Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ Restored for May Release on DVD and Blu-ray

The Beatles will release a meticulously restored version of  their classic 1968 animated feature film Yellow Submarine  on DVD and Blu-ray on May 29 in North America.  The film’s soundtrack album will also be reissued on CD.

Currently out of print, Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. worked for four months to individually clean each frame of the 1968 surreal tale by hand, the Beatles’ holding company Apple Corps Ltd. said. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, the specialists chose not to use automated software.  This was all done by hand, frame by frame.

The colorful movie features cartoon versions of the Beatles and images from some of their psychedelic songs, features some of the band’s greatest hits including “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” ”Eleanor Rigby” and “When I’m Sixty-Four.”

Bonus features include a short making-of documentary titled “Mod Odyssey,” the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos.  Both Digipak packages will include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter.

Lasseter writes in his essay, “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.”

Yellow Submarine  was directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal. Brodax, had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series.

Yellow Submarine was based on a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

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.