This restored, animated valentine to the Beatles offers viewers the rare chance to see a work that's been substantially improved by its technical facelift, not just supersized with extra footage. Recognizing that its song-... more »studded soundtrack alone makes Yellow Submarine a video annuity, United Artists has lavished a frame-by-frame refurbishment of the original feature, while replacing its original monaural audio tracks with a meticulously reconstructed stereo mix that actually refines legendary original album versions. What emerges is a vivid time capsule of the late '60s and a minor milestone in animation. The music represents the quartet's zenith--Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The story line, cobbled together by producer Al Brodax and a committee of writers, is a broad, feather-light allegory set in idyllic Pepperland, where the gentle citizens are threatened by the nasty, music-hating Blue Meanies and their surreal arsenal of henchmen, with the Beatles enlisted to thwart the bad guys. Visually, designer Heinz Edelmann mixes the biomorphic squiggles, day-glo palette, and Beardsley-esque portraits of Peter Max with rotoscoped still photographs and film; Edelmann's animated collages also nod to Andy Warhol and Magritte in properly psychedelic fashion, which works wonderfully with such terrific songs. High orthodox Beatlemaniacs can still grouse that the animated Fab Four are (literally) flat archetypes, but that's missing the sheer bloom of the music or the giddy, campy fun of the visuals. Making sense of the story is second to submerging blissfully in the sights and sounds of this video treat. --Sam Sutherland« less
"After reading the New York Times article about the restoration process for Yellow Submarine, I had high hopes for this DVD. I was not disappointed. The color saturation is sumptuous. There are some imperfections, but on the whole this is a first class restoration. If you want appreciate the restoration, look at the original theatrical trailer or the "making of" documentary extras. The re-mastered audio brings new complexity and detail to familiar Beatle material (even on my strictly middlebrow home entertainment system). The opening a cappella chorus of "Nowhere Man" sounded like it was recorded yesterday. For a generation that has not seen this film, Yellow Submarine is a perfect time capsule for 60's psychedelic era. The film begins in under the sea in Pepperland, an idyllic musical community, which is attacked by the music-hating Blue Meanies. "Young Fred" manages to escape the attack in the Yellow Submarine, which takes him to England. He recruits the Beatles to return with him to Pepperland to join the battle between the forces of order (the Blue Meanies) and the forces of creativity and love. The plot is pretty much as hokey as it sounds, but it is merely a vehicle for the music, humor, surrealism, artistic and social sensibilities of the psychedelic 60's. And it is there that the movie emphatically succeeds. The animation is certainly not as sophisticated as some more modern efforts, but it stands up remarkably well. There was a lot of revolutionary (for the 60's) integration of animation and live action. The colors are gorgeous. Visually, this is still a very entertaining film. If you don't like the Beatles music, or are bored by animation, stay away. If you are on the fence about getting this DVD, buy it. You won't be disappointed. And if you love the Beatles, this DVD should move to the top of your list."
Campy fun from The Beatles
Mike London | Oxford, UK | 02/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You're browsing the video rental racks, and there it is: a blue background with yellow lettering and a trippy submarine (yellow at that) on the cover. The movie? THE BEATLES: YELLOW SUBMARINE. Having only seen this movie (well, and MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, which you probably haven't seen, and there's a reason for that....) of The Beatles I cannot compare it to the other 3 (HARD DAY'S NIGHT, HELP!, and LET IT BE). So I can only operate in this sphere of knowledge.YELLOW SUBMARINE, simply put, is one weird movie. They take elements of The Beatles mythology and throw it all together and end up with a place called Pepperland which, for some strange reason (I don't think the film says why, though I may be wrong) is being invaded by Blue Meanies. Oh yes...... The Blue Meanies want to make everything blue. It has the very hippy or 1960s message of love and music will save the day, which is what happens. Through the way we get several visually dynamic (and altogether strange) music video segments. The Beatles were ahead of their times, let me tell you. I AM THE WALRUS is one of the first music videos. Anyway, its campy fun, though when watching the film it seems a lot longer than it actually is. The animation portrays a convoluted world, full of unique beings found only in a drug-induced cosmos. Throw that in with the fact its mainly about The Beatles, and we have a very trippy and fun movie. Jeremy is the most memorable character.And no, The Beatles do not play themselves. In that respect, this isn't really a Beatles movie at all, its just a film produced by their company about them, and they did a little afterword (you see them for like a minute or 2). It also put in the excised "Hey Bulldog" sequence from the American version. They advertised that there was a lost Beatles song that would be included with the new release of Yellow Submarine. It wasn't a song at all, just the lost footage. Liars. No, I'm not bitter at all!Mike London"
We All Live In A Yellow Submarine!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 12/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There was a Powerpuff Girls episode that in part parodied Yellow Submarine. In it, Bubbles yells: "Mother Nature has great plans for colour." She also must have been referring to the original movie Yellow Submarine, because seeing it in black and white is a mortal sin. This groundbreaking animated classic is more than just the Beatles' fight against the Meanies, but creates an animated technique never before tried. It's also a wild and vivid array of psychedelic colours, a snapshot of the Sixties that's sadly long gone. Opening narration: "Once upon a time... or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. 80,000 leagues beneath the sea, it lay, or lies... I'm not too sure."
Well, that unearthly paradise comes under the attack of the Blue Meanies, masked, gold-toothed, blue-furred creatures who with their tall apple-bearing bonkers, missile firing clowns, Snapping Turks, anti-music missile, and the dreadful flying glove, lay waste to Pepperland, turning it from a colourful paradise to a black-and-white wasteland, and draining the life force of its citizenry. Young Fred goes for help in the title craft moments after the string-quartet loving Lord Mayor is bonked.There's another wasteland--Liverpool, at least as perceived by Ringo. Nothing exciting ever happens to him, and he feels like a splintered drumstick. That is, until Fred knocks on the Beatles' door with a cry for help: "H is for Hurry, E is for urgent, L is for Love me, and P for Please!" All the Beatles, well realized down to their voices, end up helping Fred, climb aboard the submarine, and away they go!The scene of the hall of doors made me wonder if it's a reflection of the subconscious. As Ringo and Fred enter a door and close it behind them, all sorts of miscellaneous objects fly in and out the other doors. When they come out, the objects quickly vanish through whatever door.It's the Beatles' adventures through the various seas that's the real treat. The colours are simply vivid in the Sea of Monsters, which is my favourite of the seas, what with the weird monsters. Their encounter with the boxing monster and the kinky bootbeasts are funny. And the sequence of numbers that occur in the "When I'm Sixty-Four" number is creative to say the least.The puns and plays-on-word are also funny. Example: Ringo and Fred see Frankenstein. Ringo says he went out with his sister Phyllis. Phyllis Stein, Philistine, get it? Also, George says, "I see footsteps" when the kinky bootbeasts approach. Even Beatles songs are included. In the Sea of Holes, Ringo says this place reminds him of Blackburn, Lancashire, to which Paul sings, "Oh boy!" per "A Day In The Life."Jeremy Hillary Boo Ph.D., the rhyme-speaking brown-furred humanoid with pink bunny tail steals the show as the "nowhere man." He seems to know everything from botany, chemistry, and poetry, but he's so much alone that he has time for anything, despite his: "ad hoc, ad loc and crypto quo/so little time, so much to know." Never fear, the Beatles give him a life, so to speak.The never-before-seen "Hey Bulldog" sequence is the only real clue that the gaggle of bulldogs is actually four heads on one body. That number consists of the Beatles and the real Sgt Peppers band taunting the bulldog with an automatic roller-card piano (I don't know the technical name for it, okay?) It's worth the inclusion.Songs played in order, including snatches of songs: "Yellow Submarine", "Eleanor Rigby", "Love You To", "A Day In The Life", "All Together Now", "When I'm Sixty-Four", "Only A Northern Song", "Nowhere Man", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", "Think For Yourself", "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band", "With A Little Help From My Hands", "All You Need Is Love", "Baby You're A Rich Man", "It's All Too Much", and "All Together Now (reprise)" And George Martin's instrumental score is also wonderful.The final song, "It's All Too Much", is a dizzying blast of psychedelic colour, and the reprise of "All Together Now" is a call for international unity for peace that was sorely missing during Vietnam back then, and right now, sadly enough. So world, all together now!"
The music is worth the price of admission
Mike London | 10/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just a short review on the remastered DVD. The animation jumps of the screen with all the new post production work they have done rematering the movie. But what really makes this a great buy is the music. Hearing the Beatles in the rematered multichannel format is nothing short of stunning. I sat in between my home theater speakers in awe. The Beatles were masters of making colorful layered music and this DVD makes it so you can almost see the music. Along with George Martin's surprisingly nuanced score, the music alone in this DVD is worth the price of admission."
Full Speed Ahead!
Mike London | 11/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great restoration of a fun Beatles movie, even if the Beatles themselves had little to do with it. Very colorful and great music, of course. Sit back and let the evening go."