Yellow Submarine has been painstakingly restored, by hand and will be re-released on dvd and hopefully bluray on May 28, 2012. Both the movie and the songtrack album are getting the re-do and will be out the same day.
Big fan of the Beatles. But, honestly, how much more can you restore animation that has been restored once already ? I'd be very interested to see a comparison once this "latest restoration" is released.
I agree. Does anyone know if there are even any new extra features planned for this edition? Regardless, instead of remastering and rereleasing Yellow Submarine for the nth time over, what should happen is for Apple to do a proper rerelease of Magical Mystery Tour, as it seems very difficult to obtain on DVD at this point other than as an inferior grey market release from Avenue One, with atrocious audiovisual quality. It's high time that movie, which has come to be probably the most neglected in the Beatles' filmography aside from Let it Be, was properly restored and rereleased legitimately on DVD and blu-ray. Nothing against Yellow Sub, but the DVD edition I own is more than sufficient and I have no need to buy it again. I am sure there are many Beatles fans, however, who'd like to see Magical Mystery Tour preserved properly as a part of the Beatles' legacy and publicly available in a quality presentation. For the record I am aware that the legit 1997 MPI edition is still listed as available on Amazon, but some people who ordered even that have claimed they were shipped the Avenue One edition instead! So I'm torn as to whether order copy, not being sure whether I'll get the correct one, and that's what's really frustrating me as a Beatles and film lover at the moment. It's even worse if Amazon is listing their inventory incorrectly, even if by mistake. Someone needs to check on that one, too.
Even so, however, it's evident that this movie is much harder to get a hold of than it should be, and many--if not most--of the copies currently available appear to be illegitimate, and third rate illegitimate at that. And even that may be a generous way of putting it. I do understand that, from the looks of things, part of the issue with keeping the Beatles' films available in good quality is that the copyrights seem to be all over the place: Universal has 'Hard Day's Night', MGM appears to have 'Yellow Submarine', etc. I've even heard Magical Mystery Tour has been neglected enough to fall into the public domain. If that's true, it must be through British copyright laws--the movie's only 45 years old at this point, and under American copyright laws you can hold onto something for pretty much a lifetime. But if so, Apple should, if necessary, buy the rights and make a decent blu-ray release widely available. MMT was a TV movie originally, but the BBC appears to have no interest in it at this point, possibly because it was initially a flop; at any rate, they or whomever held the copyright (MPI Home Video did the original DVD back in 1997, and although Amazon still lists that edition as being in stock, given that there are reports of being shipped the aforementioned shoddy Avenue One edition instead, I'm not sure if MPI's release is still in print all these years later, let alone if Amazon has any stock left) has let it slide or at least has no interest in enforcing it. Seeing as this is a Beatles movie, even if it wasn't successful or well-received on initial broadcasts, it's amazing to me that no media company more legitimate than Avenue One is interested in adding it to their distribution catalogue.
I'm sorry for clogging up the Yellow Submarine board with a post about Magical Mystery Tour, but having heard about the new edition of Yellow Submarine, and already owning Yellow Sub while struggling to get hold of a decent copy of Magical Mystery Tour, quite honestly I wanted somewhere to vent about this situation, and this seems to be the most apropos place I've found so far. I don't suppose anyone from Apple or anywhere else with the power to do justice for Magical Mystery Tour will see this post, but it at least feels nice to have said the above and have it published on the web. I'm sure I can't be the only Beatles fan who's been generally frustrated with the fluctuating availability of the Beatles' movies on home media, and I hope there are others who find this post to be helpful and expressive of their own point of view.
Either way, I beseech Apple: A) Firstly, officially release the film 'Let it Be'. I know I haven't remotely mentioned this issue until now, but it fits in the general theme here so I might as well touch on it. To my knowledge, Let it Be hasn't been available in a legitimate release since VHS in the '80s, and it's incredible to me that we've yet to even see this movie on DVD. If, as I've heard tell, the surviving Beatles and estates are uncomfortable having it released because of the light in which it shows the group's relationships, while I have some sympathy for their not wanting to revisit an unpleasant chapter in their lives, if that's the only reason it's been withheld, I'm sorry but that borders on censorship and in my opinion should not be a reason to keep a film from being released. Especially since most fans have likely viewed the movie anyway. B) However, even if a rerelease of Let it Be cannot be authorized, no one's toes (other than unscrupulous bootleggers' and grey market companies') can possibly be stepped on by having Magical Mystery Tour restored and rereleased properly on the best technology available today, and if possible including as supplemental material any of the purported deleted footage that may still exist along with the extras listed for the MPI release and anything else of relevance that may be in the vaults. So please, Apple and whoever else may be involved, get to it and rerelease Magical Mystery Tour properly and, if possible, follow it up with Let it Be. Just because MMT was bludgeoned by critics and viewers on its initial release, that certainly does not mean demand from Beatles fans and collectors would be absent today, especially when it's so hard to get a decent quality legitimate copy. I'm tired of relying on the library system--and apparently so was someone else, because it looks like the copy of MMT that used to be in my county library has been "borrowed" permanently. At this point, it looks like I may be going to the attic to see if, by some remote chance, I have a TV-recorded VHS copy that's still playable after having been rotting away with all of the other tapes that have been left up there for the past ten-fifteen years. Although I'm sure some fans have connections in the bootlegging industry and I suppose that's great if they have no ethical qualms about it, I cannot possibly be the only one thinking this and experiencing this frustrating circumstance. It'd be just swell if Apple, et. al. would give Beatles fans the lovely gift of *all* the Fabs' films properly restored and given the first class treatment they warrant as part of rock music history.