The “Yellow Submarine” Blu-Ray release serves as a reminder of just how intriguing the music industry once was. Could a mainstream contemporary band release a trippy mesh of cryptic plot development and hit songs? Not really. The Beatles were responsible for a musical and cultural phenomena that hasn’t manifested since and most likely never will. The 1968 film is just one example of how The Beatles shifted artistic norms and carved out a distinct place in the brutal and contrived world of the entertainment industry.
The colorful gem has been credited with animation being deemed a serious art form. A mega hit with critics and audiences, it features some of their most well known songs (many of which have become classics), such as “Eleanor Rigby” and “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” After a digitally restored version briefly hit theaters, Apple released the Blu Ray addition this month. The latest version makes you secretly wish that Disney’s 2009 remake deal (which was cancelled over studio difficulties) with Robert Zemeckis actually went through. Brilliantly produced by George Dunning, “The Yellow Submarine” will no doubt recruit new Beatles fans, perhaps those to young to understand the band’s immeasurable contribution to the world.
Blu-ray details/extras : Accompanying a very impressive transfer, derived from the original negative, is an extras package to-die-for; there’s commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, interviews with various members of the cast and crew, storyboards, pencil drawings, a photo gallery, a brief featurette on the making-of the movie, and a book chronicling the film’s production, along with stickers.