Robert Zemeckis’ CGI Movie Story Explained


Media Discovery Lost, the art of media archeology where intrepid researchers dig as much as they can into movies, TV shows and animations long abandoned and thought to be dead, has been the subject of much attention over the past few months over recent discoveries. A pilot for an American Sailor Moon that was known to exist was eventually captured and released to YouTube in its entirety, a lost episode of sesame street featuring The Wizard of Ozit is Margaret Hamilton unfortunately considered too scary for children, and even a full animatic of Genndy Tartakovskyit is popeye. While there are more gruesome examples of lost media that we can only hope will never see the light of day, it can be a way to break down a wall that seems impenetrable between leaders and the public. When a work is discarded it is completely hidden from the public eye, a work that is never produced or finalized is a work that should never be seen, no matter how close it was to completion or how much hard work has gone into it. But then someone finds a picture of Nicholas Cage in a Superman costume, or concept sketches for a musical adaptation Cats which looks ten times better than the one we got, and you can’t help but imagine the alternate universe where these ideas came to fruition.


One of the movies that internet archivists are still scrambling to learn about today is an adaptation of The Beatles‘ Animation Film yellow submarine, realized by Robert Zemeckis with his studio ImageMovers and distributed by Disney. The ruins of this abandoned feature are intriguing to say the least, there are rumors that there is a full script hidden somewhere that has yet to be found, but all the average lost media enthusiast is capable of. to find online, these are snippets of animation testing and a substantial array of concept art. Here is the story as the public knows it.

The original Yellow Submarine debuted in 1968

yellow submarine is a 1968 animated film under a three-movie deal between the United Artists Corporation and the Beatles, there’s not much to say about who they are. Prior to this point, there had already been two feature films about John, Paul, George and Ringo, the first of which being A hard day’s Night, a smart, humorous and beloved film following a day in the life of the Beatles (and Paul’s grandfather). The Beatles were less enthusiastic about the second film, To help!, which was much wackier, let alone about their Saturday morning cartoon, so they didn’t want to offer their own voice to the animated film made by the same people beyond a short appearance at the end. Despite this, it’s not as if yellow submarine has no merit, the animation is sleek and colorful and of course there’s iconic Beatles music to carry throughout the film. It’s considered in hindsight a Beatlemania oddity and one of the few 1960s animated features outside of Walt Disney, and it was apparently viewed with enough affection by Zemeckis that he wanted to. do it again using his studio, ImageMovers, in his trademark. full motion capture animation.

Robert Zemeckis’ take promised a darker yellow submarine

This project was announced at Disney’s D23 Expo in 2009, and it was expected to be an event feature film to be released in the summer of 2012, just in time for the London Olympics. The voices of the group have been distributed, with Dean Lennox Kelly as John Lennon, Pierre Serafinowicz as Paul McCartney (a role he already knew well), Cary Elwes as george harrisonand Adam Campbell as Ringo Starwith tribute band The fabulous four used for performance capture. The concept art and animation that is accessible gives us an idea of ​​what this film could have been, what it would have looked like. It would’ve apparently been a loose adaptation, giving Pepperland a darker, more apocalyptic feel, complete with nightmarish creatures, including more monstrous Blue Meanies. The Beatles would look more like caricatures than real people, like Steven Spielbergit is The Adventures of Tintin with more exaggerated features and proportions. You could say it was a gritty remake of Yellow Submarine, which is weird enough to be written about, let alone imagine being made.

As ImageMovers shut down, so did the Yellow Submarine hopefuls

ImageMovers Digital closed in May 2010 after a series of box office failures, and the film, after an attempt to sell it to other studios, was dropped in March 2011. Instead of this ambitious project, a remastered version of the original yellow submarine received a limited re-release in the fall of 2012. Zemeckis’ film was lost, and we are left to wonder what it could have been and why was it discontinued. While the former may remain a mystery, the latter certainly has answers.

ImageMovers was best known for its frame-captured animated films

Zemeckis’ ImageMovers was a studio with ambitious ideas and methods that produced mixed results. They started out as a studio that provided groundbreaking computer-generated effects for the time for films such as Death becomes her and The scary ones, as the South Side Amusement Company. With their name change to ImageMovers, they had a few live-action movies under their belt with Dreamworks, including Castaway, but what they’re best known for are their fully motion-captured animated films produced under Dreamworks and then Disney. There were five films the studio made using this method: Jhe Polar Express, Monster House, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol and Mars needs moms. The last two of them are the most important to the story, the ones distributed by Disney, the ones that were under the name ImageMovers Digital, the ones that killed off that wing of the studio, and Yellow submarine.

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A Christmas Carol and Mars needs moms both bombed at the box office, with the latter particularly a disaster, grossing just $39.2 million against its $150 million budget. Except monster house, other motion capture films had a similar budget, which is why they were so heavily publicized, with Mars needs moms the only one not to get that money back and to be the final nail in ImageMovers Digital’s coffin. The novelty of digital magic had worn off and only its flaws remained. This is not an article that completely castigates CGI, that would be a waste of words. The history of cinema has shown us the amazing things technology is capable of, but you’re going to lose an audience if that’s all you have. In the case of ImageMovers, it seems their film stories are getting weaker with each release, with The monster house being the only film not based on another story. Then there is the great pitfall of The strange valley. When you only have a few CGI elements, you can focus on adding as much life to them as possible. When your whole movie aims for hyperrealism without being live action, you focus on the things that make the characters feel less human when they’re not quite animated and not quite real. This, combined with a weak and uninspired story, is what made Mars needs moms the biggest flop of the year it came out, and that’s what people tend to take away from ImageMovers Digital.

Copyrights Obtained the Yellow Submarine Way

ImageMovers Digital’s brilliance had already wavered since the lukewarm release of A Christmas Carol, which, while not a complete failure, was not the success Disney was hoping for. But what does that have to do with yellow submarine More precisely? Let’s look at the source material. The Beatles, one of the biggest and most successful bands in music history, had a Disney-like ironclad copyright for a very long time. There have been uses of Beatles songs in film and television, but while owned by Sony/ATV, Paul McCartney secured the rights to his music in 2018, it was infamously expensive to use the Beatles’ music. Fab Four. There’s a reason why feature film and TV biopics about The Beatles take place before their heyday or during their breakup. Their intellectual property is one of the most expensive and exclusive, and yellow submarine would be useless without it.

Given this, it was almost fatal that yellow submarine would not happen, as if it were a recipe for disaster. Source material that the band didn’t want to have much to see at the time of its creation, a studio with expensive projects and disappointing returns, and music that would be mandatory to add and that would significantly increase the budget. Perhaps the curiosity and timely release date would have drawn in some audiences, but Disney saw the gamble wasn’t worth the high cost, leaving this ambitious remake to be lost in history if it wasn’t for a team of designers. Internet historians gathering everything they could find on it. Finding lost media can be a disappointing business, where you end up with more questions than answers, and Yellow Submarine may still be locked away in the Disney Vault, but at least there’s enough to see to determine if you have any. seen enough.


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