‘Yellow Submarine’ even better after third viewing…

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The Beatles’ 1968 animated feature film Yellow Submarine already stands out as a landmark in cinema, being one of the first full features to encompass an entire album’s soundtrack and breaking the mould for animation while turning its fluffy Disney-like peers on their heads.

This writer recently indulged in a little hooch and watched the film, now restored and available on Blu-ray and DVD, but began to read perhaps too deeply into the film’s narrative, in which an array of ‘Blue Meanies’ begin destroying all that is good on earth (representing the heads of capitalist corporations, I summised). There were also hints of critique on communism and what seemed like a celebration of ‘green peace’ but you’ll have to watch the film again yourself to decide.

Even without scratching the film’s surface, it’s a treat to watch, not merely for its fantastic and fun soundtrack which of course presents the Beatles at their psychedelic peak and includes the songs Eleanor Rigby, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends, All You Need Is Love, and Baby, You’re A Rich Man (the latter more recently heard over the closing credits of Facebook biopic, The Social Network).

Bonus features for the Yellow Submarine Blu-ray and DVD include a short making-of documentary titled Mod Odyssey, as well as the film’s original trailer, storyboard sequences, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, and interview clips with others involved with the film. Heck, so serious about its re-release are the record company, they’ve packaged it with four attractive cels (the transparency film featuring original animations), a sheet of collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a full essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios).

If you’ve not seen this classic animated rock flick yet, invest in this package. It’d make for excellent, trippy party ambience when jumping out of a projector at your next house party, too.

 

Yellow Submarine – digitally restored – is available on Blu-ray and DVD through EMI Music. To truly appreciate what The Beatles, and particular John Lennon, were going on about in Yellow Submarine, check out the music video for When I’m 64 in which the short span of just 60 seconds is gorgeously celebrated in handsome graphics. Click on the image below to view. Oh, and do not judge the quality on YouTube; that of the newly restored Blu-ray and DVD versions is a thousand times more superior!