Here we go again, but briefly. It's just another recurrent story told, as if making sure the script is followed without deviation. Do not look left or right, focus on what I'm saying.
I am sorry, but I keep getting distracted by what else is going on.
And the boys didn't think it was a good idea at all. The idea of being portrayed in cartoon form was basically abhorrent to them, particularly when the guy who was doing it the only track record that they could think of , was that he had done the Flintstones.
George Martin ~ The Compleat Beatles 1982
Time and time again we see any linking to Yellow Submarine and The Beatles involvement with it, put to a minimum. There's a sense of absolutely wash your hands of the whole thing when it comes to saying The Beatles had anything whatsoever to do with the film and content, until they saw how it turned out, and approved. It was contractual. It was mandatory. It could not be avoided. But it turned out alright in the end.
We go back to Paul Is Dead Clues in Beatle Land. And Yellow Submarine contains some major ones. Ones that show deliberate placement and motivation to do so by whomever WAS involved in the making of the film.
But we know who was involved. As did The Beatles. They knew him quite well and were familiar with his track record. He was George Dunning.
Dunning was born in Toronto and studied in Canada at the Ontario College of Art, and soon found freelance work as an illustrator. Dunning joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1943, where he worked with Norman McLaren and contributed to several episodes of theChants populaires series. From 1944 to 1947 Dunning created many original short films and developed his skills animating articulated, painted, metal cut-outs.
In 1948, he spent a year working for UNESCO in Paris under the mentorship of Czech-born animator Berthold Bartosch. Then in 1949, he and fellow NFB grad Jim McKay created one of Toronto’s first animation studios, Graphic Associates, where he produced commercials and gave Michael Snow his first job in film. Dunning later moved on to New York working onUPA's The Gerald McBoing-Boing Show and in 1956 he moved to England to manage UPA's new London office. After the office went under, he hired many of the UPA staff to work for him and his newly established production company, T.V. Cartoons Ltd. (renamed TVC London). Among the animators working for TVC where Richard Williams and Jimmy Murakami. By 1961, TVC was producing about one hundred commercials a year. During this time Dunning also managed to make many personal short films noted for their surrealistic atmosphere and Kafkaesque themes.
Dunning also oversaw the cartoon series The Beatles for ABC, and this led to his involvement with the film he will always be associated with, Yellow Submarine. Dunning was also responsible for the opening credits of Blake Edwards' A Shot in the Dark, along with a series of shorts, "The digger", for Vision On.
About the time of his death he was working on animated version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, which was never completed. His company was briefly resurrected in the 1990s, before being merged with Varga Studio.
So Mr.Martin. Abhorrent isn't quite apt a word is it. Because The Beatles knew who George Dunning was, because they were familiar with his work on The Beatles cartoon. They knew him from more than The Flintstones, because that was not the only work that he did. And you say this so assuredly, and confidently, why would we ever question your personal recollections of the boys feelings about Yellow Submarine. By all accounts, you were there to hear and see those reactions. Did you not want to bring up The Beatles cartoons? Is it because of the disparaging "Abhorrent" mention preceding Dunning's resume and your opinion of it (and theirs) that prevents you from naming a cartoon series The Beatles WERE very much aware of?
The Script. Do you see how it works? It's one of the oddest statements made that I've heard recently in all my lookings, and gatherings. Any purchaser of The Compleat Beatles at the time, would take George Martin's word on this documentary about the boys. They would never question it. The Flintstones you say? Yeah, I can see why. They have a small house, but when they run inside of it, it's like, 10 miles long.
The Script. Watch for it. It's used many many times in The Beatles Mythology. It is read out and rehearsed so efficiently and repetitively, that they know all the lines. It's when you read in-between the lines, that you notice the story has holes. Major ones.
(This statement begins at 1:38:20 in The Compleat Beatles. Before it is the press conference where the intentions of Apple as a business enterprise is being announced to all and sundry. One gets the feeling John Lennon is an angry angry man at this conference. His glare during the final portions of this film footage ... well as they say, if looks could kill. )
Which reminds me of A Mod Odyssey, the documentary/making of film produced by Tarot Associates Inc. that accompanies recent DVD releases of Yellow Submarine. There's a segment in there where a woman is looking at Paul McCartney with looks that could kill. I mean really. She's looking at him with utter contempt and disgust. Boggles the mind.
Anyway! Carry on :)