Film of the Week: Yellow Submarine (1968)


Directed by: George Dunning

Starring: The Beatles, Paul Angelis,  John Clive, Dick Emery, Geoffrey Hughes


The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies.

As a Liverpudlian, I am ashamed that I’ve never seen this film until this week. I was finally inspired by the 50th anniversary to watch this on the 8th of July. It was fun to watch with my fianc√©, as he watched this a lot as a child and it’s usually me who has already seen most of the films we watch.

Everything about this film is surreal, from the sound editing to the fantastic use of colour and range of animation. The animation styles in particular reminded me of Monty Python sketches, a seemingly popular animating style during the Sixties and Seventies. In particular, I loved the¬†Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds¬†sequence with it being one of my favourite songs. The combination of life drawing, paint texture and psychedelic colour is something I’ve never found in an animated feature before, it was honestly a euphoric experience; hopefully I can find more experimental animation styles in other feature films in the future.

I was devastated to find out that The Beatles didn’t voice themselves in the film until half-way through. Though, the voice actors are excellent at impersonating them – especially Ringo with him having the most dialogue. The only issue I had with the film was the attitude of the boys to other characters – calling the creature ugly and making him cry, and insulting Jeremy Hilary Boob after asking him to fix the submarine. I just found it odd and jarring between the innocent jokes.

In all, I think I am biased about this film because I love The Beatles, their music and seeing Liverpool on screen; I honestly danced around my living room every time a song came on. Disappointing absence of female characters, but glad I never watched this as a kid because the awfully horrifying Blue Meanies would have haunted me.



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