In the town where I was born, Lived a man who sailed to sea, And he told us of his life, In the land of submarines…
So begins George Dunning’s kaleidoscopic tale of the voyage of the Yellow Submarine, based on the ever-popular song from The Beatles. Speaking of The Beatles, they are present; animated, full of life, and ready for the journey.
The film opens in an “unearthly paradise” called Pepperland, an underwater utopia where love reigns, music soars, and flowers bloom. It seems that all is bliss, until the nefarious Blue Meanies attack, draining Pepperland of its color and harmony, while rendering the care-free citizens immobile in a collective temporary coma. With only minutes at hand before his own capture, the mayor of Pepperland dispatches a sailor, the kindly and energetic Old Fred, on a mission to get help aboard the Yellow Submarine.
The submarine carries Old Fred through Liverpool, where he finds John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They are more than willing to join the sailor on his quest, which carries them through the Sea of Time, the Sea of Science, the Sea of Monsters, the Sea of Nothing, and the Sea of Holes – and finally, the Sea of Green. Along the way, they meet a “Nowhere Man” named Jeremy Hilary Boob, PhD, whose advanced intellect further aids them on their expedition.
It all leads to a fantastic showdown against the Blue Meanies and their psychedelic minions, where everyone will learn that “All You Need Is Love”.
This is not just a film for Beatles fans; anyone can enjoy this surrealistic animated classic. The soundtrack is full of Beatles hits, including the title theme, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, and “All Together Now”.
Yellow Submarine was released theatrically in 1968. It was released on DVD in 1999, fully restored and remastered, and is now available on Blu-ray. Directed by George Dunning. Released by United Artists.