Required Viewing: I Met the Walrus

Chris Higgins

In 1969, 14-year-old Jerry Levitan managed to snag a brief interview with John Lennon in his hotel room in Toronto. Using his reel-to-reel tape recorder, Levitan asked Lennon a series of questions about peace, popularity, and messages in music. The answers give us a portrait of Lennon at the end of his involvement with The Beatles.

In 2007, Levitan collaborated with director Josh Raskin, illustrator James Braithwaite, and animator Alex Kurina to produce I Met the Walrus, a short animated film featuring a condensed version of the Lennon-Levitan interview set to sprawling stream-of-consciousness animation. The resulting film has won an AFI Award and was nominated for an Academy Award.

It's a strange little piece -- five minutes of psychedelic rambling that, in the end, carries a message of hope. The advice Lennon gives Levitan here is simple: peace. Have a look: