Anthony's Film Review

Yellow Submarine (1968)

It's interesting to see the Beatles in the form of feature-length animation...

No one can deny that The Beatles - Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison - are hailed as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. I won't spend too much time repeating what die-hard fans and music history buffs will say about the Fab Four. Just know that these four men have changed music forever. They are so popular that their band name is a powerful trademark. It gives them the privilege to be creative in many ways, not just with music.

As a result, we have the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. This is a rather unique animated film because of its style that fits The Beatles' brand of music and the psychedelic culture of the 1960s. The essence of the movie is surrealism. The animated versions of the Fab Four (though voiced by different voice actors) travel through a series of animations that definitely look as if they've come from someone's dream world. It's more of a visual journey than a fairy tale.

There is a story in Yellow Submarine, even though it's minimal and simple. In the world of Pepperland, located many leagues under the sea, life is joyful with people enjoying music of all kinds. But the evil Blue Meanies hate music. They will stop at nothing to put an end to the festivities. They launch an attack on Pepperland that turns its citizens into stone and take away all color. The only survivor, Captain Fred, commandeers the Yellow Submarine, journeys to London, and asks The Beatles for help. From there, The Beatles join Fred on a wild adventure to Pepperland where the musical quartet must save the day.

Just because the story is so predictable doesn't mean it's boring. Like I said, the main thing to see in this movie is surrealism. Precisely, psychedelic surrealism. Lots of weird dreamlike images in a multitude of colors. There's one part where the submarine is traveling through a sea of monsters, many of which have interesting forms. Another scene involves a sea of holes where anyone could step into one hole and come out another. Of course, let's not forget the music. There are plenty of familiar Beatles songs, including "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Nowhere Man," and "All Together Now."

Yellow Submarine is simple but fun. That's essentially the best way to describe it. It's good enough for anyone interested in animated films. For Beatles fans, it is no doubt a treat. It has music that's pleasing to the ear and colors that provide a unique flavor for the eye. Now, I did mention that the Fab Four themselves don't provide the voices for their animated counterparts, but they do appear in live action as themselves at the end of the movie. That's when the credits roll and when they sing "All Together Now," the perfect song to end their delightful contribution to film.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Yellow Submarine, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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