Monday, November 14, 2016

Yellow Submarine

I watched this movie with my mom last Friday night. It was a re-watch for both of us. I saw it in the 1970s with my brother, but all I remember of it was great music, psychedelic graphics, and a hole in the pocket. We were both 15 or younger at the oldest when we saw it. Movie reviewing and looking beyond the surface was nothing I was interested in at the time. I suspect my brother was only interested in the surface meanings as well. Now, 40 years later I don't really remember much about the animation styles or storytelling styles that came before. Mom also saw it in the 60s or 70s. She says all she remembered of it was the song, and a hole in the pocket. She does however remember it being a groundbreaking show. So, armed with the knowledge that mom considered it groundbreaking, my re-watch tried to see why she considered it so.

Pepperland, a land full of beautiful music, color, and love is attacked by the blue-meanies, and Young Fred is sent off in a Yellow Submarine to bring back help. Young Fred is probably middle aged, but that is beside the point, and off he goes to find a way to defeat the meanies. He finds the Beatles. They have adventures along the way, and someone, I think John, puts a hole in his pocket. That is important, but does not play as big a part in the movie as I remembered.

Yellow Submarine is an anti war film produced during the United States' involvement in Vietnam, and during the Cold War between the United Sates and the U.S.S.R.  It is an animated film, and Monty Python would come to use a very similar animating style in some of their work. The songs are interwoven beautifully, but in the end make as much sense as the songs in most musicals. From a distance of 40 years I really don't know all the ways that this film was innovative, and I have not gone looking for professional reviews to find out for my little review. I hate to say it, but it is not really a film I enjoyed now, or the first time I watched it. Both times I found large segments of it boring. I did enjoy the puns and the animation style. I would not have re-watched the film now except that mom checked it out of the library and I watched it with her. I doubt I will watch it again.

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