Yellow Submarine (partially lost production material for cancelled CGI remake of Beatles animated film; 2010-2011)

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Submarine and Logo (restored by naturalkatsup).png

Promotional image for the film, shown at the D23 Expo (restored by naturalkatsup).

Status: Partially Lost

In 2009, Disney, Apple Corps, and ImageMovers Digital announced a motion-captured remake of the 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine at the D23 Expo. The film was slated to be released in the Summer of 2012, in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.[1]

Crew and Casting

The film would have been written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film would feature the voices of Peter Serafinowicz (as Paul McCartney) Dean Lennox Kelly (as John Lennon) Cary Elwes (as George Harrison) and Adam Campbell (as Ringo Starr), and the motion capture would be performed by Beatles tribute band The Fab Four.[2] David Tennant was in talks to play the Chief Blue Meanie.[3] If the film had been successful, it would've done a Broadway musical and a Cirque de Soleil show.


In May 2010, Disney shut down ImageMovers Digital after the unsatisfactory results of A Christmas Carol, and cancelled the project in 2011 after Mars Needs Moms bombed.[4] Disney let Zemeckis bring the film to other studios, which led to ImageMovers Digital final project being a look-dev test for the film, also directed by Robert Zemeckis.[5][6]

By 2012, Zemeckis had no interest in remaking the film, saying:

"That would have been a great one to bring the Beatles back to life. But it’s probably better not to be remade – you’re always behind the 8-ball when you do a remake. It gets harder and harder [to make movies]. With the current state of the industry, it’s difficult to stay passionate about it. The hardest thing for a filmmaker as he’s ageing is saying, “How much more of this crap can I take?” It’s tough, I can only do it if I have a script to believe in. Like Flight."[7]


Motion capture footage for George Harrison would be uploaded to YouTube unlisted in 2011 by ImageMovers employee John Root.[8] Test footage of a Blue Meanie and an apple was found sometime after along with concept art and test renders for the film.

In April 2021, the search for Yellow Submarine 3D content would pick up after footage of an unrendered test animation was found by Maximo Salazar on the site Vimeo. More test footage would be found by Naturalkatsup[9] and both would be uploaded in a video by YouTube user Kitsu Beatles[10], head of The Yellow Submarine 3D Project.

This team contacted members of the Fab Four who would provide pictures of a soundtrack CD to the film, confirming what tracks would be in the film. Member Mr. Kite would contact an anonymous ImageMovers employee and they would provide storyboards of the Hey Bulldog, Eleanor Rigby, and intro sequences which were released on April 23rd, 2021.[11]

A fully rendered clip of the All Together Now test animation would be found later in June of 2021.

Surfaced Content

Concept art, behind-the-scenes photos, storyboards, and rendered/unrendered test animations have surfaced from the film and are mostly archived on



A compilation of various test footage and storyboards for the film.

Sgt. Peppers Intro sequence with dialogue.

Video compilation of behind-the-scenes photos of mocap sessions.

Scribbles to Screen's video on the subject.

DazzReview's video on the subject.


See Also