Yellow Submarine – Beth and I actually watched this for the first time last night. She hated it, but I thought it was cute. Nonetheless, I can see why someone might not like it; it was kind of slow and bizarre simply for the sake of being bizarre. I found quite a bit to like about it, though. The animation was weird, being fairly cheap-looking in terms of actual movement and in how everybody looked rather flat, yet the drawings themselves were pretty detailed. The voice actors tended to go for dry, subtle readings on their lines, which means a lot of the jokes are easy to miss. You probably know that the Beatles didn’t provide their own voices (although they obviously did sing the songs), which is kind of lame.
What little plot there is involves the idyllic Pepperland being invaded by Blue Meanies.
A citizen named Fred escapes in the titular yellow submarine, and manages to make his way to Liverpool and recruit help from the Beatles, who are all hanging out in a psychedelic building full of doors. Much of the film concentrates on the return journey to Pepperland, which involves a voyage through a sea of monsters. Along the way, the Fab Four meet up with the Nowhere Man, Jeremy Hillary Boob, an eccentric, flamboyant academic.
He joins the Beatles on their trip (and a TRIP it certainly is), and they finally reach Pepperland and save the place with music and the power of love. This was apparently what passed for a story in the late sixties. It doesn’t really matter, though, as it’s not a plot-driven film. Also worth noting is that a few Beatles numbers were debuted in the movie, including “All Together Now,” a personal favorite of mine. Have you noticed I tend to like songs with kind of nursery rhyme feel?