Yellow Submarine (1968)

yellow submarine poster 1968 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Memorable visuals

So-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Yellow Submarine

Studio:  Apple Films

Genre(s):  Animated/Musical

Release Date(s):  July 17, 1968

MPAA Rating:  G


Here come the Blue Meanies!

Pepperland has been invaded by the Blue Meanies and Old Fred has been sent in the Yellow Submarine to find help.  Travelling to Liverpool, Old Fred finds Ringo, John, George, and Paul and recruited them to help the people of Pepperland.  Travelling the seas in the Yellow Submarine, the Beatles find that freeing Pepperland from the Blue Meanies could be their greatest adventure yet!

Directed by George Dunning with live action sequences by Dennis Abey, Yellow Submarine was written by Lee Minoff and based on the 1966 song from The Beatles’ Revolver album.  The animated musical was well received by critics and became a cult classic.



I honestly hadn’t sat down and watched Yellow Submarine until now.  I had seen lots of clips of the movie and can even remember parts of the movie aired at the theater before other movies as a child.  Having grown up with the imagery of Yellow Submarine, I was a little disappointed to see the actual film which was much better in my mind.

The story for Yellow Submarine might be the biggest problem.  While I applaud the surreal nature of the movie and some of the wordplay, I wished that the story had a bit more substance to it.  It feels like a kid could watch it an somewhat enjoy it, but I think as a kid I would have gotten a bit bored.  As an adult, I found myself looking for more allusions to real events and there doesn’t really seem to be much correlation in its symbolism as it potentially could have in the rich political world from which the movie formed.


All you need is love!

The movie features a lot of The Beatles in their music but the vocal for the movie were provided by John Clive (John), Geoff Hughes (Paul), Peter Batten (George), and Paul Angelis (Ringo).  A few of The Beatles’ previous films had soured the band to being really involved in the production.  The movie features a short live-action sequence at the end of movie (as part of a contractual obligation), but for the most part The Beatles had little to do with the film.

The Beatles animated designs were based on animation for “Strawberry Fields Forever”.  I (like many) thought Peter Max was behind some of the visuals but the movie’s animation actually predates most of Max’s signature stuff.  The visuals are bright vivid and original.  The bizarre character designs and fun art feels like a throwback and brings back fond memories of early Sesame Street and Electric Company.


Can we leave now?

Yellow Submarine should be seen since it is a classic and a must for fans of The Beatles, but I wish the movie had more substance or was a bit more subversive.  The movie is often credited as giving more credence to animated films that were just seen as children’s films, and I’m glad that it is recognized for that.  There was talk of a computer animated sequel to Yellow Submarine, but the project collapsed after Zemeckis’ studio was absorbed by Disney…which is a good thing.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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