Yellow Submarine: Heinz Edelmann’s Anti-Beatles Attitude! (13.4.2023) 

Hienz Edelmann was ‘Art Director’ during the 1967-1968 Project to create the animated film entitled the ‘Yellow Submarine’. He was just one of at least 140 artists who worked on the film. He is credited with generating the depiction of the four Beatles – together with various other elements. However, he did not have any input regarding the script, direction or ideology of the film as these things lay outside of his remit. Indeed, his creative input was only part of a far more immense effort provided by many other people – all inspired by the music of The Beatles. His British Assistant – Millicent McMillan is on record stating that he possessed no experience in making films and that her function was to ‘guide’ his efforts in the right direction!  

His depiction of The Beatles is ‘odd’ to say the least – regardless of the overall effect created for the finished film. In this sense, his interpretation of The Beatles has become iconic due to the structure of the film these images were developed to fit within. A film that Heinz Edelmann did not make and was not responsible for. I have commented elsewhere about Heinz Edelmann’s ‘German’ background and the situation regarding his family during WWII (and after). I find much of what I discovered to be ‘disturbing’ to say the least considering Britain’s role in fighting and defeating the Nazi German menace! The Yellow Submarine was made just 22 years after the Surrender of Nazi Germany – and Britain was still recovering from the nightly blanket-bombing inflicted by the Luftwaffe!    

It is interesting, therefore, to hear Heinz Edelmann in the ‘Commentary’ track included on the 2012 Blu-Ray edition of ‘Yellow Submarine’. Of course, Heinz Edelmann passed away in 2009 and so this statement attributed to him was not current. However, not only does he make the false statement that the ‘Blue Meanies’ were supposed to be the ‘Red Meanies’ (as the film, in his view, was a statement against the supposed ‘Communist’ threat) – he also clearly states that he REJECTED the ‘All You Need is Love!’ message propounded by The Beatles! Given that this was the case – why was he hired when his views are still obviously ‘Nazi’ and terminally ‘clash’ with those stated by The Beatles? I say this even though he also associates the ‘enemy’ as ‘coming from the East’ and that there is ‘no difference’ between Nazism and Communism!  

Heinz Edelmann’s depiction of The Beatles consists of the lower part of the body being larger than the upper part of the body – this is the basic contradiction that is responsible for creating the dramatic effect. The lower part of the body (from the waist down through the legs to the feet) is ‘feminised’ through the hourglass type angles used. At the time, this was very unusual but fits-in very well with today’s gender-aware society. Perhaps it is an allusion to the ‘non-binary’ reality of contemporary identity (male, female, intersex and asexual, etc). Whether Heinz Edelmann intended any of this is a matter open to debate. His ‘Nazi’ attitudes would suggest not. My view is that the ‘Blue Meanies’ are in reality the British Police Service which was busy in the late 1960s launching ‘drugs raids’ against all and sundry (including against John Lennon and Yoko Ono)! As the British Police ‘confiscated’ the cannabis herb (and prevented it from being smoked) – they were referred to as the ‘Blue Meanies’! As it is not politically correct to speak about the British Police in negative terms – the real identity of the ‘Blue Meanies’ has to remain ‘hidden’ and ‘obscured’ from today’s youth!