…and a Yellow Submarine.
The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine was probably my first exposure to full-length artistic animation. Released in 1968, I was a bit young to realize the full lysergicality of the movie at the time, but it was mind-blowing nonetheless. This was nothing like Saturday morning cartoons, and it beat the hell outta Bambi by an order of magnitude. No, this was animation on a different level entirely.
It is still copied and compared to after 40-plus years and I know I use it as a touchstone when coming across animation of a similar style. Or rather, styles. This flick brought several different animation styles to the screen.
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.
And now, after 44 years, Yellow Submarine has been hand restored and will be released to DVD (and Blu-Ray) on May 29th! (in north america, europe gets it a day earlier)
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.
And that’s not all:
On April 24, Candlewick Press will release a new, compact hardcover edition of the Yellow Submarine picture book, a read-aloud journey for the whole family. Featuring the lighthearted wit of the film’s script alongside original artwork from the movie that has charmed children and adults through several generations, the beautiful, 40-page book will be sold by retailers everywhere and on the Beatles Store (www.thebeatles.com). An interactive digital version of the book is also available as a free download on Apple’s iBookstore.
I don’t know if I’ll invest in the book (though it would make a great birthday present for aunt bee), but I will most definitely be getting the DVD!
Read more about the re-release at thebeatles.com