‘Yellow Submarine’ animator Robert Balser dies aged 88

January 8, 2016

Robert Balser, one of the animators for The Beatles’ movie Yellow Submarine, has died. He was 88.

Balser died on Monday (Jan 4) following complications from respiratory failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, Cima told leading animation website AWN.com.

More than 200 artists were employed on the hand-drawn 1968 Beatles movie during a production that took 11 months to complete on a budget of less than $1 million.

The film, set in the paradise of Pepperland, is full of morphing shapes and bizarre creatures known as Blue Meanies and featured several songs from The Beatles back catalogue including ‘When I’m 64’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Hey Bulldog’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ and ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’.


“We didn’t say we’re going to do this because of this or that – it just happened,” Balser, one of the few Americans to work on the film, said in a 2012 interview with TribLive. “I see how it works with little kids, with teenagers, how it’s engraved in the memory of older people. I think it resonates today, but I don’t know why.”

RIP Robert Balser. We loved your work.


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