Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ Coming to Disc June 5
Home Media Magazine: Erik Gruenwedel
The Beatles’ 1968 animated feature film Yellow Submarine is coming to DVD and Blu-ray Disc June 5, following a limited theatrical re-release beginning May 5.
D&E Entertainment has teamed with EMI and Apple Corps. to digitally restore the original theatrical film. Based on a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is a fantastic tale about 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.”
The film was digitally (in 4K resolution) restored frame-by-frame by hand, since no software could be used to clean up the delicate hand-drawn images. The original theatrical included melding live-action photography with animation, three-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic “rotoscoping” where film is traced frame-by-frame into drawings. Due to the technological limits of the time, Submarine took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists to complete.
Indeed, John Lasseter, chief creative officer with Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, hailed the film’s re-release in an essay accompanying the disc releases.
“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,” Lasseter wrote.
Directed by George Dunning and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine came to the big screen in 1968 after Brodax, which had produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with the idea for a full-length animated feature.