When I was in grade school, the end of the school year was often marked by the grades 1-8 getting into school buses and driving to the nearest theater. In ’69, the powers that be decided that the kids might like that movie that the Beatles released the previous fall. It was animated and y’know, the kids like that long hair music. Also, I am sure it came cheap having been released almost half a year before. The powers that be hadn’t a clue what they were exposing us to.
The wonderful article below goes into not only the making of the film but the enormous influence its subversive animation had:
For me it was a paradigm shift. I was just getting out of the cartoon age but animation still had a strong pull. I loved the flat Hanna Barbera productions or the seminal Disney cartoons. But Yellow Submarine was different. The animation was both surreal and bizarre; at once fluid yet disjointed. I suspect it went over the heads of most of the kids in the theater that day. Hell, most were just trying to figure out the plot. For some reason it stayed with me even though I must confess I have never watched it in full since college. It opened…possibilities.
The one other thing that stuck with me was the bus ride back. Picture it. It’s late May and all these late baby boom kids are packed in buses. They’ve just been exposed to about an hour and a half of the catchiest music on the planet. And those poor bus drivers had to endure the twenty minute ride home with a full load of kids, Kids who only knew the chorus of Yellow Submarine but damn sure were going to repeat it at full volume the entire ride. I’m betting those drivers didn’t forget Yellow Submarine either.