When 'Yellow Submarine' came to Australia I was five or six, and my mother worked in a cinema. Consequently I got to watch films for nothing, over and over. I remember she used to give me these little bits of paper that came in the stainless steel ice-cream drums and the usher would pretend they were tickets.
Errr.. yes, sorry.
Can you imagine what 'Yellow Submarine' was like to an eccentric six year-old in 1969? It was possibly the first movie I'd ever seen that totally entranced me and transported me into a reality that seemed completely magical and completely real.
Of course, a lot of that probably had to do with being six years old.
I admit, I don't get anything like that from it now. Still, I've yet to run into anyone who hates this movie. It's just so daft and 60's I don't think anyboy could bring themselves to detest it.
Pepperland is invaded by The Blue Meanies (that flying glove utterly blew my mind when I was a kid) who steal their music, and The Beatles set out on a Yellow Submarine to save the day. It's a quest movie.
Basically the animation is really lousy, though the background drawings are often very interesting, and perhaps, it occurs to me, might even have influenced 'Fantastic Planet' which came out a few years later.
Fortunately what it lacks in technique it largely makes up for in ideas. The thing looks and feels like it was concieved by a bunch of nutcases on acid, which it probably was. The Fab Four (who at this stage, it might be remembered, were also basically a bunch of nutcases on acid) travel from one bizarre universe to another. Sometimes scenes are obviously contrived as excuses to use a particular song, but that isn't necessarily an outright bad thing.
I'd by lying if I said this were a great movie. Somehow, all the same, it's still a classic one, and it's nice to know it's there even if I'll probably never own it. I'm not sure how that all makes sense together, but it just does. It seems almosy to be great and stupid at the same time. If it were a person, it would be an idiot-savant.
Oh, and this is the one movie here of which I'll bet nobody ever says "Good film, shame about the songs."