When we were kids, The Yellow Submarine was our absolute favourite among the Beatles’ songs. Later I realised there was a feature animated film of the same name, but at that time I preferred some other songs. And The Beatles fell apart, and in 1971 I “discovered” Pink Floyd. It was said that the Yellow Submarine (1968) was both commercial and revolutionary, but I do not remember ever seeing it in Croatian theatres. It cannot be found on video or DVD as well. The same goes for two other films in this year’s Animafest special programme, but Heavy Metal and The Wall at their time attracted huge audiences.
We were taught about the importance of music in a feature film by Walt Disney, starting from his first great production Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Some of the fifteen songs from this classic became great hits and evergreens, and this was the first time ever that a film soundtrack was published as a record. Three years later, Disney produced the masterpiece Fantasia, intertwining, illustrating and overlapping classical music and animation.
For almost three decades there were attempts at imitating Disney’s formula, but something completely different happened only with The Beatles. Yellow Submarine (1968) is the film starring The Beatles that connected motifs from their songs into a crazy psychedelic journey. The film has always been attributed to The Beatles; had it not been for their commercial success (fame and money), it would never have probably been made. Many people couldn’t say who directed, drew and animated it. Only recently I found out that one of Animafest’s favourite filmmakers, Paul Driessen, worked on the film.
Heavy Metal (1981) was not as interesting in terms of music (it was added only afterwards), but for the comics that initiated and inspired it. It was, finally, a true feature animated film for adults (because of eroticism and violence, of course). Yes, it might have been better if it had been based on the original French comic magazine Métal Hurlant, but it was produced by the publisher of the American version, so it turned out to be “less art and more business”. Our Zdenko Gašparović, the author of the legendary Satiemania worked as the lead animator on the most ambitious story from the omnibus.
Finally, The Wall (1982), the film directed by Alan Parker, was made after the Pink Floyd’s double album, and initiated by Roger Waters, the author of concept, all texts and most music. The film is mainly live action, with occasional outstanding animated sequences by Gerald Scarfe.