September 12, 2009

"Yellow Submarine" — the remake!

By Disney. Seriously.
Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook said the new "Yellow Submarine" will be directed by Robert Zemeckis using the same motion-capture effects employed in "Polar Express."
Oh, no. We will encounter the Beatles in the "uncanny valley." The original visual aspect of "Yellow Submarine" is all about clear, crisp, flat color. Now, I admit, looking at some clips on YouTube, that the old film looks sketchy and cheap by current animation standards. I'd love to see a new 2D version of the film — or a new 2D animated film using Beatles songs. I just hate 3D animation. It makes me feel bad on a deep physical, animal level.

And "Yellow Submarine" means so much to me. It came out in 1968, when I was in my last year of high school, and if someone had given me the information on how to dedicate my life to making animated films like that, I would have gone there (and lived a completely different life).

It was so much harder back then to figure out such things. So I ended up, the following year, entering a hippie college experience at the University of Michigan called the Residential College and then tripping across the street to the art school. But life is so much easier now — with the internet. For example, I just had a major flashback brought on by Googling my way to the Facebook group " UM Residential College-East Quad ("Where East Quadies and RC students of past meet").

But perhaps life was better when it was hard to find things.... and cartoons needed to be drawn ....

16 comments:

miller said...

Meh. What's the point of a remake? The Beatles at their time were the focus of attention, but now, not so much.

This is a nostalgia tour.

Fred4Pres said...

I watched Across the Universe the other night on cable. A movie musical structed around Beatle songs. It was very disjointed as a film, but the songs were actually fairly compelling. The singing was decent.

I loved Yellow Submarine as a kid, but it is almost unwatchable now. You have to have a lot of Andrew Sullivan's stash to get through Yellow Submarine though.

Bissage said...

Speaking of flat, Murakami would seem, at first blush, to be perfect for “Yellow Submarine,” but his short for Louis Vuitton was a major disappointment.

I’m assuming he had all kinds of creative control which makes it even worse.

Oh well, at least I’ve still got a hole in me pocket!

former law student said...

My wife lived in Mosher-Jordan, where she palled around with the nursing students, not with the party animals in the Quads.

Ann Althouse said...

@Fred I saw ATU. Here's my post about it.

John said...

Hollywood has to ruin everything. I wonder if Paul was behind this. George was barely cold in the grave before Paul exacted his revenge and finally got Let It Be released the way he wanted it. Ringo has too many ex wives and bar tabs to pay to care too much. Paul always seems to have some goofy money making idea. UGH.

How about this idea, write a new movie and leave the existing ones alone?

jayne_cobb said...

While I can't say much regarding the Beatles (not my generation) I admit being sympathetic to your dislike of certain types of CG animation; some of it really is just creepy looking.

Although as one who plays video games I will say that it has gotten a whole lot better in recent years.


That said, this CG trailer is just awesome (if violent and in japanese).

EDH said...

Why do I get the feeling that Nowhere Man would be a blogger if portrayed in the present?

The uncanny valley hypothesis holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's lifelikeness...

Mori's hypothesis states that as a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong repulsion.


I suppose that explains, in part, how these find a market, even today.

SteveR said...

It may be possible to make better movie but not possible to recreate the experience. For me anyway,

Besides I am subject to random drug tests so it wouldn't start from the same place or time.

Joe said...

This is likely a contractual gimme to Zemeckis. (A lot of really bad crap gets made in Hollywood as a result of multi-picture deals. Sometimes they pay off, though so Hollywood keeps making them.)

Janice W. said...

My husband and I are U-M grads and met while both living at Markley Hall. That was 25 years ago. Knew some fun kids who were at the Residential College. I wish I'd had the internet while at college.

Methadras said...

I want to say that the acquisition of Marvel for 4.4 billion dollars by Disney has made them do something stupid like this, but it appears this was in the works for a while, so their stupidity was before buying off my favorite comic book company.

bagoh20 said...

Cartoons seem to just keep going strong. They change and circle back, but they have almost always been popular in some form. This is kinda cool since they are a form of retro art, an endearing shortcut. But also, the only way to do some renditions of life.

The world could use a few more cartoonists, but we really need more lawyers... No, they're real cool too, no really, I mean it.

Jeff said...

If they did it like the Beatles Rock Band Trailer it might look ok. It's very stylized.

dick said...

John,

What in the world are you talking about with Ringo. He has one ex-wife who died 15 years ago and the wife he has been married to since 1981.

Rick Lee said...

Ann's distaste for 3D animation is mystifying. I love everything that has come out of the Pixar Studio. Such great stories. I was heading out to see "Up" and a friend told me that she cried in the first 10 minutes and I said I couldn't believe that was possible... until I saw it. I didn't out and out cry but I definitely fought back a tear... and it was only 10 minutes into the thing.