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‘Yellow Submarine’ (NR)

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
November 19, 1987

Although the Beatles weren't actually involved in the making of this animated classic (they do make a live cameo appearance at the end, singing "All You Need Is Love"), their zany spirit and inventiveness are evident throughout, thanks to a wonderfully implausible story line (by Lee Minoff, Jack Mendolsohn, Erich Segal and Al Brodax, who also produced), some beautiful and often extraordinary animation (by director George Durning) and, of course, 14 great Beatles songs, three written expressly for the film. Those songs, which include "Eleanor Rigby," "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Nowhere Man" and the title song, were drawn from four different albums but achieve an even greater coherence than "Sgt. Pepper" (the album, not the 1978 movie, which was as bad as this one is good). Almost 20 years after its release, this charming fable chronicling the Beatles' battles to save Pepperland from the Blue Meanies is one of the best testaments ever to the redeeming value of good music.

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