Inside the "Yellow Submarine": The Making of the "Beatles'" Animated Classic Paperback – 1 Feb 2003
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"This is real must for all collectors of Beatles momorabelia..." -- Model and Collectors Mart, July 2002. "The author's perseverence must be congratulated... The result is amazing, the detail astonishes, the anecdotes are enthralling..." -- Film Review, November 2002.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Hieronimus, a noted Beatles fan and historian, is THE authority on Yellow Submarine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now that I've read the final version of this text, I feel quite let down. Granted, Dr. Hieronimus took on an obviously impossible mission, that is, to chronicle the birth, development, and legacy of one of the greatest animated works in history, one that had an extremely convoluted production and development. While I can't blame him for trying, his claims that the book was extensively researched over 20+ years is quite a stretch. While the many interviews demonstrate his attempts at comprehension, the slapdash results suggest a bit of a rush job.
The text itself is marred by redundancy (he could have easily shaved off 100 pages without losing a detail) and his insistent lapses into the first-person are, at times, overly congratulatory. The many anecdotes provided by Heinz Edelmann are reasonably incisive, yet they are inexplicably scattered throughout the book with no chonological guide for the reader.
The one advantage of such a book is that I finally have a strong sense of just who it was who did indeed create (or co-create) SUBMARINE, an aspect of the film I have always found troubling (Boy, Al Brodax certainly allowed himself a large onscreen credit!). I've always been aware of Edelmann's contribution, but not so those of Charlie Jenkins, who was the apparent other genius who worked extensively on giving the film its one-of-a-kind style. The author does quite a decent job sorting through the primary participants, and he does (inadvertently?) put Brodax squarely in his place.
A full-color picture book, though cost-prohibitve, would have proven far more satisfying. For a film so purely visual, the book displays little of the actual ART of the project - anyone who, upon picking up the book for the first time and flips directly to the color panels in the center, will be woefully disappointed, for there is nothing new here whatsoever, and too much time is spent on the 1999 reissue. As I quickly discovered, the cover is completely misleading.
Still, I respect the effort, but can't disguise my disappointment.
So it was with some disappointment that I slogged through this book. The author has certainly done his homework. He's turned over every remaining stone and then some, found virtually all living participants, documented every step of the way to the screen for this story. And he's turned the story of one of the most imaginative movies of the 60s into the dullest book on the planet.
It's not that what he has researched isn't in itself interesting. It's just that he can't tell what's real important information and what isn't. It seems like he collected masses of information and interviews, typed it all up on 3x5 cards and simply pasted it together into a book. Minutiae are treated as revelation; no detail is too minor to be included, and repeated. Redundancies abound; he has three participants telling the same story, one after the other, with little new between them. He repeats similar items 4 chapters beyond the first mention. Order and organization? Hardly. It just goes on and on and on.
I can't fault the material that he's come up with, and in fact I applaud it. But what this author desperately needed was an editor, someone to assist him in crystallizing the material into a narrative that best told the tale of the creation of this landmark film. Instead, this "author" has simply assembled his notes into a word processor, and left it to the reader to sort it out. That's not scholarship - that's clerical.
Nonetheless, it's all that's out there and the information throughout is valuable. If you've got the patience to sit through it.
And then to top it all, something I've never seen before in a book, advertising in the last pages!! The entire book is a study in bad taste, and that muddy cover which is hard to believe was done by Heinz Edelman.
But there is good news!!! Last spring, another book came out on the Making of the Yellow Submarine. It's called UP PERISCOPE YELLOW by Al Brodax and it's just FANTASTIC!!! For one thing it's AUTHENTIC, written by the producer who was there, and knew the Beatles for a long time, he also produced their TV cartoons. It's clear that the wonderful stories he tells in his book (Al Brodax) came out of the close relationship he had with the Beatles. There are pictures in the book of Brodax and Segal working on the script, (Brodax was one of the co-writers) with Ringo playing the piano for him and Eric, with Brodax arguing with Paul about the script, etc... He knew them well. UP PERISCOPE YELLOW-WHAT A READ.
Anyone interested in learning about the design and creation of the Yellow Submarine, as well as the adventure we the crew had in the Sub's construction, is well advised to buy Dr. Bob's intricate and dedicated chronicle.
As Dr. Bob has mentioned, the untold story behind this unique motion picture intrigued him, as it has many of YS's fans for decades.
During those decades I firmly believed somewhere, someday, someone with the necessary energy, determination, organizational powers, breadth of insight and boundless curiosity would investigate the entire 'back story'.
This is Dr. Bob's first volume about a voluminous subject, and what he has achieved here is a hurculean work in unearthing the answers to many 'lost' mysteries about the film's genesis.
This seminal book has served not only to open dialog and solve many mysteries about Yellow Submarine, but it has happily led to locating and reuniting many of we crew members.
Following our completing production, we all dispersed across the globe, many going on to launch our own animation studios and animation training schools.
The tremendously original creative splash Yellow Submarine made at the time (1968), sent out such graphic tsunami waves worldwide, it influenced pop art culture itself; resonating undercurrents and surface highlights from YS are discernible in today's digital animation productions.
YS was a trailblazer opening new graphic directions for mainstream animation entertainment, just as the Beatles did musically.
Dr. Bob's book is far more than an excellent collection of remarkable first-person interviews, it sheds much needed light on many facets of the creative genius and innovative spirit involved in the film's creation, by a team of artists who, in the words of the late director, George Dunning, "Were brought together from all over the world and who seemed to be at a peak in their creative powers". (Chuck Jones/PBS 1980's memorium to George Dunning).
If you're at all interested in animation, its history, trends and processes--and particularly if you've wondered about the creative people involved in it's construction and launching, this book (and hopefully subsequent volumes yet to come!) is a 'Must Have' for your reference shelf; be it innovative animation or inspiring creativity.
Apparently YS has found an entirely new audience today among children. A creation of the '60's consciousness and regarded somewhat askance by the so-called 'Establishment', with secondary references and meanings ascribed to it (like 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Alice in Wonderland'); today it's being enjoyed as what it essentially is: a bright, colorful, musical fairy tale with hilariously funny villains, and a happy ending.