and Sullivan.
Ending theme "All You Need Is Love"
Country of origin
  • Australia
  • Canada
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26, 1 special
Executive producer(s)
  • Trevor Roy
  • Mikael Borglund
  • Ron Saunders
  • Josh Wakely
  • Ivan Fecan
  • Damian Trotter
  • Rob Simmons
  • Tim Gamble
  • Frank Giustra
  • Martin Bandier
  • Josh Wakely
  • Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Running time 12 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) – present
External links

Beat Bugs is an Australian-Canadian animated children's television series, created by Josh Wakely, and produced for Netflix by Grace: A Storytelling Company and Thunderbird Entertainment. The series is centered around five young anthropomorphised insects who live in an overgrown suburban backyard and learn life lessons while having adventures. Wakely acquired worldwide rights from Sony/ATV Music Publishing to a catalogue of music by the Beatles to feature in the series. The program features versions of songs by the popular rock group, performed by contemporary recording artists and interwoven into the narrative.

Beat Bugs was produced in association with Beyond Entertainment, Atomic Cartoons and the Seven Network, an investor of the program. The series was first made available worldwide on Netflix on August 3, 2016 after premiering in Australia exclusively on 7TWO on July 25, 2016.

The program received an AWGIE Award in animation for an episode script in 2016, an AACTA Award for Best Children's Television Series and a Daytime Emmy Award in 2017. The second season premiered in November 2016 on Netflix and 7TWO, and was followed by a 48-minute special in November 2017.


Beat Bugs is a series aimed at five to seven year olds, set in an overgrown suburban backyard, which serves as an environment that five young bug friends regularly explore.[1][2] To the bugs, the backyard is known as "Village Green". Songs by the Beatles, such as "Come Together" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", are interwoven into the narrative of the episodes.[2] These versions are performed by popular recording artists such as Pink and Sia. The songs often influence the life lessons that the young bugs learn.[2][3]

Wakely described the series as "about teaching kids, but with a bit of humour and not in a patronising way." He stated that the message of the song "All You Need is Love" was the main idea he wanted to portray.[1][3][4]


The series revolves around five young bugs, known as the "Beat Bugs", who are all friends and live in the backyard together.


Jay (Ashleigh Ball; singing Andy Bull)[5] is a curious, ambitious and impulsive beetle. He often desires to try out new things, and his mischievous interest in the world frequently leads him into trouble.[3][6]

Crick (Lili Beaudoin; singing SULLIVAN and Martha Marlow),[7] a cricket, is an inventor who is very intelligent and creative. His inventive mind helps him create devices which help the group out, however sometimes he struggles to see the value in his work.[8]

Walter Walrus (Charles Demers; singing iOTA and Daniel Johns)[9] is a slug with a big heart and exceptional storytelling skills. He is very theatrical and loves performing, although he can be highly emotional and sometimes his fear and self-absorption can get in his way.[10]

Buzz (Rebecca Husain; singing Gossling),[11] a fruit fly, is the youngest of the bugs and is very optimistic and enthusiastic. However, sometimes she is easily scared or experiences sadness, and does not always think for herself.[3][12]

Kumi (Erin Mathews; singing Lisa Mitchell)[13] is an imaginative ladybug with a zest for life who is very protective of her friends. She is confident and the natural leader of the group, and has developed her own dance-involved variety of martial arts.[3][14]


The series features other bugs and creatures who inhabit the backyard and make occasional recurring appearances.

Postman Bee (Brian Drummond; singing Wesley Schultz)[15] is a bee who, as his name implies, works as a postal worker. He is never late and always gets his deliveries right, unless he is feeling sad about something. He cares a great deal for his grandmother, Granny Bee (Nicole Oliver)[16] who was once a famous tv chef known for her honey pie.

Doris the Spider (Gwynyth Walsh)[17] is an elderly arachnid who is always filling her garden with beautiful art pieces that are made from her webbing and various other objects found in the backyard. She teaches the bugs to see the beauty in everything.

Geoff the Cockroach (Peter Kelamis)[18] is an opportunistic roach who acts like a sleazy business man. He typically sells homes to the residents in the backyard, implying that he is a realtor. He gets along with Alex the Stinkbug.

Alex the Stinkbug (Fred Ewanuick)[19] is a jokey bug that is always farting. His farts are powerful enough to power machines built by Crick. He can be uncouth, but is very friendly. He gets along with Geoff the Cockroach.

Dr. Robert (Ian Hanlin)[20] is a mantis in the medical profession. He is very friendly and has perfect bedside manners. He always seems to know the perfect treatment for certain ailments.

Katter (Britt McKillip; singing Frances)[21] is a pretty caterpillar who later transforms into a butterfly. She is soft-spoken and shy, but is very friendly with everyone. She is best friends with Morgs and Millie.

Morgs (David Paul Grove; singing James Corden)[22] is a very nervous and self conscious stick bug. He has trouble standing up for himself and wishes that he wasn't "just a stick". He is best friends with Katter and Millie.

Millie Pede (Maryke Hendrikse; singing Tori Kelly)[23] is a multifooted millipede who is kind and reserved. She is unsure of her dancing ability, but with help from her friends learns to do so effectively. She is best friends with Morgs and Katter.

Mr. Sun (Michael Caton; singing Robbie Williams and Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens)[24] is the large all seeing star during the daytime. Despite his largeness, he can speak directly to the bugs and has even sent and received letters from them. In All Together Now, Mr. Sun now has a beard.

Mr. Moonlight (Robert Alexander)[25] is Mr. Sun's nighttime counterpart. He can be playful with the bugs, but sometimes feels that they like Mr. Sun more than him.

Dr. Robot (Peter Kelamis; singing Ev Jones)[26] is a special robot that Crick built to help his friends while Dr. Robert was on vacation. Despite a few kinks here and there he has proven to be efficient. When Dr. Robert returned, Dr. Robot became Crick's assistant for his experiments.

Blackbird (Bethany Brown; singing Sia, Regina Spektor and Jennifer Hudson)[27] is a bird that always has her head in the clouds, both figuratively and literally. The bugs helped her damaged wing and in return, she stuck around to help them in anyway she could.

Mr. Mudwasp (Andrew Hansen; singing Daniel Johns),[28] a wasp, and working man who lives in a hive that he is constantly renovating. He is always trying to speak in foreign terms. He has numerous wasp children with his constantly pregnant wife, Mrs. Mudwasp (Ashleigh Ball).[29] They were once identified as the Hendersons. Mr. Mudwasp has also been identified as Baz.[30]

The Ants (Kyle Rideout)[31] are the colony workers of the backyard. They all think uniformly as one and thus have a hard time acting as separate people. They all live in one ant hill and become lost if anything happened to it.

Glowies are glow bugs that act as a full light source for all the bugs. They always seem to be angry or annoyed at everyone, possibly because they are constantly used all the time and are treated more like objects. Nevertheless, they do their job effectively.

Octopus (Jay Brazeau)[32] is an talking sprinkler toy that resembles a purple octopus. He only communicates with the bugs and provides comfort to everyone by spraying water. However, he is only capable of doing so when the hose he is connected to is on.

Bulldog (Colin Murdock; singing James Bay)[33] is a big friendly slobbering dog. He initially had no home or way to communicate with the bugs, but Crick builds a translator and is adopted by the humans.

Me-ow is a cat that is owned by the humans. He roams about the yard and, while not necessarily mean, is shown to be rather dangerous to the bugs as it tends to attack and play with them.

Gigants (JR Bourne and Erin Mathews) Gigants are what the bugs refer to humans, whom the bugs are fascinated by. They live in the "Big House" at the edge of the backyard. They have a daughter named Julia, and have a second daughter in All Together Now.

  • Julia (Rebecca Husain) is the first born daughter of the humans who live in the "Big House". Jay seems to relate to her.[6] As of All Together Now, Julia becomes a big sister after her mom has a baby girl.


These are single episode characters, though occasionally they will make cameos in later episodes.

Lucy (Rebecca Husain; singing P!nk),[34] a dragonfly, is a sleep doctor who helped Buzz get to sleep by helping her visualize calming images. She is known for her wings resembling diamonds and her kaleidoscopic eyes.

Boris the Frog (Doron Bell Jr.; singing Aloe Blacc)[35] is a friendly amphibian who loves to play in the rain and mud. He helps the bugs appreciate the weather and shows them they can still have fun.

Jasper (Colin Murdock; singing Eddie Vedder)[36] a showman-like grasshopper who planned to take the bugs on a Magical Mystery Tour. Unfortunately, he is completely incapable or rather ignorant of what exactly he has done and is shown to be way in over his head.

Melvin (Peter Kelamis; singing The Shins)[37] is a stalk eyed fly who is rather nerdy and makes complicated games. He is socially inept as he keeps the bugs trapped in his watermelon home. However, they teach him how to be a better friend.

Mr. Kite (Michael Dobson)[38] is Julia's favorite kite with a clown face. He is over dramatic and takes pride in his ability to fly. Nevertheless, he finds a kinship with the bugs and accepts their help to help him fly again after he gets cut loose. In All Together Now, his appearance is slightly altered as he no longer has a clown face, but instead has a pilot's headgear.

Sergeant Pepper (Charles Demers; singing Rod Stewart)[39] is a circus bug who travels from town to town, or rather yard to yard, to show his amazing circus the Lonely Hearts Club Band. Among his performers are the acrobatic Fleas lead by Billy Shears. He understands Walter the most due to their shared love of performance.

Warren (James R. Baylis)[40] is an earthworm who lives in a hole by himself. He is blind and focuses on his other senses to know where he is going. The bugs were afraid of him and thought he was the Nowhere Man, but learn to know him after seeing that he is friendly.

Dee-Structor (Fred Ewanuick; singing Chris Cornell),[41] or Dee for short, is a remote control car that is purchased by Julia's father. He has no control over his functions until the bugs remove his antennae allowing him to ride at his own pace and free will.

Mildew and Skolly (Charles Demers and Ashleigh Ball; singing Of Monsters and Men)[42][43] A pair of film making bugs who are searching for the elusive Eleanor Rigby. Their names are parodies of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from The X-Files and they even utter the phrase "The truth is out there."

Freda (Shannon Chan-Kent; singing Kate Miller-Heidke) is Walter's long lost twin sister. The two were separated by a gust of wind, but during the events of All Together Now, they reunited and she has been welcomed into the yard with the rest of the bugs. She is named after the Beatles secretary, Freda Kelly.

Teddy (Charles Demers) is a friendly teddy bear that is owned by Julia. He is very friendly, albeit odd, as he always wants to offer hugs even though nobody really needs one at the time.

Salvador Rat (Giles Panton) is a rat that the bugs encounter in All Together Now. He speaks with a Spanish accent and considers himself an artist, taking garbage he finds and creating sculptures.

Queen Bee (Ashleigh Ball) a famous singer that is always winning The Bug Factor in All Together Now. She is revealed to be corrupt, stepping on those she considers below her and even steals Freda's backup band. However, the bugs put her in her place.



Beat Bugs was created by Josh Wakely who in 2014, under his US-Australian production company Grace, acquired worldwide rights from Sony/ATV Music Publishing to a catalogue of music by the Beatles.[44][45] The music was to be used for a children's animated series in development to be entitled Beat Bugs, which would tell the story of young bugs learning life lessons set to songs by the popular rock group.[45] The publishers liked Wakely's vision of bringing the classic songs to a new audience of children with original stories written around them.[1] Managing director of Sony/ATV Damian Trotter stated, "the idea of opening up the single greatest music catalogue of the 20th Century to the next generation is something we are particularly excited about".[44][45] The music acquired was the Lennon-McCartney "Northern Songs" catalogue.[46] The deal reportedly cost an estimated $10 million.[47]

Wakely, an Australian writer and producer who grew up as a fan of the Beatles, stated that he never considered using any other artist's music for the series.[3][46][48] He said, "people in years to come will talk about the Beatles like we talk about Shakespeare."[48] Wakely spent three years originally working on the show before acquiring the rights to the Beatles' music, and by this time, he had already conceived all of the episodes and characters.[4] Of the characters, he said, "They have lived in my head for so long that I don’t have their date of conception".[1] Wakely sold the project to Netflix as a global distribution partner.[49] The Seven Network in Australia was also an investor of the production.[50]

Daniel Johns, former singer of Silverchair, arranged and produced the music for the series as musical director.[51] He stated, "It’s a dream job to go into the studio and dissect all of the Beatles’ music".[1] Johns and Wakely had previously worked together on a musical short film which Wakely wrote and directed.[1] Wakely was closely involved in the production, arranging and mixing of the music.[52]

More than 1000 people were involved in the production of the show, including a worldwide team of writers and animators in Australia, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Wakely described the process as a full-time job lasting three years.[1] Vancouver's Atomic Cartoons created the 3D animation for the series.[2] By the show's premiere, Wakely had spent six years working on the program from its conception.[1][4] It wasn't originally planned to produce Beat Bugs in Australia until Beyond Entertainment allowed Wakely to do so.[4]


The initial order of 52 segments (26 half-hour episodes) was split into two 13-episode seasons for distribution.[4][49][53] The episodes were a given a provisional classification of C (children's) in Australia over 2014–15.[53]

All episodes from Season 1 became available on Netflix on August 3, 2016.[3][46] Prior to its premiere, on July 27, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season to debut later in the year.[54] The first season premiered exclusively in Australia on 7TWO on July 25, 2016.[55] Season 2 was released through Netflix on November 18, 2016.[46][48] The second season also debuted on 7TWO on November 16, 2016.[56]

Beat Bugs received a 2016 AWGIE Award in animation for the episode script of "Yellow Submarine", written by Wakely.[57] The episodes "Hey Bulldog", written by Kate Mulvany, and "Ticket to Ride", by Erica Harrison, were also nominated.[58] The program also won an AACTA Award for Best Children's Television Series.[59] Beat Bugs was also nominated for five 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards in 2017,[60] and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program.

A 48-minute special entitled Beat Bugs: All Together Now, premiered on Netflix on November 21, 2017.[61]


Series overview

Season Episodes Originally released
1 13 August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03)
2 13 November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18)
Special 1 November 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)

List of episodes

Season 1 (2016)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original release date
1a 1a "Help" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely
Story: Josh Wakely
July 25, 2016 (2016-07-25) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
After refusing help from his friends, a stubborn Jay launches himself across the backyard using Crick's latest catapult invention, landing in a large glass jam jar. Trapped, Jay calls for his friends, who search the village to find him. When he is freed, Jay learns the importance of accepting help.
Inspired by the song "Help!".
1b 1b "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Josh Wakely John Armstrong July 25, 2016 (2016-07-25) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
After Kumi tells a scary story, Buzz has trouble sleeping, so the Beat Bugs take her to see a sleep doctor, Lucy the Dragonfly. Crick's grasp of science is opposed when Lucy cures Buzz of her nightmares by simply helping her find her imaginative safe place.
Inspired by the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Guest starring Pink.[47]
2a 2a "I Am the Walrus" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely July 25, 2016 (2016-07-25) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Walter tells the story of when he moved in with the Beat Bugs. He recalls how he made a fool of himself when he first approached the bugs, and how he remembered his Uncle Tusk's advice of believing in yourself and declaring your uniqueness. When he acted like himself, he had no trouble in making new friends.
Inspired by the song "I Am the Walrus".
2b 2b "I'm a Loser" Josh Wakely Brian Hartigan July 25, 2016 (2016-07-25) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Morgs the stick insect is tired of constantly being mistaken for a stick, and is worried that his old friend Katter, who is now a butterfly, will think he is a loser. The bugs help Morgs find his confidence, and in the end, he finds that Katter is impressed with the stick insect that he is.
Inspired by the song "I'm a Loser". Guest starring James Corden.[47]
3a 3a "Come Together" Josh Wakely Michael Stokes July 26, 2016 (2016-07-26) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
When Walter kicks the Beat Bugs out of his house for playing too carelessly, Crick has the idea of building a treehouse for the bugs to all come together to play in. The arguing friends are brought together over designing and building the treehouse as a group.
Inspired by the song "Come Together".
3b 3b "Rain" Josh Wakely Joshua Mapleston
Story: Josh Wakely
July 26, 2016 (2016-07-26) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
After a three day downpour of rain of in the village, the bugs all come up with plans to change the weather. But when they can't stop the rain, Boris the frog shows the friends how enjoyable the miserable weather can really be.
Inspired by the song "Rain". Guest starring Aloe Blacc.[47]
4a 4a "Good Day Sunshine" Josh Wakely Keith Thompson
Story: Josh Wakely
July 26, 2016 (2016-07-26) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs struggle to stay warm through a prolonged winter, with Mr Sun away on vacation and deciding to extend his stay. When the stored supply of sun-powered electricity runs out, Crick tries to invent a way to create more electricity, but is unsuccessful at first. The bugs create enough power to send a message to Mr Sun asking him to return, which he does.
Inspired by the song "Good Day Sunshine". Guest starring Robbie Williams.[47]
4b 4b "Sun King" Josh Wakely Erica Harrison
Story: Josh Wakely
July 26, 2016 (2016-07-26) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs discuss how they should use an ice cream wrapper which has been dropped in the backyard. Buzz is saddened when she cannot think of any ideas, and decides to go on a journey of self-discovery to find her special talent. After inadvertently helping out some bugs in the village, Buzz realises she has the special talent of brightening others' days.
Inspired by the song "Sun King".
5a 5a "Penny Lane" Josh Wakely Kate Mulvany
Story: Josh Wakely
July 27, 2016 (2016-07-27) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Crick feels as if he is being ignored and unnoticed, so the Beat Bugs plan to create a place for him to feel free to express himself. Using pennies found in the backyard, the friends construct an auditorium called Penny Lane. Crick gains the confidence to speak out and decides that Penny Lane should be a place for all of the Beat Bugs to share.
Inspired by the song "Penny Lane".
5b 5b "Birthday" Josh Wakely Michelle Offen & Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
July 27, 2016 (2016-07-27) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Kumi, Walter and Buzz plan a surprise party for Jay and Crick's birthday, and send the pair away while they prepare. Jay and Crick work as a team to find their way to back the party, which they suspect is being thrown for them.
Inspired by the song "Birthday".
6a 6a "I've Just Seen a Face" Josh Wakely Erica Harrison
Story: Josh Wakely
July 27, 2016 (2016-07-27) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Jay is fascinated to find out who lives in the Big House, so goes exploring. He is discovered by a human named Julia, whom he develops a strong sense of affection for after seeing her up-close. The Beat Bugs don't believe his story until they see the girl's face for themselves.
Inspired by the song "I've Just Seen a Face".
6b 6b "Magical Mystery Tour" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
July 27, 2016 (2016-07-27) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
A showman grashopper named Jasper invites the Beat Bugs on a Magical Mystery Tour, which doesn't turn out as expected. The adventure proves to be a ride in a bug container of Julia's, which the young human takes to her class as a science project. She later returns the bugs to the backyard.
Inspired by the song "Magical Mystery Tour". Guest starring Eddie Vedder.[47]
7a 7a "When I'm 64" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely July 28, 2016 (2016-07-28) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs find an old alarm clock which they mistake for a time machine, Jay is eager to test it out and steps inside, before the clock is thrown around in the backyard. When he exits, Jay believes he has travelled to the future and is sixty-four years old, getting a glimpse at what his life might one day be like.
Inspired by the song "When I'm Sixty-Four".
7b 7b "Doctor Robert" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely July 28, 2016 (2016-07-28) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs visit Dr. Robert for a check-up, without Buzz, who is too scared and refuses to go. After an encounter with the backyard cat in which she is sneezed on, Buzz is taken to Dr Robert and learns the importance of facing your fears and visiting doctors.
Inspired by the song "Doctor Robert".
8a 8a "Ticket to Ride" Josh Wakely Erica Harrison[58]
Story: Josh Wakely
July 29, 2016 (2016-07-29) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs use an old bicycle wheel to create a carnival ride in the style of a ferris wheel. But when Kumi is the only one who keeps her ticket safe, she rides alone, and the others learn the importance of being responsible before having fun. The friends work together to find new tickets to join Kumi on the ride.
Inspired by the song "Ticket to Ride".
8b 8b "Getting Better" Josh Wakely Deborah Jarvis July 29, 2016 (2016-07-29) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
When Dr. Robert goes on vacation, the Beat Bugs inadvertently start feeling under the weather. Tired of answering his friend's requests, Crick invents a robot doctor to look after them. The robot is at first successful, but malfunctions after the bugs take the invention for granted.
Inspired by the song "Getting Better".
9a 9a "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
August 1, 2016 (2016-08-01) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Mr. Kite is detached from his string and crash lands into the backyard. Crick operates on his broken structure and the bugs throw a flying festival to help get him back in the air. The kite struggles to perform at first until he is reunited with his flying partner Julia.
Inspired by the song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!".
9b 9b "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" Josh Wakely Katherine Thomson
Story: Josh Wakely
August 1, 2016 (2016-08-01) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
At Kumi's birthday party, Walter goes overboard trying to help her win all of the games. Feeling his efforts have been unappreciated, he storms off and instead puts on a play at Penny Lane in the hope of finding new friends. The Beat Bugs come to watch, and let Walter know that he is loved.
Inspired by the song "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away".
10a 10a "Day Tripper" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
August 2, 2016 (2016-08-02) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Connie the cicada has a list of things to do while she is above the ground, including visiting the Big House. Crick hurries to finish his latest invention to help take her there when he remembers cicadas can only spend one day above ground. While the invention doesn't succeed, Connie makes it to the house on her own.
Inspired by the song "Day Tripper".
10b 10b "In My Life" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely August 2, 2016 (2016-08-02) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
At her birthday party, Katter the caterpillar doesn't appear to be enjoying herself. Feeling sad and tired, she decides to go and rest. Katter sleeps for two days before emerging from her chrysalis as a butterfly. The Beat Bugs learn that while things may change, some things like their friendship will always remain.
Inspired by the song "In My Life". Guest starring Frances.[47]
11a 11a "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" Josh Wakely Kym Goldsworthy
Story: Josh Wakely
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs find a toy car and decide to take it onto the driveway of the backyard ("the Road"), which has been known to be dangerous for bugs. When the friends become trapped under a real human's car, Walter comes to their rescue.
Inspired by the song "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?".
11b 11b "The Word" Josh Wakely Jennifer Daley August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
A stalk-eyes fly named Melvin, who loves games, lures the Beat Bugs into his home and keeps them captive. He sets the friends a challenging puzzle which makes them feel trapped. The bugs teach Melvin the right way to be friends with others.
Inspired by the song "The Word". Guest starring The Shins.[47]
12a 12a "Glass Onion" Josh Wakely Karen Moonah August 4, 2016 (2016-08-04) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The bugs find a Christmas tree bauble which they believe is a glass onion, and argue over who should keep it. Blackbird confiscates the ornament due to the fighting, leading the bugs to attempt to retrieve it from her nest. However, when the bauble falls and breaks, Doris the spider makes something new with the pieces.
Inspired by the song "Glass Onion".
12b 12b "Honey Pie" Josh Wakely Michael Stokes August 4, 2016 (2016-08-04) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
Granny Bee's memory is beginning to fade and she can no longer remember the recipe to her famous honey pie. The Beat Bugs recreate one of her old cooking shows in the hope that stardom will jog her memory. In the end, a food fight helps her remember.
Inspired by the song "Honey Pie". Guest starring Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers.[47]
13a 13a "Carry That Weight" Josh Wakely Deborah Jarvis August 5, 2016 (2016-08-05) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
When Julia's bike destroys the ants' nest, Crick invites the colony of ants to move in with the Beat Bugs. After they are troublesome to live with, the bugs help the ants return to their home, by moving the bike and rebuilding the nest.
Inspired by the song "Carry That Weight".
13b 13b "Blackbird" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
August 5, 2016 (2016-08-05) (7TWO)
August 3, 2016 (2016-08-03) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs tell the story of when they found Blackbird in the night with a broken wing. They recall how she had crashed into Mr. Moonlight, lost in her daydreams, and how they tried to help their friend fly again. The audience listening are inspired by the story of Blackbird's recovery.
Inspired by the song "Blackbird". Guest starring Sia.[47]

Season 2 (2016)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original release date
14a 1a "Yellow Submarine" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely[58] November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs go on an expedition to find somewhere they've never gone before. When the sprinkler floods the backyard, the friends build a yellow submarine, using an old soda bottle, to find their way home. The bugs learn that the world looks different depending on how you view it.
Inspired by the song "Yellow Submarine".
14b 1b "I Call Your Name" Josh Wakely Michael Stokes November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
After a game of bugball, Walter and Jay have an argument about their gameplay, and refuse to talk to each other. The others stage an elaborate ruse to help them make amends. The pair resolve their differences and learn to play as a team.
Inspired by the song "I Call Your Name".
15a 2a "With a Little Help From My Friends" Josh Wakely Keith Thompson
Story: Josh Wakely
November 17, 2016 (2016-11-17) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Buzz is inspired by Walter to create a stage spectacular of her own, designed for all of the Beat Bugs to enjoy. However, when she won't accept help from anyone, the show doesn't go as planned. Buzz learns the importance of getting help from friends when they help her stage an even better performance.
Inspired by the song "With a Little Help From My Friends".
15b 2b "Get Back" Josh Wakely Joshua Mapleston
Story: Josh Wakely
November 17, 2016 (2016-11-17) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
After Jay accidentally ruins his friends' work at the village art show, he runs away to a farm, feeling embarrassed and ashamed. The bugs go after Jay to let him know they forgive his mistake. He apologizes and returns home.
Inspired by the song "Get Back".
16a 3a "Mr. Moonlight" Josh Wakely Melanie Alexander
Story: Josh Wakely
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Crick recalls the time that Mr. Moonlight disappeared after believing that the Beat Bugs liked Mr. Sun more than him. With the night left in total darkness, the bugs banded together to let the moon know that he was appreciated. Mr. Moonlight returned to the village, and hasn't gone away since.
Inspired by the song "Mr Moonlight".
16b 3b "There's a Place" Josh Wakely Trent O'Donnell
Story: Josh Wakely
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
When Crick doesn't win any medals at the annual Bug Games, he feels disappointed and untalented. But when the backyard cat threatens to ruin the award ceremony, Crick saves the day using his own special talents and wins the Bug of the Games award.
Inspired by the song "There's a Place".
17a 4a "We Can Work it Out" Josh Wakely Deborah Jarvis November 21, 2016 (2016-11-21) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
During a mountain climbing competition, Jay and Walter have a disagreement when Walter believes Jay is pushing him too hard and Jay thinks Walter isn't trying hard enough. Jay then tries to climb the mountain without his partner, but when he has an accidental fall, he and Walter learn how to use each other's talents to work as a team.
Inspired by the song "We Can Work It Out".
17b 4b "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
November 21, 2016 (2016-11-21) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Walter longs for a performer for a friend, and feels at home when the circus, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, comes to town. Walter is invited to assist in the ringmaster duties, and, impressed with his talent, Sgt. Pepper asks him to take over the role permanently. Walter decides to leave with the circus, but is in turn convinced by the Beat Bugs to stay.
Inspired by the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Guest starring Rod Stewart.[47]
18a 5a "Christmas Time is Here Again" Josh Wakely Melanie Alexander
Story: Josh Wakely
November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
It's Christmas time and Buzz has her heart set on meeting Christmas Beetle, after she sends him a letter requesting a visit. The Beat Bugs try to keep Buzz awake on Christmas eve to help her fulfill her wish. They all fall asleep and miss seeing Christmas Beetle, however in the morning, Buzz tracks down her hero and her wish comes true.
Inspired by the song "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)".
18b 5b "Drive My Car" Josh Wakely Jeff Biederman November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The bugs meet a remote-controlled car named Dee-structor, who has no idea who controls him, and is saddened by this lack of power and choice. Crick breaks off the car's antenna and allows Dee-structor to finally take control of himself.
Inspired by the song "Drive My Car". Guest starting Chris Cornell.[47]
19a 6a "Tomorrow Never Knows" Josh Wakely Barbara Haynes November 23, 2016 (2016-11-23) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Julia loses her rainbow brooch in the backyard and the bugs set off to find it. Once Kumi spots it, the friends use the ornament as a boat to sail back to the Big House across puddles of rain. They then leave the brooch in the garden for Julia to find.
Inspired by the song "Tomorrow Never Knows".
19b 6b "Nowhere Man" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
November 23, 2016 (2016-11-23) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
On their way to go camping, the Beat Bugs lose their map and become lost. While searching for the map, the friends meet the elusive Nowhere Man, who turns out to be a worm named Warren, who is not as scary as he once seemed. Warren helps the bugs find their way home.
Inspired by the song "Nowhere Man".
20a 7a "Strawberry Fields Forever" Josh Wakely Erica Harrison
Story: Josh Wakely
November 24, 2016 (2016-11-24) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
While in the strawberry fields, the bugs warn a trio of hungry mynah birds not to eat too much, as they fear there might not be enough strawberries to last forever. The friends think of a plan, involving a scarecrow, to send the birds away and save the fields.
Inspired by the song "Strawberry Fields Forever".
20b 7b "The Fool on the Hill" Josh Wakely Richard Clark November 24, 2016 (2016-11-24) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The friends find a garden gnome on the hill which they believe is alive. Cockroach secretly pretends to be the gnome by giving the ornament a voice, in an attempt to scam the Beat Bugs into finding food for him. Sceptical, Kumi discovers Cockroach and tricks him into revealing his deceit.
Inspired by the song "The Fool on the Hill".
21a 8a "And Your Bird Can Sing" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Joshua Mapleston
Story: Josh Wakely
November 25, 2016 (2016-11-25) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Jay decides to visit the Big House for his holiday while the other bugs explore the Wonders of the Village. However, when neither of the expeditions go as planned, Blackbird helps Jay finally see the house up close.
Inspired by the song "And Your Bird Can Sing". Guest starring Regina Spektor.[47]
21b 8b "I'll Follow the Sun" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Joshua Mapleston
Story: Josh Wakely
November 25, 2016 (2016-11-25) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Kumi is upset when she finds out that Blackbird's wing has healed and she will be leaving the garden to rejoin her flock. Kumi tries to get her friend to stay, but later realises that Blackbird belongs with her flock and she must say goodbye.
Inspired by the song "I'll Follow the Sun". Guest starring Jennifer Hudson.[47]
22a 9a "Hello Goodbye" Josh Wakely Joshua Mapleston
Story: Josh Wakely
November 28, 2016 (2016-11-28) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
A human drops his mobile phone in the backyard, leaving the bugs fascinated by the device. They try to work out what it is, before Kumi inadvertently answers a call, helping the friends to learn what the phone can do. The human finds his phone and the bugs decide to make their own communication device.
Inspired by the song "Hello, Goodbye".
22b 9b "Got to Get You Into My Life" Josh Wakely Jennifer Daley November 28, 2016 (2016-11-28) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Feeling like he doesn't share any interests with his friends, Walter he finds comfort in "befriending" an inanimate ball. The other bugs discover that the ball is a lost toy of Bulldog's which has been missing. Walter returns the ball to the dog and reunites with his real friends.
Inspired by the song "Got to Get You Into My Life".
23a 10a "Eleanor Rigby" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
November 29, 2016 (2016-11-29) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
A duo of filmmaking flies arrive to capture footage of an elusive creature, rumoured to be named Eleanor Rigby, who has been roaming the village. In a moment of truth, the figure turns out to be Kumi, but the filmmakers are disheartened that they have not found the "real" Eleanor Rigby. The flies vow to continue their search.
Inspired by the song "Eleanor Rigby". Guest starring Of Monsters and Men.[47]
23b 10b "I'm So Tired" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
November 29, 2016 (2016-11-29) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The Mudwasps are renovating their home and the noise is keeping the Beat Bugs awake at night, so the friends volunteer to lend a hand in the constructions. The bugs make a mess of the house, but the Mudwasps love it anyway, leaving them all free to get some sleep.
Inspired by the song "I'm So Tired".
24a 11a "Hey Bulldog" Josh Wakely Kate Mulvany[58] November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Crick uses a speech decoding machine to find out more about his new friend Bulldog. The bugs discover he is a stray and has dreams of becoming a sheepdog. The humans of the Big House decide to keep Bulldog as a pet, who is beyond pleased to become a guard dog for the family.
Inspired by the song "Hey Bulldog". Guest starring James Bay.[47]
24b 11b "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" Josh Wakely Josh Wakely & Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The bugs find an old chess table top in the garbage and decide to use it as the dance floor for a dress-up dance party. Milli Pede and Morgs are hesitant to attend, but Jay helps them find the confidence to step outside of their comfort zones.
Inspired by the song "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You". Guest starring Tori Kelly.[47]
25a 12a "It Won't Be Long" Josh Wakely Trent O'Donnell
Story: Josh Wakely
December 1, 2016 (2016-12-01) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
A human has been gardening in the backyard, and Buzz and Morgs fall into a deep hole in the ground. The other bugs plan to use Doris's rope ladder to get them out, but before they can come to the rescue, Buzz discovers a tunnel which leads the pair out of the hole.
Inspired by the song "It Won't Be Long".
25b 12b "Any Time at All" Josh Wakely Tamara Asmar December 1, 2016 (2016-12-01) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Buzz has an encounter with Meow the cat which leaves her too scared to go outside. The bugs give her a device allowing her to call for their help at any time. However, when Buzz calls upon the bugs' help too much, her friends fail to come to her rescue when a real emergency strikes, leaving Buzz to face the cat alone.
Inspired by the song "Any Time at All".
26a 13a "Please Mr. Postman" Josh Wakely Cleon Prineas
Story: Josh Wakely
December 2, 2016 (2016-12-02) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
Buzz hurts her ankle on the way to the beach and is ordered to bed rest. With Postman Bee's help, the bugs send a letter to Blackbird asking her to help cheer up Buzz with a visit, as she once had a broken wing herself. Blackbird arrives and spends some time with the bugs at the beach.
Inspired by the song "Please Mr. Postman"
26b 13b "Across the Universe" Josh Wakely Keith Thompson
Story: Josh Wakely
December 2, 2016 (2016-12-02) (7TWO)
November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18) (Netflix)
The bugs' home is at stake when the humans of the house decide to pave the backyard with concrete. The friends float in bubbles up to the Big House to ask Julia to save the garden. As a result, the young girl hears the bugs and convinces her mother to leave the backyard as it is.
Inspired by the song "Across the Universe".

Special (2017)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original release date
27 1 "Beat Bugs: All Together Now" Josh Wakely John Armstrong, Cleon Prineas, Erica Harrison
Story: Josh Wakely
November 21, 2017 (2017-11-21) (Netflix)
The Beat Bugs go on a journey to compete in Bug Factor, hosted by Queen Bee.
Features the songs "Here Comes the Sun", "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "All Together Now" and "Ticket to Ride." Guest starring Yusuf Islam.
Note: This interactive special has an extended run time of 48 minutes.


Beat Bugs generally received favourable reviews. Critics praised the concept of reimagining Beatles songs for a young audience.[62][47] Reporting for Common Sense Media, Emily Ashby said "this unique series borrows some of rock-and-roll's most recognizable lyrics to help tell its gentle stories and teach excellent life lessons", commending it as a series for parents and children to watch together.[63] David Knox of TV Tonight praised the music for "bursting with optimism and exuberance", while describing the animation as "an alluring, inviting feast".[64] A reviewer for the Daily Telegraph applauded how the series presents children with "an influence that lasts beyond the screen time".[65]

Ivan Radford of noted that the program as a whole "is something closer to a visual album than a series", and stated that the show's theme song of "All You Need is Love" provides "an upbeat sentiment that gives an overall theme and identity to this strange universe". However, Radford expressed that the main characters are not always fully developed.[66]

The series also received some negative comments. Jordan Runtagh of Decider disliked the character of Jay, stating "I find the lack of comeuppance for his behavior distressing". He stated the music of the series is "forgettable, but inoffensive", however added that the songs are incorporated into the episode narratives "with grace and skill".[67] Decider''s Jessica Jernigan of described the series as "disheartening and dull because there’s so little art in the transformation of Beatles lyrics into stories", suggesting that the songs were already appropriate for children "without visual or narrative contextualization."[68]



The first season was added to the Australian Netflix library on February 28, 2017.[citation needed] In Australia, Beat Bugs premiered on pay-TV channel Nick Jr. in May 2017.[69][70] The free-to-air broadcasting of the series moved to 7flix in 2017 to continue airing repeats.[71]

In Canada, the show started airing on the CBC Kids programming block on CBC on February 26, 2018.[72]

Other media


The first soundtrack to the show, "Beat Bugs: The Complete Season One" was released on online music-streaming service Apple Music on August 3, 2016.[73] The release featured all of the songs performed by the guest artists in the first season, compiled on one soundtrack. It was only available exclusively on Apple Music until November 4, 2016.[49][73] The record was released by Republic Records and Universal Music.[51] Melodia Music was formed by the show's production to release music from Beat Bugs and other related productions.[52]

A new compilation album, "Beat Bugs: The Best of Seasons 1 & 2" was released physically and digitally on November 4, 2016. This was the first time a selection of the music from the first season was available for purchase, and included songs from the second season ahead of its premiere.[52] "Beat Bugs: The Complete Season One" was also made available on iTunes for the first time.[52]

"Beat Bugs: The Complete Season Two" was made available on iTunes on November 18, 2016 at the same time as its Netflix premiere.[52][73] Two apps were also made.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2016 AWGIE Awards Animation "Hey Bulldog" – Kate Mulvany Nominated [58][57]
"Ticket to Ride" – Erica Harrison Nominated
"Yellow Submarine" – Josh Wakely Won
AACTA Awards Best Children's Television Series Beat Bugs Won [74][59]
2017 Canadian Screen Awards Best Animated Program or Series Beat Bugs Nominated [75]
Logie Awards Outstanding Children's Program Beat Bugs Nominated [76]
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program Beat Bugs – Josh Wakely, Joshua Mapleston, Cleon Prineas Won [77]
Outstanding Directing in a Preschool Animated Program Beat Bugs – Josh Wakely Nominated [78]
Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design Beat Bugs – Directed by Josh Wakely, Storyboard by Mark Appleby, Animation Director Pablo De La Torre, Director Jon Mead, Animation Supervisor Fredrick Fasse, Animation/Layout Supervisor Alexandru Nagy Nominated [78]
Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Preschool Animated Program Beat Bugs – Brent Clark, Sam Hayward, Wes Swales, Bob Mothersbaugh Nominated [78]
Outstanding Sound Editing in a Preschool Animated Program Beat Bugs – Jared Dwyer, Sam Hayward, Blair Slater Nominated [78]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Shedden, Iain (July 23, 2016). "Beatles revived for kids TV show Beat Bugs by Daniel Johns, Josh Wakely". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Altman, Randi (September 22, 2016). "Atomic Cartoons helps brings Beatles music to kids for Netflix's Beat Bugs". Post Perspective. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Bentley, Rick. "New Netflix series Beat Bugs uses The Beatles music to inspire adventures". The Fresno Bee. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Manning, James (July 19, 2016). "Beat Bugs: How a young Aussie writer landed rights to 300+ Beatles songs". MediaWeek. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Voice of Jay". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
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  11. ^ "Voice of Buzz". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
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  13. ^ "Voice of Kumi". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
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  29. ^ "Voice of Mrs. Mudwasp". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
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  31. ^ "Voice of The Ants". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
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  34. ^ "Voice of Lucy". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Voice of Boris the Frog". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Voice of Jasper". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Voice of Melvin". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Voice of Mr. Kite". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Voice of Sergeant Pepper". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Voice of Warren". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Voice of Dee-Structor". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Voice of Mildew". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Voice of Skolly". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
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  66. ^ Radford, Ivan (August 2, 2016). "Netflix UK TV review: Beat Bugs". Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
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  72. ^
  73. ^ a b c Thomas, Leah (August 3, 2016). "The Beat Bugs soundtrack is full of epic Beatles covers you won't want to miss". Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
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  75. ^ "Beat Bugs | Best Animated Series | Canadian Screen Awards". 2016-12-30. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
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External links

  • Official website
  • Beat Bugs on IMDb
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