starring The Beatles
To be more accurate, Yellow Submarine star the music of the Beatles, and a quartet of vocal talents assigned to replicating the individual moptops. If you haven’t already seen Yellow Submarine , allow me to summarize that this is one of those animated films that appeals equally to young children and substance-addled adults, what with its off-kilter storyline, bright psychedelic colors, and densely orchestrated music, courtesy of the Fab Four and George Martin. The DVD brings the film into the modern age not by rendering its neon shapes into RGB pixel triads (though it does this very well), but by using the DVD format’s extended capacity to pack in all sorts of additional material. There are three additional storyboard sequences; the Sea of Monsters scene is presented alongside its original sketches, while the other two storyboards were never used in the film proper. An alternate ending, which has the Beatles arriving at Pepperland on some flying creature (a bird?) is interesting to decipher, and a Battle of the Monsters, while interesting from a historical perspective, is somewhat simple and un-fun.
Also included are the original theatrical trailer, a documentary on the making of the film, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and all manner of the additional DVD gimcrackery I’ve come to expect from these reissues. But perhaps the best part of this is the Doby Digial 5.1 soundtrack — now I can truly crank one of my favorite Beatle tracks (“Northern Song”) like never before. Worthwhile for that alone.