Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Beatles – Yellow Submarine

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Very mild peril
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:1968

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. This movie is a pleasure for the eye, ear, and heart, featuring spectacular animation, gorgeous music (including the title song, “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.

NOTE: Although rumors suggest that songs like “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.

The 2000 video re-release and 2001 DVD include the long-missing “Hey Bulldog” musical number.



  • lisa charles

    Maybe you should revisit this film – I don’t think you’re remembering the extensive footage of war images and bleak semi-violent references that are in the part of this movie that deals with the destruction of Pepperland by the blue meanies. I hardly think that those parts are suitable for K and Pre-K, or really even grade schoolers.
    See the WHOLE movie before reviewing, please. Yellow Submarine is about much more than colorful Peter Max images dancing about onscreen.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks for your comments, Lisa! This kind of feedback will be very helpful to parents trying to decide what is best for their families.
    I do not agree with your description, however. I have seen the whole movie many times and shared it with my children. It is far less violent than many G-rated films, including Disney classics like “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White,” or “Bambi” and other popular family movies like “The Sound of Music.” The Blue Meanies are destructive, but no one is hurt and everything is restored.
    There is a reason that the myths, Bible stories, and fairy tales that have endured through the centuries are violent. This is the way children begin to work through their ideas about the world. “Yellow Submarine” is about as gentle a story as has ever been filmed. Yes, there is some peril and violence, but it is not explicit and the message of the movie is one even young children can appreciate.

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