Yellow Submarine (1968)

YellowSubmarinePosterBy: Oberst Von Berauscht & Bill Leon (Four Beers) –

The mystical world of Pepperland has been invaded by the Blue Meanies, who have turned everyone into statues by throwing green apples at them.  It is up to one man and his submarine to find John, Paul, George, and Ringo; the only ones who can save the world!  (Those unfamiliar with the film will likely have been lost at “Blue Meanies”.)

A Toast

-Bill L: Of all the things you can call Yellow Submarine, “unoriginal” is certainly not one of them. Everything in this movie is unique and innovative as hell for its time. It is undoubtedly an iconic film and its status as a pop culture icon is undeniable. I feel like this film broadened the audience for animation by a great margin- probably getting teenage to adult theater-goers to see it.

-Oberst: I cannot fault the art department for creativity.  Feature animation prior to Yellow Submarine tended to be very clean and polished, and set itself more or less within a consistent reality.  With this film, all the rules are thrown away.  The artists behind Yellow Submarine forged a style which flows freely like a stream of consciousness.  This film had to be a revelation to filmgoers, who likely weren’t familiar with this kind of experimentation.

Artistic experimentation, not the chemical kind…

Beer Two

-Oberst: In spite of the overall quality of the art design, the film’s low budget is evident at times; even a film as free-flowing as this should have some semblance of continuity.  This film has many instances where colors change, or objects simply disappear/move in such a way that indicates either laziness on the part of the animation department, or rushed deadlines (I’m guessing the latter).

-Bill L: There are TV animation-style mistakes going on. The only one I don’t think they managed to hit is having a voice come out of the wrong character. I will say that the hallucinogenic element of the film’s animation makes the mistakes a lot less noticeable.

Beer Three

-Oberst: The few “Beatles” songs which were ostensibly written for this film have the feel of leftovers from recording sessions.  Lyrically, both “Hey Bulldog”, and “All Together Now” are very weak, and simply do not contain the same high standards Beatles fans came to expect.  “All Together Now” in particular has the feel of a cheap knockoff of a real Beatles song, made all the more offensive that it is a “legitimate” Beatles song.

Legitimate Beatles songs: like “Legitimate Rape”… but not, at all, actually…

-Bill L: What “Hey Bulldog” lacks in lyrics, it more than makes up for in energy and groove. That rockin’ piano and guitar combo completely carries the song through for me. The rest of the “originals” that popped up in Yellow Submarine don’t amount to much but I have to defend “Hey Bulldog” because I think it’s an awesome song.

Beer Four

-Oberst: The songs often are fitted into the film’s storyline quite awkwardly, throwing off pacing in favor of what amounts to a music video.  This might have been a forgivable issue if the songs were new (Like in Help and A Hard Days Night), but instead the songs were recycled from prior releases.

The environment will thank you, music fans will not…

-Bill L: “When I’m 64” plays because they’re going through a time rift. 64-age-time, okay… They call a character Nowhere Man so they can sing the song “Nowhere Man”. The music videos and songs are a free-for-all and none of them NEED to be associated with this story… but they’re a lot of fun to watch. Once again, the ambition at work here is very admirable and this film did a lot to create my much beloved musical subgenre “The music video film”.

“The Song’s called ‘When I’m 64’ so…. lets count to 64!” -Brilliant!



-Oberst: Historically speaking, this is a fascinating document of the time it was made..  but also somewhat less impactful than it might have been at the time.

-Bill L: I can take or leave Yellow Submarine as a whole, but I appreciate its legacy and the ambition and innovations made in it. Animation, rock music, and drug-users were changed forever.


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever someone mentions “Blue Meanies”

Take a Drink: for each musical sequence

Take a Drink: for insider Beatles references

Drink a Shot: when you feel like you’re tripping, even if you aren’t literally tripping.

Drink a Shot: when you feel like you’re tripping, even if you aren’t literally tripping.

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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