Mo-Cap Yellow Sub? Mo-Cap Yellow Sub?
Bad Ideas

Mo-Cap Yellow Sub?

Following up on the report of Robert Zemeckis’ plans for a mo-cap remake of Yellow Submarine, Brew reader Chris Smigliano points out that the Yellow Sub characters have ALREADY been done in CGI for a thrill ride that opened in Berlin and Tokyo in the year 2000. There was a pre-ride intro, as well as four diffrent ride variations, each with the same beginning and ending but with a different middle (Sea of Holes, Sea of Time, Sea of Science). You can watch all of them on You Tube.

Is this what we’re in for?

  • Isaac

    That’s actually pretty faithful to the original. The CGI’s a little rough, but the art direction is almost all there.

  • Mesterius

    Say what? Why on earth do a remake of a cartoon feature which still stands out so strongly? And why is Zemeckis doing this in mo-cap when the success of the 1968 film rested so much on the amazing and inventive hand-drawn visuals and animation? Couldn’t he do something new instead of butchering this classic?

    Talking about the animation in the clip here, I found the movements incredibly generic and lifeless compared to the original film. The designs were faithful, but I kept wishing they had just animated it by hand.

  • Mandy

    I actually like this. But it does seem more fitting with this being made for a ride. I don’t think this would work for a film.

  • Agree with Isaac – that was sort of pretty good, for what it was.

    Robert Zemeckis really should have his eyes pecked out by crows, though. He clearly doesn’t know how to use them properly. And who does he plan to rotoscope exactly? Is Ringo going to play all the parts?
    I spose he played all the parts in Thomas the Tank Engine already, so he’ll be used to it.

  • Joe

    who cares, let him do it. The more failures 3d animation and motion capture has, is fuel for 2d traditional films to begin its come back.
    So there will be a few casualties like Yellow sub and secret of the nimh.
    But its all for a good cause for each battle 3d losses 2d prevails!

    I know what side I’m on, time to pick yours

  • Pretty soulless. Please no more mo-crap. I hope Bill Plympton will do his Beatles-Movie sometimes (like he wish for). aaargh can’t stand hollywoods remake ideas (sigh) …

  • Designs are faithful but the “animation” (in quotes) are pretty…blah

    Is that Charlie Adler doing the voice?

  • What would the real Jeremy say about seeing himself in that hollow, robotic form?

    “Grisly, ghastly I look like a machine.
    This strange adaptation’s too bad to be seen.
    I’m frightfully fugly in this hideous mess
    A revamp of this film will be awful at best.”

    Watching that trailer was painful.
    Writing this little poem made me feel better though.

  • good lord, I’ll bet it is Charlie Adler…
    Felicitations, toonsters!


  • Lucy

    Dick Emery weeps from the grave….

    Still, it’s not bad for a ride. Hell, I’d ride it :) You expect those sorts of things to be campy anyhow. The thought of this as a whole film, though…. Boy oh boy.

    ….I wonder what Yoko’s thoughts are on this.

  • Kustom Kool

    I’m also slightly surprised how non-awful this was. But a Zemeckis remake (or a “reboot”) still sounds like an bad idea. If you want to see a real world example of the “uncanny valley” theory in action, just take a look at his “Polar Express.”

  • Mandy

    who cares, let him do it. The more failures 3d animation and motion capture has, is fuel for 2d traditional films to begin its come back. So there will be a few casualties like Yellow sub and secret of the nimh.

    Any bad animation put out soils the name for 3D and 2D, causing people to think even more that animation is for kids because it’s so horribly done that adults can’t enjoy it. Sign petitions against this thing before it’s too late. As far as I’ve seen it’s not on imdb yet.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Watching that first vid, why does it sound more like the demo to a really cool PS2 game I wouldn’t mind playing? :-)

    Really, they could do so much more with this than remake a classic. Being reminded of noticing during the “When I’m 64” segment in the film, we see the time counter going up and hits “2009” before the cut, some viewers apparently find that to be very prophetic, if only MGM cared to do something about it, like a re-release of the 1968 original on the big screen (if only in select theaters).

  • Apple bonkers! 1:19-1:20 is my favorite part.

    Wasn’t as bad as I was expecting actually. But the Zemeckis version still doesn’t sound good.

  • Mladen

    I wonder if part of Zemeckis’ new project is inspired by the Beatles Rock Band trailer done by Pete Candeland? That had some yellowsubmarine-era 3d creatures right at the end, and looked excellent…

  • kent

    wow, that was terrible. why the f would Jeremy Hillary Boob be narrating the Blue Meanie takeover of Pepperland?!? seriously, wtf? anyway, like many people here, i first read about Zemeckis remaking “Yellow Submarine” and i was like, “oh no” i remember seeing “Yellow Submarine” as a kid and it blew my mind. it made me a Beatles fan. i remember when it came out on VHS. i bought it and watched it 30 times. good lord, why would anyone remake it?!? but then i watched the Rock Band trailer that someone posted and i had a change of heart. maybe it will be cool. who knows?

  • I have been at this ride when the “Sony Music Box” opened in Berlin. Thanks to refresh my memory about how awful this was.

    This is not “pretty faithful”. It is soft and wiggly like a leftover pudding. It suffers from all restrictions a 3D model has. It lacks the dynamics and the jerkiness of the original, and don’t you tell me that “jerkiness is just an imperfection to be overcome with CGI”.

  • Christopher Cook

    Disney should just stay with making teenybopper fodder and leave the Beatles alone. Remaking a classic is like trying to pass off sludge as chocolate syrup.

  • Gummo

    That’s just creepy.

  • We already have a Yellow Submarine ride. It’s called “two tabs of acid.”

    And not to be a crank on the subject, because we’re all artists, but passing sludge off as chocolate syrup works. Sludge sells.

  • I don’t suppose the Heinz Edelmann estate gets any $$ from this, even though no one would have predicted the film becoming a ride. He probably had to sign one of those horrible “we own every use of your designs in any media existing or yet to be invented” contracts. I hope he was well compensated for his original designs. Yeah, right; that might happen in Pepperland.

  • Jason

    Huh, I kind of liked that. Yeah, the CGI movement is generic as hell, but wow, it did remind me that the concepts involved in Yellow Submarine were imaginative as hell and worth expanding on. It’s just that I hate motion capture. There’s something so soulless about it. Creeps me out. Oh, well, Disney isn’t what it used to be (a new muppet movie? Are they mad? Sell those moth-eaten relics to Universal and be done with it! And get rid of the Power Rangers and all the other unfortunate Eisner-era acquisitions! Purge yourself, Disney! Be DISNEY again!) and nothing we can say or do will stop the likely abomination from happening…

    Yellow Submarine, brought to you by those wonderful folks that brought you talking secret agent guinea pigs…GAHHHH!!!! NO!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!

  • Dr. Robert Miltown-Zoloft

    Curious how the surviving Beatles declined to allow their video restoration team to digitally fix the numerous minor ink and paint flashes in the original negative for their 1999 Yellow Submarine DVD release, yet, around the same time, they totally agreed to this primitive digital re-creation for a theme park ride. If ever a design style was intended to remain FLAT, it’s Heinz Edelmann’s stuff done in the late 1960’s. If Bob Zemeckis wants to prostitute the integrity of flat animation design for Disney, he should start with “Melody”, which is already in 3-D, right up the alley of today’s crack marketers.

  • This was pretty good! Very faithful to the original visuals, for what they had to work with.

    What Zemeckis needs is another Richard Williams, not lazy mo-cap. If he really wants to remake YELLOW SUBMARINE, he should get the same people who did that Rock Band Beatles promo (which was mind-blowing, BTW!).

  • TJR

    Many, many, many years ago……I dreamed I was sitting in a theater watching an animated sequel to Yellow Submarine.

    It was entitled “Return to Pepperland”. It was beautifully animated.

    Picture the design and look of the original film, but done in an animated watercolor style and that’s how the film in my dream looked.

    In this film the plot’s main characters where the Sgt Pepper band that the Beatle’s rescued in the original (And it all took place in the Pepperland universe).

    Later on (after waking up) I realized that in real life, an animated sequel to Yellow Submarine isn’t impossible. Voice actors where used to portray the Beatles in the original film, and there are plenty of other Beatle’s songs that could be used as the basis of the soundtrack. The Beatles (and their estates) would just have to approve it.

    A sequel would be much more preferable than a mo-cap remake.

  • ZAR

    The new definition for “remake” should read as follows:

    “If you are a film production company run by greedy money people without an ounce of talent, brains or imagination, you may reach a certain point of idiocy where you think you can go the easy way by stealing from the success of classics.”


  • OM

    ..I know I’ll get flamed for this, but dammit all to hell, I actually *liked* this concept enough to wish Yellow Submarine would get remade like this, or at least my concept of a sequel would be done in mo-cap.

  • Donald Benson

    The ride looks like fun, but I agree that Yellow Submarine was meant to be flat (and rather eccentric in it’s animation). I was going to suggest that if you’re going to do a remake, don’t mess with the original look and do it in live action.

    Then I remembered the Sgt. Pepper movie. The most expensive Monkees knockoff ever made.

  • We can hope they’ll get Jim Carrey to play all four Beatles.

  • David Breneman

    My god, this animation sucks. All of the “college kid at a Video Toaster” tropes are there. Nothing moves naturally. If this is a preview of what the ride looks like, I hope there aren’t many people who ride it right after lunch. If a small town TV station had animation like this in a promo 10 years ago, I could understand it. The only “stereotypical bad digital animation” cliche’ that it didn’t include was an object moving through space towards the camera, then inexplicably bouncing off an invisible wall before it recedes into the distance. Bleeaauch!

  • Dave

    Why do people still try to do 2-D with 3-D. It always sucks. Toon Shading yuck! Peoples standers are sure low these days. I realize this animation was done in 2000 but still it really makes my stomach turn