The Beatles’ 1968 animated film, Yellow Submarine, has gone through a digital restoration and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in North America on May 29 (May 28 in the rest of the world).
Currently out of print, 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 Picture Services 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.
Bonus features for the Yellow Submarine DVD and Blu-ray include a short making-of documentary titled Mod Odyssey (TRT: 7:30), the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos. Both Digipak packages will include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios).
Lasseter writes in his essay, “As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine, whose revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today.”
Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.
Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including Eleanor Rigby, When I’m Sixty-Four, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, All You Need Is Love, and It’s All Too Much. When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.
Inspired by the generation’s new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.
“I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts,” remembers Edelmann. “The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end.” These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, 3-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic “rotoscoping” where film is traced frame by frame into drawings. The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.
A new hardcover book based on the film will also be released on April 24 via Candlewick Press. An interactive digital version of the book is also available for free for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
The soundtrack album will be reissued along with the film on May 29.
The track list:
Love You To
All Together Now
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Think For Yourself
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With A Little Help From My Friends
Baby, You’re A Rich Man
Only A Northern Song
All You Need Is Love
When I’m Sixty-Four
It’s All Too Much
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