Jump Cuts: “Yellow Submarine”

“Jump Cuts” is a recurring feature idea for A.D.D. in which I reveal the thoughts that swirl through my head as I watch famous (or infamous) movies. This time it’s Yellow Submarine, the one major Beatles film that barely featured the Fab Four. I mean, it was their music we heard and animated alter egos we watched, but not their voices emanating from the characters. That was a decision reportedly based on time constraints in their hectic schedule. But they did make a live action cameo before the end credits.

The trippy story of Yellow Submarine unfolds thusly: The music-hating Blue Meanies invade and subjugate euphonious Pepperland. A sailor named Old Fred flees in the titular submersible to dreary Liverpool and enlists the aid of The Beatles in fighting the evil scourge of his homeland. The fivesome travel back through various psychedelic waterscapes, from the Sea Of Monsters to the Sea Of Green, to descend upon Pepperland and engage in a musical love campaign against the Meanies. Along with some wild visuals, this animated fantasy romp features my two favorite movie villains ever: the Chief Blue Meanie and Glove (see below).

Here are my random musings on Yellow Submarine. These are the types of things that just pop out of my brain when I watch movies.

1. It’s nice when the Beatles reach out to the Blue Meanies so they could try to live in harmony with the citizens of Pepperland. Too bad that tactic didn’t work when President Obama tried reaching out to Republicans at the start of his presidency.

2. When I was looking at the various statues in John’s “Frankenstein” chamber, I spied well-known figures like The Phantom, Marilyn Monroe…and the Avengers’ John Steed! Not everyone today would know that last one. Respect.

3. Anyone notice the Magritte bowler hat fly by in the Beatles mansion?

4. “It’s all in the mind” = “There is no spoon”.

5. The rambling, comedic dialogue adds a unique flavor to the film. Punny stuff.

My favorite movie baddie negates the
meaning of the phrase, "No glove, no love."

6. It’s a cliché to joke about how the people who made this were on drugs. The more pertinent question is: Which ones?

7. Apple Bonkers are cool. I wish I had one to deal with pesky co-workers when I held desk jobs back in the day.

8. That said, Glove is cooler, from his rumbling laugh to his ability to rapidly swoop across the sky and smash things.

9. Ah, the power of “No!” Sometimes it feels good to say it. Sometimes.

10. For some odd reason, it finally occurred to me: There are no major female characters in this film, nor major female voice roles. Ringo’s sensitivity makes up for it. And at least everyone is a damsel in distress in Pepperland, not just women.

11. My favorite new/old villain line: “O-blue-terate them!”

12. If you’re fast with your pause button, during the sequence where various things pop in and out of the sub as they seek the right weapon to use in the Sea Of Monsters, you can spot a banner pop out that reads: “The Rolling Sto”. I imagine there’s an “nes” at the end of that.

13. I still love this Ringo line: “I’ve got a hole in me pocket.” You know what he means.

14. The long-lost “Hey Bulldog” sequence does not add to the story, but it’s fun to watch.

15. Great muso catchphrases from Lord Mayor: “Bless my metronome.” “Holy Pizzicato!”

16. It was not until I was an adult that I understood the post-Nazi subtext of this funny exchange:
Chief Blue Meanie: “It’s no longer a blue world, Max. Where shall we go?”
Max: “Argentina?”

17. The film’s peace and love message needed to be heard during the year of its releases. In 1968, the Vietnam War escalated and the violence got uglier; Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated; the American civil rights movement was growing but major clashes continued in the southern U.S.; after the film’s release, Republican crook Richard Nixon won the United States Presidency.

18. Thank God they scrapped the proposed 3D remake slated for release in 2012. That was a stupid idea, and whoever came up with it deserves no peace and love.

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