Lesser Known Animated Rock Movies

A prop from the original version of the film, before they realized animation was the way to go. Photo by Stuart Jamieson [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

A prop from the original version of the film, before they realized animation was the way to go. Photo by Stuart Jamieson [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The Beatles' ground breaking and strikingly original animated masterpiece, Yellow Submarine, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, Mathematically, this makes it older than two twenty-five year olds. Or, for that matter, five ten year olds. Or a room full of babies.

Yellow Submarine's phantasmagoric animation and connection to the Beatles' songs it portrays makes it an incredibly influential and historically significant film.

Other bands attempted to capture the lighting in a bottle that was Yellow Submarine with lesser success than the Fab Four's animated outing. Here's a few examples of those failed animated movies by other musicians.

1. Magic Bus. This movie followed members of The Who along with their talking spider, Boris, as they travelled through time in a bright yellow school bus looking for the Pinball Wizard who could cast a spell that would give everyone free pinball machines in their homes. Highlights included a wacky chase sequence to "Won't Get Fooled Again," in which the lads are pursued through a series of doors by zombie ghosts. Also watch for the scene where Pete gets lost in a  post-apocalypticTeenage Wasteland while looking for an Irish/Russian girl  (Baba O'Reilly) with a magic hat.

2. Sympathy For The Devil. Due to a convoluted set of circumstances, Mick and the boys try to cheer up and fill in for the devil who has a bad cold and can't bring himself to be particularly evil. At one point they just go around a neighborhood full of red doors painting them black, and, in yet another odd scene Keith sings an unrelated solo that no one remembers or enjoys.

3. Slow Ride. Members of Foghat just ride around on a train offering to make love to people. It's fairly tedious.

4. Sweet Home Alabama! Members of Lynard Skynard ride around on motorcycles, going from town to town hunting the evil demon Neil the Younger. They also find themselves complaining about how things smell a lot.

5. Truckin': Ostensibly, this was cartoon featuring members of the Grateful Dead operating "Jerry's Groovy Truck Company" and the many adventures that would entail. It ended up being just a couple of colored blobs moving around the screen with a soundtrack featuring one song that lasted 2 hours and 46 minutes.

6. Three Dog Knights of the Round Table. Members of Three Dog Night were portrayed as dogs in King Arthur's Camelot, and quested for the holy grail. It was never really clear why they were dogs, as all other characters in the movie were humans. The issue was never addressed even in passing. Highlights included Merlin pacing the castle alone as "One" was howled by the dog knights. 

7. The Boys Are Back!  Members of Thin Lizzy drive from Boston to their home in Philadelphia in a dilapidated Ford Tin Lizzy. There's only one song in the movie, and that's played when they arrive home. You know what that song is, because what else would it be.

8. Dark Side of the Moon. Crew members of the the HMS Pink fly to the moon to seek a magic lunar rock that will bring about world peace or something. A lengthy, tedious battle between moon pigs and the crew members is set to "Us and Them". There's also a weird scene where the crew encounters a moon gnome named Grimble Gromble for some goofball reason.

9. Avatar. It's basically just a series of Yes album covers.

10. Houses of the Holy. Colonel Zanypants and His Good Times Band go on a series of madcap adventures in a magical dirigible made of lead as they try to find a magical stairway to Heaven so they can recover St. Tristan's Sword so they can fight a group of werewolves who are trying to destroy a levee surrounding the kingdom of Lemonville. It's really all a blatant ripoff of Yellow Submarine and Lord of the Rings. And some people really like it a lot more than is warranted.

This is a parody, which, frankly, should be obvious.

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