What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Yellow Submarine is a 1968 animated feature starring the Beatles and inspired by their song of the same name. Although rumors suggest that songs such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" are veiled references to drugs, and the animation sometimes has a psychedelic look, there is nothing that remotely approaches drug or alcohol use of any kind. The violence is extremely mild, especially by cartoon standards. The Meanies take over by "bonking" people with green apples; Ringo is shot with arrows but is unharmed. The animation is highly imaginative and playful, although the looks of some of the Blue Meanies, with their mean grins and yellow teeth, might be a bit nightmarish for younger or more sensitive kids.
What's the story?
All is peace, love, and music in gentle Pepperland until the wicked Blue Meanies take over. The Beatles come to the rescue via the title vessel, meeting all kinds of strange and interesting characters along the way.
Is it any good?
YELLOW SUBMARINE is a pleasure for the eyes, ears, and heart. It features spectacular animation, gorgeous music (including "When I'm 64," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "All Together Now," and the lovely "Sea of Time," written by longtime Beatle collaborator George Martin), witty wordplay (lots of puns and some sly political satire), and a sweet story with a nonviolent happy ending. Younger kids will appreciate it on a different level from their older siblings and parents, and that's just fine.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the different ways to interpret this movie. Do you think there are hidden messages? Why do you think the Beatles wanted to make this movie?
What are the ways in which the animation is distinct and unique, often imitated but never duplicated?
It has been over 50 years since the Beatles first attained international success and recognition. Why do you think they and the messages contained in their music continue to remain popular? Do you think people will still be listening to their music in the next 50 years?