Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine

Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
Photos: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine

It's really unfortunate that the Yellow Submarine DVD is out of print. Hopefully, a Blu-Ray version won't be too long in waiting. This is a great animation movie, an animator's movie. It's art created by and for artists who take joy in their craft. Every scene is a technical showpiece and a thrill to watch. I can't imagine this movie starring anyone but The Beatles.

I'd love to hear what independent animators think of Yellow Submarine. Is it a triumph? A time capsule? Has it aged well? Could a similar movie be created today?


J.R.D.S. said...

I remember Richard Williams writing in his Animator's Survival Kit that he and most of his Thief and the Cobbler team (or, rather, Nasruddin, as it would have been in those early days) found it creative enough in small parts but couldn't tolerate sitting through a whole feature done in such low frame rate animation (Ralph Stephenson give it and an earlier, short film by the same director, I think, a more favourable write-up in his Animation in the Cinema/The Animated Film). As a UPA fanboy (and bladder-of-water resenter) I doubt I'd have that problem and I'm all for inventive musical sequences over conventional narrative but I've, perhaps surprisingly considering this, failed to be moved much by Yellow Submarine. I think, primarily, because it requires one to be at least a bit of a Beatles fan (yet, at the same time, not so much that one objects to others' visual interpretations of their music intruding on yours); there's also some absurdism, which I generally dislike in visuals (though there's also some in Kirikou et la sorcière and that didn't ruin the whole feature for me). But I don't rule out that Yellow Submarine being successful could have contributed to La Planète sauvage, and still others, being made and I am certainly thankful to it for that.

In terms of something like it being made today: of course, just as long as the filmmaker is prepared to pay for everything themselves. I'm thinking, of course, with it's discrete musical sequences, of Sita Sings the Blues (which, for the sake of comparison, is a tribute – if to more than one thing – which doesn't require one to be a fan of what it is paying tribute to in order to enjoy it; though any prior knowedge one might have does of course enhance the experience). There's also the example of Elegies to Lessons Learnt: a film set to the album of the same name, made by one of the band members and funded by the record company. That, or move to France or Japan. (n_-)

And, hey, I'm surprised you haven't pointed out the Yellow Submarine–Nausicaä connection. That's one thing about both of them that has inspired me greatly.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

The Yellow Submarine-Nausicaa connection.......???

I thought about that one for a minute. I can't think of any.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Being reminded Heinz Edelmann just passed away recently (graphic designer on film). I remember the first time I saw Yellow Submarine care of my local PBS station in the 80's, and I don't think I was the same since!

Doug said...

I am pretty angry that this film is not available currently. Well, it is if you want to stalk ebay and pay waaayyyy too much for it. I think it encapsulates what I have in my mind as the 60s, not that it is a true representation of that time, just a piece of it.

I remember being somewhat annoyed by the "Lucy in the Sky" segment though. If I recall it has the rotoscoped girl dancy thingy?

I just love love love the design on this thing!

J.R.D.S. said...

They both use "The Sea of _________" to refer to things which aren't actually a sea at all. OR ARE THEY? Is "sea" actually defined by it being filled with water? And isn't the air we breathe filled with water (vapour) anyway? And if something is a sea – no matter what it is of – does that mean that a submarine can travel through it? (With Nausicaä I'm thinking of the comic rather than the film, the latter being less familiar to me.)

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