Yellow Submarine animator Ron Campbell dead at 81

I am saddened to hear that Ron Campbell, the animator of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine has passed away at the age of 81. Animation Magazine did a great tribute to him.

Campbell…began his animation career in the late 1950s. The talented cartoonist was soon working on Saturday morning favorites like Beetle Bailey and Krazy Kat, and made his mark with The Beatles animated series (1965-69), produced at Artransa Park Studios in Sydney.

Campbell moved to the U.S. to work for Hanna-Barbera; he also wrote and animated for George of the Jungle (Jay Ward Prod.) and Sesame Street. Building on his success with The Beatles cartoon, Campbell animated several sequences for the band’s cult animated feature Yellow Submarine in the late ’60s, working with friend and colleague Duane Crowther. These included the “Sea of Time” sequence and many scenes featuring Nowhere Man and between Chief Blue Meanie and Max.

…“Making cartoon films was something Ron had dreamed of since he was 6 years old when he learned that the short films of Tom & Jerry that he saw in the theaters were only drawings. He was amazed that he could make drawings that could come to life … and that was it. He said he never woke up a day in his life and thought … damn I have to go to work,” said Campbell’s business manager Scott Segelbaum.

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Fun Fact:

According to the book, ‘The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made’ by Chris Gore, a sequel to Yellow Submarine was being worked on. It was set to be called ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’