Inside The Yellow Submarine: The Making of the Beatles Animated Classic

by Dr. Bob Hieronimus
Krause Publications, 2002

Inside the Yellow Submarine by Dr. Bob Hieronimus book cover
Original artwork by designer Heinz Edelmann for "Inside the Yellow Submarine"

Inside the Yellow Submarine: The Making of the Beatles Animated Classic is the first and only book where the complete story is told of the intricate details behind this legendary film.

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Click here to read a chapter considering this controversial issue that is not included our Krause Publications book. Read it only right here!


Was It Really 50 Years Ago Today?

Hieronimus & Co. are proud to announce the return of the Yellow Submarine in 2018!

July 17, 2018 will be the 50th anniversary of the London premiere of the iconoclastic film, The Beatles: Yellow Submarine, and all our friends are coming on board for the party! Help us to help you to celebrate "All Together Now!"

Starting in January we will begin the countdown with random trivia question contests with real live prizes! Sign up now for alerts so you can get a jump on winning, and qualify for discounts on the new book.


Left: These are the test paintings originally conceived by Heinz Edelmann when he was auditioning for the job of designing the Yellow Submarine film. When the animators at TVC of London opened them in their offices, there was a gasp as everyone immediately knew they had found the style they were looking for. Edelmann was hired and later became known as the Father of Yellow Submarine Art.

Bob Balser very proudly holding his infant grandson.

Tribute to Bob Balser, Animation Director of the Beatles Yellow Submarine

by Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus

In January of 2016 we lost a dear friend who was instrumental in one of the biggest projects of my life. This long posting is an overdue tribute to Bob Balser, a terrific artist and a superior human being, and the key person to my success in tracking down the history of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. This film has occupied me since 1968, but it was not until 1991 when I met Bob Balser that I really began to understand it.


Dr. Bob Hieronimus presenting a Beatles wristwatch to Sir George Martin in 2000

Memoriam for Sir George Martin

Tribute by Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus

Sir George Martin, Beatles producer, passed away in early March of 2016. On March 20, we produced a two hour radio special made up of clips from the numerous times he had joined us as a guest on 21st Century Radio. (Click here to listen to that show.) In fact, we did six exclusive interviews with him starting in 1995 up to 2007, in what must have been one of the last radio interviews he granted, as his hearing was severely impaired by that time. He granted us access most other media could not get, and even ABC radio contacted us at one point to use our tapes because they needed a quote from him and couldn't get it. We talked about the Cirque du Soleil's LOVE production, the Beatles Anthology, the Yellow Submarine, Genetically Modified Foods, global warming and the destruction of Montserrat, as well as ghosts, UFOs and ESP.


David and Lucy Elvin in 2005

Farewell to Another of Yellow Submarine’s Beautiful People: David Elvin, Background Artist

Tribute by Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus

In 2005 I had the privilege of interviewing several co-creators on the Yellow Submarine who were new to me, and not discovered until after I published what was supposed to be the definitive book on this trendsetting film. (Inside the Yellow Submarine, 2002 from Krause Publications). We enjoyed an extensive interview with David and Lucy Elvin and recorded their memories of working on this film as girlfriend and boyfriend, and we look forward to including their complete transcript in a revised and expanded edition of Inside the Yellow Submarine that will be published some day. Sadly we learned a few years ago that David was diagnosed with a fast-moving cancer, and just recently he passed on to the spirit world. Farewell brother David.


Baby, You Can Drive My Car

Mike Stuart and Dr. Bob Hieronimus in 1997 in London at the 29th Anniversary Party for Yellow Subbers.

A Farewell Tribute to Mike Stuart, Artist, Snooker Champ, Dog-Lover, and All Around Good Guy

There are a lot of important new passengers on the Yellow Submarine in the sky these days. And now it’s time to pay tribute to our friend Mike Stuart, who passed away on May 6, 2013. This tribute is following close on the heels of those we wrote for Jack Stokes, John Clive, and John Coates, all instrumental crewmembers on the classic film The Beatles Yellow Submarine. (See those tributes, plus one to Heinz Edelmann who passed on in 2009, here.) It makes me think of the closing scene in the film where all of Pepperland is joined by the Blue Meanies on a floating Yellow Submarine that sails away into the sunset to the tune of “It’s All Too Much.”

Mike Stuart was one of the leaders among the Key Animators on this film, and a close friend and colleague of the TVC regulars having worked with them for years before starting his own studio after Yellow Sub. Read More...


Tribute to Jack Stokes, Master Animator

On March 20, 2013, Animation Director Jack Stokes passed on to the heaven worlds. Born on April 2, 1920, Stokes was just shy of his 93rd birthday.

Like all the co-creators of the Beatles Yellow Submarine, Jack Stokes was a well-rounded individual with many accomplishments and talents outside of Beatles cartoons.

As the author of the definitive guidebook to this film, my tribute to Jack Stokes will also include the Yellow Submarine, of course, (and in fact will contain some never-before-published writings of Jack Stokes related to Yellow Sub), but we will also strive to show you some of the other sides to his personality that he revealed to us over the 20 years we knew each other. Read More...



The Passing of John Clive, Voice of John Lennon in “Yellow Submarine”

We are sad to announce that John Clive has now departed this world as well, having passed away on the 14th of October 2012. Clive was a spritely wit and a successful comic actor before he almost anonymously voiced the role of Lennon for “Yellow Submarine”. Following the disappointment of being ignored by the publicity machine that preferred the fans believing the real Beatles provided their own voices, Clive soon launched an entirely new career writing novels. His writing was so successful, it eventually eclipsed his already successful film career. Read Dr. Bob's tribute here...

John Coates Tribute by Dr. Bob

One of the most important and beloved co-creators of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film has passed away: John Coates, who served as what would be today be called Line Producer on the film, though his screen credit was listed as production supervisor. Coates passed away on the 17th of September 2012 at the age of 85. Read more...

Dr. Bob talks to Conspiro Media about The Beatles' animated movie Yellow Submarine from an esoteric perspective.

To mark the re-release of The Beatles' 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine on DVD and Blu-ray, Conspiro Media grabbed the opportunity to chat with artist, author, researcher and radio-host Robert Richard Hieronimus Ph.D. His 2002 book, Inside the Yellow Submarine: The Making of The Beatles Animated Classic, has been dubbed "an indispensable companion to the movie." It not only features exclusive interviews with all the principle creators of the film and an intricate account of the details behind the making of it, but also a unique analysis of the esoteric, symbolic aspects within the movie itself. In fact, the occult archetypes that Hieronimus believes are bubbling beneath the Yellow Submarine's waters are what initially sparked his interest in the movie.

Read the rest online at Conspiro Media

Voice of Paul McCartney in 'Yellow Submarine' has died

from the Examiner

Dr. Bob quoted in Reuters article about YS renovation/re-release.

"Bob Hieronimus, author of "Inside The Yellow Submarine: The Making of The Beatles Animated Classic" (, claims director George Dunning brought in top new animation talent for the film."

"It's also clearly a labor of love, which is reflected in the newly remastered version. And, as Hieronimus put it, "love can conquer even the bluest of Meanies." Read the article online.

Read the exclusive details of the re-release of The Beatles Yellow Submarine in this interview by Dr. Bob Hieronimus with Jonathan Clyde of Apple Corps in May 2012.

Read the exclusive details of the restoration process of The Beatles Yellow Submarine in this interview by Dr. Bob Hieronimus with Paul Rutan Jr. of Triage Motion Picture Services in May 2012.

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The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine Feature Film Restored For May Release On DVD And Blu-Ray; Film’s Songtrack Album To Be Reissued

Editor's Note:  We are happy that Apple is re-releasing our beloved Yellow Submarine on DVD and reissuing the picture book, but would like to point out what they fail to mention in this press release.  All those DVD extras of interviews with the co-creators of the film would not be there if it were not for the assistance of Hieronimus & Co.  Not only did Dr. Bob Hieronimus negotiate a temporary truce between Apple Corps and the co-creators of the film, but he and his wife, Zohara, also financed and sponsored the reunion party at the BBC in 1998 where Apple was invited to do these interviews that are on this DVD.

Once upon a time…or maybe twice…there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland…

London – March 20, 2012 – The Beatles’ classic 1968 animated feature film, Yellow Submarine, has been digitally restored for DVD and Blu-ray release on June 5, 2012. The film’s songtrack album will be reissued on CD on the same date.

Currently out of print, the film has been restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame.

Bonus features for the Yellow Submarine DVD and Blu-ray include a short making-of documentary titled “Mod Odyssey” (TRT: 7:30), the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos. Both Digipak packages will include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios).

Lasseter writes in his essay, “As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine, whose revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today.”

Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.

Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “It’s All Too Much.” When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Inspired by the generation’s new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.

“I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts” remembers Edelmann. “The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end.” These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, 3-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic “rotoscoping” where film is traced frame by frame into drawings. The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.

On April 24, Candlewick Press will release a new, compact hardcover edition of the Yellow Submarine picture book, a read-aloud journey for the whole family. Featuring the lighthearted wit of the film’s script alongside original artwork from the movie that has charmed children and adults through several generations, the beautiful, 40-page book will be sold by retailers everywhere and on the Beatles Store ( An interactive digital version of the book is also available as a free download on Apple's iBookstore for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch at

Dec 2011 saw a free audio Book released from iTunes as an animated and narrated version of the 2004 storybook with special effects and music.

2011 Release of Beatles Yellow Submarine eBook on iTunes

article by Steve Marinucci at the Beatles Examiner

Who are ALL the Lonely People in Yellow Submarine's Eleanor Rigby?

Beatles Fan Video includes Dr. Bob's Inside the Yellow Submarine research to delight fans of the Eleanor Rigby sequence. See it online:

"For Beatle fans, the animated film, Yellow Submarine (©1968, 1999 SUBAFILMS Ltd), was a major event. It has well withstood the test of time. Groundbreaking creative forces brought new life to the music of the Beatles. One of my favorite sequences is "Eleanor Rigby". I have always wondered who the "lonely people" in the photos were. Thanks to the book "Inside The Yellow Submarine" by Robert Hieronimus, I found the answers. My purpose is to attach proper identities to their appearances. I also took the liberty of using the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" mix of "Eleanor Rigby" as it is often cited as the best to date."

Thank you for writing such a marvelous book.

Very best regards,
Bob Danielson

Click either image below to see the full-size letter

The NEW Yellow Submarine: The Re-Making of the Beatles Animated Classic

Updates on the Zemeckis/Disney Remake of Yellow Submarine!

Ever since it was announced that Disney and director Robert Zemeckis are planning on a 3-D motion capture remake of The Beatles Yellow Submarine movie (slated for release in time for the London Summer Olympics in 2012), Dr. Bob Hieronimus has been hard at work to see that the original co-creators of this film get some recognition out of this new project. He sent a copy of his book, Inside the Yellow Submarine: The Making of the Beatles Animated Classic, to Zemeckis with the suggestion that at the very least a private preview screening of the remake for the original co-creators would be one way to pay homage to their efforts. Here is the response from the president of Image Movers Digital, and partner of Robert Zemeckis. We will post any further communication we have with this office, in our attempt to ensure the creators of the new film give public acknowledgment to the creators of the original film.


Dr. Bob Hieronimus interviews Heinz Edelmann, Art Director and Designer on "The Beatles Yellow Submarine" in 1993



Edelmann Disembarks from the Submarine

July 23, 2009 -
Read the Memorial Article for Heinz Edelman, Lead Designer for Yellow Submarine by Dr. Bob Hieronimus


Dr. Bob Hieronimus interviews Heinz Edelmann, Art Director and Designer on "The Beatles Yellow Submarine"

October 28, 1993




Inside the Yellow Submarine: The Making of the Beatles Animated Classic has been translated into Japanese!

2008 marks the 40th anniversary of Yellow Submarine. Dr. Bob Hieronimus has written several new articles for various Beatles and animation magazines. They include new information discovered since the publication of Inside the Yellow Submarine.

Behind the Scenes on the Yellow Submarine
For Filmmakers, Love Is Still All You Need

As seen in Beatlefan, November 2008


Hijinks on the High Seas

As seen in Goldmine Magazine


The Perfectionist Who Elevated the Yellow Submarine

As seen in Beatlology Magazine, November 2008



Favorite Scenes

As seen in Frames Per Second Magazine


Hidden Meanings in the Yellow Submarine

As seen in Octopus's Garden Magazine, December 2008


Memories from Some of the ‘Beautiful People’

As seen in Animation Magazine

The Hieronimus & Co.
Yellow Submarine Journal

Published in 1999 before the book, this 56 page, full color, glossy booklet, The Hieronimus & Co. Yellow Submarine Journal, contains excerpts of interviews with the co-creators, an extensive review of the 1999 Yellow Submarine memorabilia, and news on the renovation and re-release of this beloved classic film.

Available for $10.00 (shipping included in total) ($20, Foreign, U.S. Funds) from Hieronimus & Co., PO Box 648, Owings Mills, MD 21117.

Buy Now through Paypal:

Exclusive to Our Website Visitors!

Is It Appropriate to Interpret Symbols Observed in "Yellow Submarine"?

As with any great work of art, powerful symbolic imagery can often be identified that was not consciously implied by the artist, writer or composer. Throughout history great artists have testified to experiencing the creative force flowing through them, and being scarcely conscious of what they were creating until it was done. Yet, just like The Beatles before them, the Co-Creators of Yellow Submarine insist that they just wrote and drew what came into their heads. Though our Krause Publications book, INSIDE THE YELLOW SUBMARINE: The Making of The Beatles' Animated Classic, should demonstrate that the enormous deadline pressure overshadowing the production of Yellow Submarine prohibited any inclination the Co-Creators may have had to insert hidden meanings and coded messages, there is still a strong argument to be made for the symbolism that appears in this film, whether it was unconsciously selected or not.

Click here to read a chapter considering this controversial issue that is not included our Krause Publications book. Read it only right here!

Yellow Sub Mural at the Abbey Road Film Festival   The Debut of the Renovated Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine Co-Creators' Group Statement on Al Brodax's book   Dr. Bob's Analysis of "Up Periscope Yellow"
Test your Yellow Sub Trivia! Click Here!   Listen to the Yellow Sub Birthday Special from 2002 on 21st Century Radio.
See Dr. Bob in Action at a Summer 2002 Baysox Game and Beatles Tribute!   Three original designs created for this book by Master Designer Heinz Edelmann
Annotated Table of Contents of INSIDE THE YELLOW SUBMARINE   Reactions from Readers and Reviewers
Sir George Martin writes Introduction to Bob's Hieronimus's Book on Yellow Sub!   Erich Segal Writes the Foreword to Bob's Hieronimus's Book on Yellow Sub!
Endorsements for Hieronimus’s Yellow Submarine Research   Further Links on Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine Articles by or about Dr. Bob Hieronimus   Photos from the Celebration of the Renovated Yellow Submarine 1999
DEREK TAYLOR Interview Transcript   How Dr. Bob learned the Inside Story of the Yellow Submarine
Bravo Beatles! Bravo Apple! Bravo Subafilms! Bravo MGM! - Commentary on the Renovation of Yellow Submarine by Dr. Bob Hieronimus   Where The Idea To Renovate Yellow Submarine Began