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Yellow Submarine

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United Kingdom, United States · 1968
Rated G · 1h 30m
Director George Dunning
Starring Paul Angelis, John Clive, Dick Emery, Geoffrey Hughes
Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Music

The Blue Meanies take over Pepperland, draining it of all its color and music, firing anti-music missiles, bonking people with green apples, and turning the inhabitants to stone by way of the pointed finger of a giant blue glove. As the only survivor, the Lord Admiral escapes in the yellow submarine and goes to Liverpool to enlist the help of the Beatles.

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Variety by

This is a full length animated cartoon in which the prime factor is the appearance of the Beatles in caricature form. Here are all the ingredients of a novel entertainment.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

The animation is imaginatively conceived, but stiffly executed. A Fantasia designed for heads, the film does no more justice to the music than Disney's artists did. But Disney had the excuse of innocence, whereas this shrewdly conceived commercial project does not.


Chicago Reader by Lisa Alspector

This 1968 Beatles musical gets somewhat plot heavy near the end, but it's a marvel of innocence and free association, blending several animation techniques in a loose narrative full of gentle bad puns and flowing visual segues.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Perhaps because the Beatles were considered such a draw, perhaps because the songs were counted on to sell the film, there was no agenda to dumb down the material or hard-sell the story. Instead of contrived urgency, there's unpressured whimsy, and the movie exists as pure charm, expressed in fantastical imagery. And then there are the songs.

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