For quite a long time now my dream collaboration in the world of entertainment has been Disney (Pixar in particular) and The Beatles. Up until now, this seemed like my own geeky idea that would never happen in real life. You would not believe me if I told you how many times, and to what length, I considered how cool a Beatles-Disney collaboration would be and what form it could take.

As mentioned in my Disney Blog bio, I’m an enormous Beatles fan —just shelled out $300 bucks to pre-order the limited-edition Beatles mono box set— and to see Disney or Pixar put animated images to the words of the band’s songs would simply be fantastic.

So you can imagine how astounded I was when I read the news today —oh boy:

Disney and Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis are reportedly in the late stages of negotiation on remaking Yellow Submarine, the The Beatles’ 1968 animated film, as a performance-capture digital 3-D spectacular, according to Variety.

The target release date would be Summer 2012 and the new film, complete with sixteen of the Beatles’ original recordings, would be produced by ImageMovers Digital, Zemeckis’s Disney-owned production company. And there are ‘prospects’ for merchandising and even a Broadway musical and new Cirque du Soleil show based on the new film.

Variety reports that “the deal has been months in the making”, with scores of lawyers “sorting out the complicated rights clearances necessary to remake the 1968 psychedelic toon”. The Beatles, of course, already represent one of the most unique and complex  copyright and intellectual property situations ever.

While I’m not particularly a fan of the original film, and Pixar would not be involved in the deal, this is by far one of the most exciting and anticipated project’s coming from Disney period, if it does come to fruition.


Mike Bastoli has been blogging at The Disney Blog since 2009. Until 2011, he covered Pixar Animation Studios on his own website, The Pixar Blog, which became one of the most popular on the Web dedicated to Pixar news, the New York Times calling it the “definitive unofficial chronicler of the animation powerhouse". In 2011, Mike expanded his coverage to the entire world of feature animation, renaming his site Big Screen Animation. He retired Big Screen Animation in 2014 and is considering future writing opportunities. Besides Disney, Mike is an avid fan of Apple and The Beatles. He resides near Toronto.