Yellow Submarine Movie Poster Image

Yellow Submarine



Beatles classic with great animation, music.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: January 13, 2004
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1968
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Imaginative animation paired with the music of Beatles. Themes expounding on the song "All You Need Is Love." Creative play is championed through the movie's witty comedy and surrealistic artwork. 

Positive role models

The Beatles display tremendous wit, good humor, and creative play. Songs such as "All You Need Is Love" characterize the "peace and love" idealism that John Lennon in particular tried to convey in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Violence & scariness

Very mild cartoonish peril. Ringo is shot with arrows but is unharmed. Blue Meanies shoot machine guns. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

While it's not necessarily the intention of this movie, there are many sequences featuring Beatles' songs from various albums, and, as with any music video, there is an inherent marketing context at work.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The word "LOVE" is spelled out like a lit cigarette. Cigar smoking. Rumors suggest that songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" are veiled references to drugs.

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? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 13, 1968
DVD release date:September 14, 1999
Cast:John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr
Director:George Dunning
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Educator and Parent of a 10 year old Written bywillowfaierie January 10, 2010

This song is not bad

Lucy in the Sky is not about drugs, it's about McCartney's love interest, who died 2008.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byhamstergurl09 June 5, 2011

Trippiest Movie Ever

I love this movie! I have a Yellow Submarine tin lunchbox which I bring to school every day and a really cool Yellow Submarine mug. This movie has a lot of clever wordplay and wit. For example, this is one of my favorite lines: "Don't pull that lever!" "I can't help it, I'm a born lever puller." Get it, because "lever puller" sounds like "Liverpooler?" Some of the visuals in this movie are dizzying. I had to look away from the screen while I watched some scenes because they made me naucious. But this is one of my favorite animated movies of all time. Definitely recommended.
Adult Written byKaterz April 9, 2008

Unexpected kid favorite!

Who knew this rather bizarre, Peter-Max inspired cartoon would grab the attention of my 4-year-old?!? I was delighted when he took an interest in this movie, which is great fun for grown-ups, too. There are a couple scenes that bothered him that we fast-forwarded thru - one where a Frankenstein-type fellow morphs into John, and another where a lady is screaming. But no real peril or danger here, Mates.


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