Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cheese and Onions

Here's a silly one for your Sunday: the Cheese and Onions sequence from All You Need is Cash, a parody documentary based on the careers of The Beatles.

Created eight years before This is Spinal Tap established the mocumentary genre,  All You Need is Cash chronicles the rise and fall of The Rutles, a band very, very much like The Beatles.  Eric Idle and Neil Innes of Monty Python fame created the parody band. Beatle George Harrison makes a cameo appearance in the film.  Idle once talked about the mind blowing experience of having George and Ringo serenade him with The Rutles song Ouch! 

Innes' Beatle parody songs were not just about taking their songs and making joke lyrics.  He parodied their melodies and structure, creating songs onto themselves that sound like a bizarro universe version of The Beatles.  They were so well done, he was sued by ATV Music, who owned the Beatles' song copyrights.  As a result, song credits on The Rutles were shared Innes, Lennon and McCartney.

Cheese and Onions parodies The Beatles' psychedelic songs like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and I am the Walrus, though the song reminds me more of John Lennon's solo hit Mind Games.   Neil Innes does a spot-on Lennon impersonation.  The animation could easily pass for a lost sequence of The Yellow Submarine.   Unfortunately, the filmmakers did not see fit to credit those behind this sequence.  Eric Idle claimed it was done by an animator from the original film, but does not name names.  So credit "One of the Animators from The Yellow Submarine" with this. 

Will the real animators please stand up?


  1. I think Eric was fibbing about a Yellow Submarine animator working on the parody. It was actually done by Tony White - this was confirmed by Neil Innes.

    1. Thanks for clarifying. Brilliant work, Tony White!