How John Lennon’s Son Reacted to The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ as a Kid

John Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, first saw The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ on television years after its debut. The movie seems to have helped him reach a major epiphany.

John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, first saw The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine on television years after its debut. The movie seems to have helped him reach a major epiphany about his father. Subsequently, the film influenced a lot of pop culture, including a television special co-starring David Bowie.

John Lennon’s son was introduced to The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ at a friend’s home

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine came out in 1968. Sean wasn’t born until 1975. The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono features an interview from 1980. During the interview, John discussed Sean. “Beatles was never mentioned to him,” he said. “There was no reason to.

“We never played Beatles records — unlike the story that went around that I was sittin’ in the kitchen for five years playin’ Beatles records like some kind of Howard Hughes,” he continued. “Once he was over at a friend’s and Yellow Submarine was on television, and he came running over saying, ‘Daddy, were you a Beatle?’” Notably, John didn’t voice himself in the film and only appeared in a brief live-action skit at the end of the picture.

John Lennon’s son was aware of all The Beatles but thought Yoko Ono was in the band

Sean didn’t understand The Beatles’ lineup. “He didn’t differentiate between The Beatles and Daddy and Mummy,” he revealed. “He thinks Yoko is a Beatle, too. He knows that there’s a Ringo and a Paul and a George and these people that somehow used to be around. But children can’t conceive of what goes on before they’re born.”

John was asked if Sean had the same attitude toward The Beatles that he did toward other bands. “No, because he hasn’t been exposed to them,” he replied. “I think I let him have one Beatles record when he expressed an interest, once he got this idea that there was some singing going on. But I generally keep them away from him.”

How ‘Yellow Submarine’ inspired a Fab Four jukebox musical and a David Bowie movie

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine impacted more people than just Sean. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie was rereleased for its 50th anniversary. It earned $992,305 domestically and $280,956 internationally. Altogether, Yellow Submarine made $1,273,261. It’s incredible that a movie that came out in the 1960s could be a hit in the 2010s.

In addition, Yellow Submarine inspired pop culture, particularly through its villains, the Blue Meanies. Circus performers in the Fab Four jukebox musical Across the Universe are obviously designed to resemble the Blue Meanies. Notably, the performers appear during the film’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” sequence.

The residents of Atlantis from the television special SpongeBob’s Atlantis SquarePantis look like the Blue Meanies as well. Notably, the Atlantean emperor in the special was voiced by David Bowie. In addition, there is a ska band called Blue Meanies.

Yellow Submarine made Sean ask an interesting question and it remains one of the most beloved children’s films this side of Disney.

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