review for Yellow Submarine on AllMovie

Yellow Submarine (1968)
by Andrea LeVasseur review

An animated musical-epic, Yellow Submarine is a head movie for the whole family to enjoy. Made as the Beatles were close to breaking up, and agreed upon as a way to get out of the United Artists' three-picture deal after Hard Day's Night and Help!, the bandmembers had minimal input on the film. They didn't even provide voice-overs and only appeared in a short live-action scene. Yet, Yellow Submarine stands as evidence of what the band symbolized to fans by portraying the Beatles saving the world with love and music. Visually, it is a kaleidoscopic lesson in art history, with director George Dunning fusing together pop art, op art, surrealism, and general weirdness. The swirling colors and dazzling movement set the standard for British psychedelia of the time, as well as proving influential for experimental animation styles to come. The story is numbingly simple, interspersed with cultural references and the spontaneous banter common to the other Beatles movies, but that is secondary to the excellent musical score, including "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Eleanor Rigby," and "All You Need Is Love." Yellow Submarine remains an animated classic that captures the charming fantasy of the late-'60s psychedelic phenomena.