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Yellow Submarine Sandwich (film)

The DVD release of the film.

The Movie Poster.

The Yellow Submarine Sandwich is a 1968 film based on the discography of The Rutles. While most of the band originally had no interest in the project, it is seen as a classic, bringing mainstream attention to both animation and the culinary arts. It had two "soundtrack" albums, Yellow Submarine Sandwich in 1969 and Yellow Submarine Sandwich Songtrack in 1999.

Yellow Submarine Sandwich (film)

In 1978, three minutes of the film would be featured in the Melvin Hall documentary All You Need Is Cash. In 1979, those three minutes would be featured as an animated short at the annual Animation Film Festival in Annecy, France. [1] While the film wouldn't win the category, it was selected by the Museum of Modern Art for their Best of Annecy program, and it was shown at the museum on 13 December 1979 in New York City. [2]


The blue Sharks and Judges come out of their Piggie Banks. Towards the right is the chief "Salesman" figure, thought to be inspired by Ron Decline. He is surrounded by protective thugs, and to his right is a coin slot machine which only rolls Bananas (a reference to Rutle Corps). At the far left are the blue Judges, thought to be a satire of figures in power who persecuted the Rutles over their love of tea.

Barry meets the Questionnaire.

The Yellow Submarine Sandwich returns to Rutterland.

Ron on the piano.

The Flying Teeth lights a Cigarette.

The Four Rutles.

In the beautiful land of Rutterland, the citizens of the community feel protected and safe because of the many Piggies who are supposed to keep everything in line. However, unbeknownst to them, the Piggies in fact are simply tools of higher forces, such as the Blue Headed Sharks (thought to be inspired by Ron Decline and his thugs) and the Mumpsimus Judges (thought to be in response to the Tea arrests which the band faced). Those forces soon emerge from their Piggie slots and begin to abuse the citizens of Rutterland, and one person, Chef Percy, decides to find help.

Using his culinary skills, Percy crafts a Yellow Submarine Sandwich, which he uses to travel in-between worlds. ("Yellow Submarine Sandwich") He soon finds himself in Rutland ("My Little Ukulele"), where he stalks Barry Wom back to the Rutles' mansion, filled with oddities and quirks. The four Rutles, soon gathered, agree to sit aboard the flying food and join Percy.

The group then travel through the Sea of Condiments, where they are separated from the Submarine Sandwich (which has a mind of its own and begins trying to backtrack to find them). It is here that they meet a mysterious figure, who introduces themself as "Henry Jessica Thighgap Esq.," also known as "the Questionaire." ("Questionnaire")

In exchange for answering surveys and questions, Henry leads the five to the Sea of Horseshoes ("I'm The Urban Spaceman"), where they soon find the golden horseshoe, which whisks them away to Rutterland.

Now back to dealing with the Sharks and Judges, joined by the terrifying flying teeth, Ron argues that what the Rutterlandians need is a counter-culture movement. He provides them with a 'Rutterland ballad' ("Cheese and Onions"). During this sequence, the Yellow Submarine Sandwich is seen eventually finding its way to Rutterland, where it joins the Rutles again. Ron is then seen traveling through the land, trying to understand the strange creatures and visuals he finds, until he eventually hides back at his piano, now underneath a large statue of a woman.

The other Rutles and the sandwich join him, but it's then that the teeth rip a huge portion of the cel background away. Ron, imitating this, grabs Dirk and rips them both out of the picture. Stig, meditating, fades from the picture, and Barry decides to exit himself, as he grabs the bottom of the scene and rips the entire picture away.

The movie ends with a single note, leaving much of the plot unresolved.


Voice Acting[]



The Rutles' participation[]

Most of The Rutles were unenthusiastic about the project, as their second film, Ouch!, they found disappointing, and the Tragical History Tour was a flop both with critics and with their mothers. Dirk, however, agreed to do the film, and the directors were happy to cast him as all four Rutles. He was not referenced as himself, but merely as "Sgt. Rutter" in order to hide that he played all of the roles.

The other three Rutles admitted liking the film upon seeing a draft, and agreed to record a clip for the end, and after a little persuading, with Dirk. The three Rutles would later call the film a classic during the recording of Archaeology. Dirk would later say that the animation studio "did great."

DVD Release[]

One of the Lego toys released on the film's 30th Anniversary in 2016.

The Yellow Submarine Sandwich was released on DVD on April 1st, 2012. It was he second film to get a DVD release, after A Hard Day's Rut in 2000 and before Ouch in March 2014.


Much merchandise has been made out of the film, partially because it proves to be the easiest version of the Rutles to copyright. This included, in October 2016, a popular Lego version of the craft.