Friday 6 April 2012

Yellow Submarine - World Animation review (UK)

Yellow Submarine - 1968
Director - George Dunning

1. Yellow Submarine Poster

Plot summary / review:
Director George Dunning's Yellow Submarine is widely considered to be an icon of British history and animation. Released in 1968, it fuses experimental art with exploratory music from "The Beatles". It was released "after the Summer of Love but before Woodstock, when the Beatles stood astride the world of pop music, and ``psychedelic art'' had such an influence that people actually read underground newspapers printed in orange on yellow paper. " (Ebert. 1999).  The movie also fuses a third popular subject of that era and is filled with non-subtle references to hallucinogenic drugs.

The Yellow Submarine is a reflection of societies relaxed views on the swinging sixties. On paper, the plot resembles a script for Saturday morning cartoons, only written by a teenager experimenting with said hallucinogenics. Time magazine refers to Submarine as  a"two-hour pot high" but "still a breakthrough combination of the feature film and art's intimacy with the unconscious." (Time. 2008)

2. Psychedelic art

The basic plot opens in Pepperland which is invaded by the Blue Meanies. They turn the music loving inhabitants to stone and drain away their colour. Old Fred, the conductor of the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, escapes in the Yellow Submarine to enlist the help of the Beatles. They embark on a "trip" (in every sense of the word) to save Pepperland with their songs, eleven of which are featured throughout. 

3. Blue Meanies

4. Sgt. Peppers

It is commonly misconceived that the Beatles voiced their characters, however they only "redo old songs or appear once, in person, briefly, in one of their worst acted appearances ever." (Adler. 1968). Despite this the Yellow Submarine has a cult following.  The older audience sing-along to their songs and muse over the sixties references.  Contemporary teenagers snigger at the suggestion of drugs. The younger modern audience won't understand the jokes or references to art. The Beatles songs contribute to the film but the animation has not dated well, which may explain a 3D revamp due for 2014. 

5. The Beatles


Adler, Renata. New York Times Review 14th November 1968 

Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times Review 5th September 1999

Time Magazine Reveiew 4th September 2008


1. Yellow Submarine Poster - Accessed 06/04/12

2. Pyschedelic art - Accessed 06/04/12

3. Blue Meanies - Accessed 06/04/12

4. Sgt Peppers - Accessed 06/04/12

5. The Beatles - Accessed 06/04/12

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