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Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine (1968) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film Yellow Submarine

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>Apple Films, King Features Production, Subafilms
  • Apple Films, King Features Production, Subafilms
  • Animated Characters: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Chief Blue Meanie, Max, Jeremy Hilary Boob, Ph.D, Lord Mayor, Old Fred the Conductor, Blue Meanies, Apple Bonkers.
  • Awards: Special Award For Full-Length Animation, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 1968.
    Nominee, Hugo Award, Best Dramatic Presentation, 1969.
    Special Award For a Feature-Length Animation, National Society of Film Critics Awards, 1969.
    Nominee, Grammy Award, Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show, 1970
    .
  • Originally Released in 1968.
  • Running Time: 89 minutes.
  • Color (Eastmancolor)
  • United Kingdom  United Kingdom

Cartoon Production Information:


This film premiered in England in July 1968 at the Pavillion in London. It was first shown in the U.S. on November 13, 1968 in Westwood. When the film debuted, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Peter Max designed the distinctive look of the animation, and the real-life Beatles themselves appear in a brief sequence at the film's end.

Includes the songs "Yellow Submarine," "Just A Northern Song," "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Eleanor Rigby," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Nowhere Man," "A Day in the Life" and others, as well as several orchestral numbers by noted Beatle producer George Martin.

Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC's animated The Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.

Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when writer Al Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC's animated The Beatles TV series, approached Beatles manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.

Inspired by the generation's new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.

"I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts," remembers Edelmann. "The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end." These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, three-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic "rotoscoping," where film is traced frame by frame into drawings.

The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation. Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including "Eleanor Rigby," "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "All You Need Is Love" and "It's All Too Much." When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Inspired by the generation's new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.

"I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts," remembers Edelmann. "The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end." These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, three-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic "rotoscoping," where film is traced frame by frame into drawings. The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.

Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.

Commentary:


Forget Star Wars Episode I- the movie I anticipated most in 1999 was the re-release of one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Yellow Submarine.

Most ‘60s movies about peace, love, and all that hippie stuff have dated pretty badly. But the mere mention of Blue Meanies (the movie’s outsized villains) is enough to bring a twinkle to the eye of any baby-boomer. And the movie’s stunning animation remains a treat to be savored again and again.

The story of this movie’s creation is full of ironies, the richest of which is that it’s regarded as a Beatles film. The Beatles’ likenesses and music are certainly exploited, but other than a cameo appearance at the movie’s finish, their involvement ended there. Their company, Apple, merely produced the movie as a way to help finish off their movie contract with United Artists.

The second greatest irony is that a film The Beatles sloughed off as a contractual obligation became, in its own way, as groundbreaking as their movie debut, A Hard Day's Night. The movie’s surreal images and eye-popping color are simply a feast, and the icing on the cake is one of the best cartoon soundtracks ever, stuffed with songs from The Beatles’ groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper album and many of their other hit records.

The third greatest irony is that a movie in which The Beatles were minimally involved keeps coming back to haunt them. John Lennon’s son Sean has said he hadn’t known about his father’s musical legacy until a friendly neighbor screened Yellow Submarine for him one day. And thanks to the movie’s moment where Ringo Starr presses a forbidden button and is ejected from the submarine (“That’s the panic button,” the captain says afterward), the real Ringo is still stopped on the street by people who want to know why he pushed that stupid button.

Even the movie’s minor credits are worth noting. The film was produced by Al Brodax, who did The Beatles TV cartoon series in 1966. And one of the movie’s screenwriters was Erich Segal, who hit paydirt two years later with a little novel called Love Story.

The video reissue also boasted a spiffy-clean version of the movie, as well as a surprise addition. The Lennon song “Hey Bulldog,” released on the original soundtrack album but deleted from the 1968 movie version, has now been restored. A new soundtrack album was also released to coincide with the reissue.

I’m not sure how well all of this will play with anyone who’s unfamiliar with or apathetic about Beatles music. All I know is that few movies have given me greater pleasure from start to finish.



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My first experience with this movie was when my grade 4 teacher showed it to our class (mid '80's sometime). I do feel that many of us were awestruck by the spectacle. Even at age 10 or 11, we all knew of...  (read more)

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Yellow Submarine

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I fell in love with this movie, the first time I saw it! It was really a good time for all. I recently saw the British version on CD! And a new love for the movie then...  (read more)

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