Those of us who grew up on Yellow Submarine intimately know and love the animated Beatles film. This tongue-in-cheek acid trip pits the Fab Four against the evil Blue Meanies, who invaded the once magical, musical Pepperland and transformed it into a bleak, fascistic wasteland. The irony, of course, is that the Blue Meanies (including the Apple Bonkers and ever awesome, flying Glove) are colorful characters themselves. But they’re not very nice.
Based upon the song of the same name by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Yellow Submarine is a highly creative fantasy adventure filled with wonderfully surreal landscapes, infectious Beatles songs, and ironically, witty and whimsical dialogue delivered by actors and not the musicians themselves. The 1968 film was a television staple in the late Seventies and Eighties and has lived on through home video ever since the late Eighties. However, the 2001 DVD release, which reinserted an extra sequence (“Hey Bulldog”) originally included only in the European release of the film, has been out-of-print for several years now.
Thankfully the classic animated tale has been restored in HD (and thankfully the moronic idea of a remake has been shelved). The Blu-ray release is scheduled for release on June 5th, and the film will be shown in select theaters on Thursday, May 10th. According to the movie’s website, “The film has been restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Pictures and Eque Inc. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame.”