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"Yellow Submarine" surfaces with a colorful presentation (this review is for the Blu-ray)
on June 5, 2012
"Yellow Submarine" surfaces with a sharp, colorful presentation for Blu-ray. The 4K restoration for the film looks brilliant and is a huge upgrade when compared to the original 1999 DVD. I haven't seen the DVD remastered edition of this put out at the same time but I would imagine it uses the same high def source. The painstaking restoration for the film is evident in just about every frame which is brimming with more a sharper, more detailed image and colors that positively pop.
The Beatles (none of the band provided their own voices) are recruited to help overthrow the Blue Meanies when they take over Pepperland by Fred who is going to transport the Fab Four in his Yellow Submarine. Things go awry along the way as Ringo gets launched out of the sub, they meet Jeremy a Nowhere Man who finds helps them free Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from being kept captive by the music hating Blue Meanies. A truly surreal adventure as Jon Lassiter points out in his introduction in the booklet, "Yellow Submarine" truly was revolutionary in its day and still looks dazzling.
Image quality is top notch with a painstakingly restored image filled with sharper images than previously seen. The film probably has never looked this good even when it was shown in 1968 as film development and projection techniques weren't quite as good back in 1968. In fact restoration efforts can often reveal flaws in a film as the resolution is so much better than before. The aspect ratio returns the film to its original 1.66:1 presentation (vs. 1.68:1 for the previous DVD and 1.33:1 for the VHS as I recall).
The lossless audio is marvelous sounding.
The special features include a 16 page booklet with behind-the-scenes photos and comments, mini-seri-cels (that resemble the animation cels although smaller and with each Beatle in one of the iconic moments from the film)of each of the four Beatles and stickers. Audio Commentary by John Coates and additional contribution by Heinz Edelmann
Vintage featurette: The Mod Odyssey (7:40), we also get three storyboarded sequences - including two not used in the final film:* Sea of Monsters (4:21),Battle of the Monsters (Interactive), Pepperland (Interactive),Original pencil drawings (8:33), Behind-the-scenes photo gallery as well as interviews with crew and vocal talents: Paul Angelis (voice) (1:39), John Clive (voice) (2:04), David Livesey (key animation) - 1:13, Millicent MacMillan (1:14), Jack Stokes (3:44), Eric Segal (1:38), Theatrical Trailer (3:45)
16 page booklet, reproductions of animation cells of each of the four Beatles characters + stickers
Missing is the music only audio track that was on the previous DVD which is too bad but we do get the original mono soundtrack as well plus a stereo PCM mastered track.
This is a terrific reissue that is flawed only by missing the original music only track in 5.1 like the original DVD. It would also have been nice if the MTV Special (or was it VH1?) that was shown back in 1999 had been included or the BBC documentary but evidently Apple chose not to license either for this release. Even though it doesn't have everything it could have, this is highly recommended due to the stellar image and sound quality.