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We Love Them, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: the ZhuZhu Pets put their pawprints on the Beatles! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 06 August 2012 09:38
The ZhuZhu Pets tackle the British Invasion with memorable, melodious results! Their lick-for-lick salute to “Meet the Beatles” is a generational delight.
The original “Fab Four” unveiled their “Meet the Beatles” album to American audiences in January 1964. Now the ZhuZhu Pets are putting their own vibrato on it.
The four pets are identified as “Pipsqueak,” “Num Nums,” “Mr. Squiggles,” and “Chunk.” (Note misspelling of Pipsqueak’s name here as Pipsqueek.)
Hard to believe, but there was a time when the Beatles had to be identified for newbie fans and set-in-their way parents. If Paul is the cute Beatle, then who is the cute ZhuZhu Pet?
Alvin and the Chipmunks, under the tutelage of Dave Seville, also tackled the harmonies and the melodies of the Beatles. Some of Lennon and McCartney’s notes are hard to reach, so a cute animated voice does help!
The Electronic Arts video game Rock Band: Beatles edition helps players to discover their inner “Mop Top.”
The Furbies were the big, frantic seller for Christmas 1998, but they never recorded a classic rock album, did they?
The ZhuZhu characters come in all types of colors, designs, hairstyles, and appearances. Here they sport their “Rock Star” credentials.
If I may make a suggestion—the ZhuZhu Pets harmonizing on “Pet Sounds” would be sensational!
It’s the ZhuZhu’s world: we just live in it!
The ZhuZhu Pets tackle the British Invasion with memorable, melodious results! Their lick-for-lick salute to “Meet the Beatles” is a generational delight.
01/10 
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Little did I know that Christmas of 2009 would bring together two seemingly very different diversions that would end up inextricably and delightfully wound together during the summer of 2012.


What I’m rambling about are the arrival of the ZhuZhu Pets into my daughter and son’s lives, and the simultaneous gifting to me of the Rock Band video game that featured the Beatles. Those two unexpected and totally appreciated presents were the highlights of the 2009 Noel exchange.

 

The kids were shocked to find a buttery yellow and a gray ZhuZhu wrapped up and waiting for them, courtesy of my very considerate niece, Boo, and I was surprised to get the Beatles Rock Band game from Santa. (Mr. and Mrs. Claus, how do you ALWAYS know just what I want and when I want it!)

 

The ZhuZhus, which were THE hottest toy of that year, were a “pay it back/pay it forward” gift from Boo to the kids because my husband and I had chased all over town a decade or more earlier hunting down Furbies. (Do you remember that craze?) We ended up buying a Furbie from a young lady in the “underground market” who let us have it for just a few bucks above retail price. In exchange, my devoted hubby had to help her set up a home office computer system. Nothing like bartering and the black market to keep the Christmas spirit burning bright!

 

So, 1998’s must-have toy inspired my niece to return the favor in 2009, and so a pair of these gentle creatures from the Cepia toy company nestled beneath our holiday branches (http://www.zhuniverse.com/).

 

Over the past three years, my children have played with the ZhuZhus on and off. They don’t really favor any one particular toy, and are easily persuaded to like whatever the next big thing is on the horizon.

 

I, on the other hand, have grown more and more attached to my Rock Band karaoke experience. Learning pretty quickly that I stink as a guitarist or a bassist, I attempted to fill Ringo’s seat behind the drum kit. After all, I mistakenly calculated, how hard can it be to bang in time with a tune? The answer is: pretty darn difficult! So, though I occasionally attempt to play the guitar or the drums that come with the game, I have found my niche as the singer of the “faux fab four.” I’ve taught myself how to sing to best fill in the scoring grid, and though I’ll never win a Grammy in real life, I can rack up the points in an electronic scoring contest.

 

Since my whole family has been drafted into being either Ringo or George to my John or Paul, the arrival of 2012’s ZhuZhu Pets covering the Beatles is especially ear-opening for me. Yep, a CD has been released and it is called “ZhuZhu Pets Meet the Beatles,” and it is a note-for-note re-creation of the original “Meet the Beatles” album released in America in 1964.

 

The CD features the same 12 tracks that graced the original “Meet the Beatles” LP (plus a bonus medley sung by the Pets), and it is immeasurably enjoyable. As a matter of fact, it is better than many bubblegum rock songs that are currently tearing through the airwaves and far catchier too.
Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong when you have a chance to record “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “All My Loving,” and “This Boy,” just to name a few. Plus, the ZhuZhu Pets’ rendering of “Till There Was You” is sung as sweetly as any wedding band’s version of the Meredith Wilson classic.

 

My children are diehard Beatles fans—though they tend to like the novelty songs best, “Yellow Submarine” and “Octopus’s Garden”—but they have definitely gotten into the ZhuZhu beat.

 

Interestingly, back in the Liverpool heyday, Alvin and the Chipmunks, along with Dave Seville, released their interpretation of a Beatles album. It was expectedly high-pitched, comical, and high-selling.

 

The ZhuZhus also have voices that border on the falsetto scale, but they don’t fall over into insectlike, hard-to-take noise. For little kids who have never encountered the Beatles (keep in mind, there are little kids who have never even encountered Wings!), the album is a fun way to show them the music you grew up with or that your parents grew up with. It’s a modern way to appreciate and share a blast from the past. Best of all, it’s available for sale now, both in stores and online.

 

What’s most fascinating about the ZhuZhu phenomenon is that back in ’64, John was the serious Beatle, Ringo was the funny one, George was serious, and Paul was cute. Looking at the photos of “Pipsqueak,” “Num Nums,” “Mr. Squiggles,” and “Chunk” in their mop-top wigs, I don’t know who would win for “cutest” Pet. Each one is a Paul McCartney in its own right. And that’s a top honor, indeed!

 

The ZhuZhus have done such a smashing job with their Beatles encounter, I wonder what rock icon they’ll tackle next. My suggestion? The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” of course! The Pets doing “Pets”—harmonies made in heaven.