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Movie-Review-Yellow-Submarine-BluRay-July2012

 

THE BEATLES
Yellow Submarine Blu Ray
EMI, 2012

 

 

By Shane Pinnegar

 

Let’s face it – The Beatles didn’t actually have a lot to do with Apple Film’s “Yellow Submarine” movie, but we shouldn’t forget that without them it would never have happened.

 

2012’s sumptuous BluRay reissue has seen every frame hand-painted – yep, using real, old school actual people’s HANDS, rather than ever-so-in digital tech. It’s paid off – the colours jump off the screen, and the soundtrack (including a dozen Beatles songs) sounds (ahem) fab.

 

The mostly primary colour animation is integral to the storyline as well – an absolutely madcap, acid-fuelled romp set in Pepperland. The nasty, music hating Blue Meanies attack, and the cartoon Beatles board the titular sub with Old Fred on a wacky quest to set things right.

 

Surreal visuals and droll humour abounds, alongside many Beatlesey in-jokes, and the actors (John Clive, Geoff Hughes, Peter Batten & Paul Angelis) do good jobs at the cartoon-Beatles cartoonishly exaggerated voices – not to mention the appearance of Lance Percival as Old Fred, none other than reknowned smutty comic Dick Emery in several roles, and the real Beatles, briefly, as Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

 

The BluRay comes with a sheet of stickers, transparencies of each Beatle and a booklet with an intro from Pixar Animation’s John Lesseter and an interesting run through the project from its conception through to release.

 

Extras are equally interesting – a half hour documentary from 1968 which compares the film to Homer, Chagall and more, a commentary option, original theatrical trailer and mini interviews with the original voice actors and director’s assistant, animators, writers and more. Gold for any Beatles afficianado.

 

In McCartney’s own words at the time “it’s very witty, very clever and quite trippy”, and that, it certainly is!

 

 

Review posted 31 July 2012