Chief Blue Meanie
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|Chief Blue Meanie|
|MGM/United Artists character|
|First appearance||Yellow Submarine|
|Last appearance||"Imaginationland Episode III" (South Park)|
|Created by||Heinz Edelman|
|Portrayed by||Paul Angelis|
|Occupation||Chief of the Blue Meanies|
|Family||Assistant/Sidekick Max, Cousin: The Blue Bird of Happiness.|
|Relatives||Cousin: The Blue Bird of Happiness.|
The Chief of the Blue Meanies is a fictional character and the main antagonist from the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. A high-pitched, flamboyant character, he is set on ruling Pepperland with fear and oppression. His most heinous of crimes from The Beatles' point of view, however, is his hatred of music. He is voiced by Paul Angelis, who also provided the voice of Ringo Starr.
The Chief arrives in Pepperland with his army of Meanies and begins his campaign of taking over by firing a massive glass sphere at the Beatles' doubles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band, who play music all day in this colorful world, while all the natives dance and sing and generally behave in a friendly manner towards one another. As the Chief comments, "it can't last". The soundproof glass sphere covers the band, making their music inaudible, and in their panic to run away, the natives are fired at by the Blue Meanies' guns, whose missiles both drain their victims' colour on contact and petrify them. The Chief bombards the natives with various weapons and species of Meanie that vary in their ferocity and eccentricy– anything from Meanies that will eat the toys of young children (as demonstrated when the Beatles' arrival to Pepperland, when a sharp-toothed Meanie, a snapping turtle-Turk, consumes a young girl's paper windmill) to reducing the flourishing hills and plants to a land of bare thorns and colourless grass, with the only green existing in the form of giant apples that the "Apple Bonkers" (taller Meanies) drop on peoples' heads.
Later in the film, the Chief engineers the kidnapping of the Beatles' friend and comrade, the Nowhere Man Jeremy Hilary Boob. When the Beatles finally arrive in Pepperland, the Chief is woken from a brief sleep and is incensed when he sees the hills and trees returning to their proper colours at the sound of their music; he sends his fiercest weapon, "The Dreadful Flying Glove" after the heroes. The Glove is thwarted by John Lennon's song "All You Need is Love" and the Chief's army flees, knocking him over in the process.
In a final, petty attempt at retribution, the Chief threatens to tear the newly freed Nowhere Man into "blue burgers". However, he is humiliated by his magic and ends up sprouting flowers from his nose and body. He flees with the rest of his army, but later contemplates "mixing" with the Beatles – however, at the very end, when the Beatles appear in the flesh to the audience, Lennon says that "Blue Meanies have been found within the vicinity of this theatre".
Like the majority of the Meanies in his army, the Chief is masked, has yellowed teeth with navy blue woollen body hair and massive, paw-like hands with six claws on each. He is taller than most of them, however, and whereas the "common" Blue Meanies wear a hat reminiscent of Mickey Mouse's ears, his hat looks more like Oswald's. Also, whereas the "common" Blue Meanies wear orange and yellow striped stockings with mary jane shoes, he (and his sidekick, "Max") wears jackboots, complete with spurs: a pale blue boot on the right foot, a navy blue boot on the left. He has an unpredictable, if not split, personality, which sends him from apparently effeminate and friendly to raging and malicious - though no less buffoonish in either. He has a sidekick, "Max", who is often the victim of his abuse, from being punched to being shot. He also has a Meanie carry around a stool so that he can sit down whenever he likes; presumably, were he to fall on the ground it would be at the stool-carrier's peril. He also states (until the very end, when he starts warming to the Beatles) that "we Meanies only take 'no' for an answer", and gets extremely angry at the sound of the word "yes", even when being answered in the affirmative. Sometimes his own aggression gets the better of him and he needs to be revived with "nasty medicine", which makes him even more eccentric than he already is. He encourages his army of Meanies to be as unpleasant as possible, but later admits that his cousin is "the bluebird of happiness".
In popular culture
The character's looks and personality was seemingly a major influence on the producers of The Powerpuff Girls, in which one of the villains, an androgynous devil known as "Him", appears as a constant source of pain and annoyance to the girls, and shares several of the Meanie-Chief's mannerisms. Coincidentally, one episode of the show involves 'Rainbow the Clown', a clown character who ends up transforming into 'Mr. Mime', a mime who drains Townsville of color and turns petrifies everyone (eventually Blossom and Buttercup) until the Girls end up performing a musical number that undos all of the chaos created by Mr. Mime.
The Blue Meanies made background appearances in the South Park three-part episode "Imaginationland", in the viral video "Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny", and a brief appearance in the Beatles' music video "Free as a Bird".
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