On The Big Screen Reviews

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine – Review

First up – prepare for the internal battle you will have with your brain, desperately trying to persuade it to stop singing Beatles songs, over and over again after viewing ‘The Yellow Submarine’. There are certainly worse things to have stuck in one’s head than these glorious tunes; and this restored version of such an iconic animation still holds impeccably well against time.

Despite the oh so catchy songs burrowing their way into your cranium, still after 35 years, this remains one of the most innovate animations ever to emerge in the film industry. As a man asks a police officer, ‘Would you believe me if I told you I was being followed by a Yellow Submarine?’ we know we are in for an original and surreal narrative and boy do we get it.

A sweeping palette of bright, vibrant rainbow colours emerge with pride alongside Picasso, Dali-esque beings or characters so to speak make the perfect pair in creating a feast of the eyes – and with the songs, a sensory party is sure to be had. Weird and wonderful creatures appear, as well as nightmare-ish beings you would only hope to see in the deepest darkest crevices of your mind bounce and tumble along to dreamy music adopting a narrative that is both bizarre and fascinating.

Accompanying Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine, The Beatles zoom off to Pepperland to save it from ‘The Blue Meanies’ aka the bad guys. Alongside the voices of the Beatles, the four men we all know so well, oh no wait it isn’t actually them? What kind of madness is this? By the by, the chosen voice actors for the caricatures here do a marvellous job of tricking us into believing we are listening to Paul, John, Ringo and George. The film leads us on an adventure that is hard to forget and truly one that everyone should experience.

The animation itself may seem rigid, raw around the edges; certainly not like the flowing Pixar or Ghibli we have now all become accustomed. Albeit, there is still something so clever, so fascinating that it is sheer delight in watching. Of course, this may seem dated, the drawings themselves and the said concept – yet they have done a masterful job as cleaning this one up. The 60’s pop-art and cartoon imagery remains truly unique. Borrowing tropes from virtually every surrealism artist you can think of, to original Mickey Mouse all the way to the psychedelic nature of Carroll’s down the rabbit hole upside world, this may be visually appealing to children yet the parents are sure to gain more from watching. The jokes and puns are fabulously funny, leaving you with a big smile on your face as the credits role.

Above all else the imagination that it took to come up with this is sheer genius. Just as these 4 wise men once said ‘All you need is love’, the overall message here is love indeed, conquers all. In such dark times as these, every single one of us should remember that!


Catch The Yellow Submarine across Picturehouses!

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