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.