Yellow Submarine (1968) Poster

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8/10
Still Innovative, Unbelievably Colorful
ccthemovieman-115 November 2005
Over 35 years later, this is still an innovative animated film: colorful, clever and different. In fact, you'd have to look hard to find a more colorful film ever made.

The Beatles characters are fun, spouting a number of good puns and inside jokes concerning lyrics from some of their past songs. The bad guys here, the "Blue Meanies," are also fun to watch and really different from anything you've seen.

This is wild stuff which can appeal to adults even more than kids. The only improvement I would have made would have been to shorten it a bit. Even at a fairly short 90 minutes, some could have been trimmed.

The DVD is fine, except for the last 30 minutes when it gets grainy. However, the 5.1 surround sound more than makes up for that, affording the viewer to hear all these famous Beatles songs in a better format that surrounds you as a CD could never do.
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If you think music video started with MTV, see this film...
edman5924 June 2005
"Yellow Submarine" is a great film but it's not because of the plot or even the whimsical, non-sequitur filled dialogue. "Yellow Submarine" works best as a series of loosely connected music videos that pre-date MTV by 12 years.

If you grew up with MTV and you think that most music videos consist of 80's Hair-Metal bands "in concert" or rappers in hot tubs with women in bikinis, take a look at some of the musical numbers in "Yellow Submarine".

You have "Only a Northern Song" which is presented with Andy Warhol style pop-art images. "Nowhere Man" is a whimsical, trippy, rainbow colored cartoon. "When I'm Sixty Four" is illustrated by a "Sesame Street" style numerical countdown. Even "All Together Now", for which The Beatles themselves actually appear on screen, contains little camera tricks and quick cut edits that are common tools of more recent music videos.

The two best segments in the movie, in my opinion, are "Eleanor Rigby" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". "Eleanor Rigby" uses black and white still photos of what is apparently Liverpool rotoscoped with occasional splashes of color to illustrate the dreariness of the lives of "all the lonely people." The full-color rotoscoped images for "Lucy", such as the can-can dancing chorus line and the horse running in the field, are beautiful.

If you are a fan of The Beatles, great animation, or music video, this film is for you.
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Inventive, hilarious, and visually extraordinary
ametaphysicalshark10 March 2007
'Yellow Submarine' is a visual stunner and an extremely well-scripted movie. There are lots of Beatles in jokes, George's fascination with Indian music and John's fascination with scientific theories are lampooned, the Beatles' power is joked about ("Nothing's Beatle Proof!") and poor old Ringo is just plain made fun of. The movie itself is arguably the most psychedelic ever made. The Beatles' descent into Pepperland is just one psychedelic scene after the other. The animation isn't great, but everything is just done so strange and fun that it becomes absolutely irresistible. The colors, landscapes, and creatures are just really different and vivid and vibrant. The songs are fit in very, very well (although "Nowhere Man" is undoubtedly the best sequence). Overall this works great as a musical or as an animated film, and there's definitely a lot of priceless, subtle dialog. I would name it one of the top 20 animated films of all time, really. Definitely worth watching, just because there simply isn't any movie like it.

10/10
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The greatest film ever
alexbcit21 March 2001
The music of the Beatles had galvanized an army of very creative artists who have accomplished the impossible, and created the movie that parallels the elegance and beauty of the music that inspired it. Many people feel that this film is a miracle, and I have the same feeling, especially when I'm watching it breathlessly from the beginning to its end.

Similar to the way the Beatles themselves have created many of their masterpieces, this film is the result of a "controlled chaos". Lennon remarked that many of his imagery and lyrics were just conceived off the top of his head, which is precisely the thing that gives them the freshness and spontaneity we adore. Same is with the rich and fulfilling imagery of this film -- it is obviously an outcome of the 'shoot from the hip' approach. It sounds unbelievable, but the film's ending (the most brilliant piece of all), was thrown in during one hectic weekend! Knowing this, it is not surprising to learn that the principal artist who designed the look and feel of the "Yellow Submarine" movie, almost went blind after finishing it (he set a grueling schedule of sleeping only four hours every other night during the making of the film! -- it took him several years to regain his health)

On a personal level, this film works as some kind of revelation for me. It is impossible to put it into words, but the film stirs the deepest, most contradictory emotions in me. It transcends space and time, and has the ability to bring me into the state where the regular, everyday thoughts do not apply. In that respect, it is as strong as the best Beatles songs.

Many criticisms of this movie are sadly missing the point. To criticise the animation as being jerky and unrealistic amounts to criticising Picasso for not painting more photo-realistic canvases. Misses the point entirely. To criticise the understatement-laden dialogue is to miss the finer points of comedy, insisting on the Three Stooges slapstick only. To say that the story line is incoherent is to betray the sitcom-infested mind in the sad state of commercial-induced eating disorder.

I must confess that I had approached the viewing of this film with a huge dose of skepticism. I thought it's going to look and feel lame, with a dated and naive hippy/psychedelia cliches. Boy, was I in for a shock!

My rating: 11 out of 10
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"Have some nasty medicine, your blueness."
Glenn Andreiev16 May 2001
Next to FANTASIA, YELLOW SUBMARINE is one the best animated feature films ever made. We will always remember the sixties pop-art imagery along with some of the best dialog to grace cartoon-land ("I haven't had so much fun since Pompeii....""I'm a born lever puller.") not to mention some of the best music to come from the best set of musicians the 20th century has produced! This is a kid's film at heart (wild adventures in strange distant lands, weird monsters, loud over bearing villians....) My only criticism is in the re-mastering, in 1999. The song "Hey, bulldog..." is added toward the end (A scene where the fab four meet up with a bunch of the Blue Meanies' bulldogs, and defeat them with the power of music.) The scene looks hastily slapped together,like something out The Beatles cartoon series (which was hated by the real life Liverpool lads. That's why they were originally not too thrilled with the announcement of this animated film.) There is a reason why these scenes are deleted, to allow classics like this to flow so easily on the screen. Anyway, a great, great classic.
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10/10
Classic For All Times! Ever
denis88811 September 2006
if this is a magic land, then this is Pepperland. If this is a magic film about this magic land, then this is Yellow Submarine. I believe, and many will agree with me on that, YS is the cleverest and most wonderful artifact of the hippie era. Here, you see no blatant drug references, no rude words, no endless acid space jams. No, here, the essence of the Flower Power time is represented as a smart, vivid, multicolored fairy tale. The idea that music may save the world and that the yellow submarine may be an escape from bleak, dull gray world is great. But even if we put this philosophizers aside, we view hilariously funny, colorful, brisk movie, with The Fab Four as a brilliant cast. And the lines! They are great, as when Ringo does exactly what the captain told him not to, or when The Nowhere Man starts his unforgettable gibberish, or when at the very end the real Bealtled appear, with all those quips and jokes. This is like a sweet, long, and very kind dream. May it never end!
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All together now, this is a fun film
Adriane5 March 2000
I bet you're thinking, "another Beatles movie?" but that's not really what this is. A wonderfully vibrant and gorgeous cartoon, and a treat for the eye and ear. This is how vivid and bright all cartoons should be. Great soundtrack of course, and the Beatles make a real cameo at the very end. Watch if you are a Beatle fan like me, or simply if you want a fun cartoon. They did a wonderful job remastering and cleaning it up.
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a small review
saywardstudio15 October 2004
I will readily admit that I don't watch too many movies,unless I have heard good reviews about them or if it is an art film. While perusing the movies at the local library, I was attracted to the bright yellow case this movie was in. (I didn't know what it was at the moment.) Being a Beatles aficionado(sp?), I checked it out and brought it home. My husband was thrilled as he saw it when he was 5! Oh man. Get ready for a visual feast of color and sound.(and humor!) I was literally glued to the screen for the duration of the film. I mean, if you take your eyes off of it for just a second you will miss something. I love bright vivid contrasting colors so this was great, but it may hurt your eyes if you're into earthtones. I found it a great escape from reality and very light hearted. The art is fabulous. FABULOUS!!! I have seen a great many things in my life but NOTHING like this. Truly unique. Thanks for reading.
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10/10
"Tiptoe,Through The Meanies"
happipuppi131 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen "Yellow Submarine" many,many times since the 1970s,when it aired on local stations and even on PBS. However it's never looked better than when I finally saw it on DVD. The colors are finally more alive than they ever have been before! No black line film scratches or film jumps.

As a boy,it was easy to get lost in this animated fantasy although the more mature underlying ideas were impossible to comprehend. The good versus evil is something most Saturday morning cartoons were made of and I waited eagerly for The Beatles and the people of Pepperland to defeat the very scary Blue Meanies.

The animation is not Disney but as The Beatles themselves are noted for saying (on the DVD),if it had been a sticky-sweet Disney type film,they'd have wanted absolutely no part of it. The whole experience is bizarre,crazy,lampooning,farcical and many other verb or adjective you'd care to add. Especially in the building with many doors!

There's even a serious tone with the addition of the song,"Elanor Rigby",which plays over somewhat somber looking pictures of Liverpool and other sad things.

In the DVD we get a previously edited scene where the guys are chased by the Meanies blue attack dogs (while "Hey Bulldog" plays over it.) This scene was done last and one can tell the animation here is not as good as the rest of the film is. This makes the scene seem slightly out of place with the rest. It's the only thing I can say about the film in a slightly un-positive light. Still,it doesn't affect my rating.

Even though it's not the "real" Beatles talking,the quick quips and one liners are still funny as if John,Paul,George or Ringo had said them.

I love when Ringo sings,"Tiptoe through the meanies",when he and the others are sneaking through the dark while thousands of them are sleeping on the ground at their feet.

The message of peace and "All You Need Is Love" may seem dated to some folks but without believing in that to some degree,one wouldn't be able to enjoy this movie. The film is a fun psychedelic fantasy but the idea of world peace and the futility of war and dominance are not.

That idea alone is enough to rate Yellow Submarine 10 stars. I also rate it that for the incredible visual aspect of the closing,"It's All Too Much" number (written & sung mainly by George) and for the funny live action/sing-along of "All Together Now" at the end.

The only one's I see not enjoying this film are those who have become cynical or think computer animation or Disney are the only acceptable formats. (END)
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10/10
Nothing comparable--EVER!
arbilab16 December 2006
What COULD compare? Yellow Submarine is 130,000 frames (90min x 60sec x 24 frames/sec) of classical, pop, tribute (to earlier animation styles), and original art from Da Vinci to Warhol to Picasso to Popeye to unbridled hallucination, drawn to a best-of-Python screenplay of non-sequiturs, puns, and pokes at institutions from cold-war antagonists to (governor) Reagan's paranoid National Guard deployment against counterculturists.

It's a feast for the senses and sensibilities. One can revel in the flashing, dancing colors and art styles--most of which well-shame anything Disney ever attempted and make today's phony-depth digital claptrap look like spilled esophageal reflux. The soundtrack is a condensed spectrum of the range with which Lennon/McCartney/Harrison composed, from deeply contemplative (Eleanor Rigby) to near-post-adolescent exuberance (Harrison's contributions) to silly-love-song filler showtunes (All Together Now). The dialog exchanges keep viewer's verbal senses on the edge of their seats. The theme undercurrents lightheartedly appeal nostalgically to those who were drawn to it in its theatrical release, historically to those who still wonder 'what the 60s was all about', without getting in the way of sheer artistic ebullience.

If you're an adult, it helps to like animation and British-invasion-era music (or Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rodgers & Hammerstein, for that matter). If you're an adult watching it with your kids (there's nothing offensive), be prepared for them to groan at Disney/Pixar/Nickelodeon rubbish from then on, and say "I want more of THAT!"
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