To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ feature film “Yellow Submarine,” the animated psychedelic musical is returning to North American theaters this upcoming July, as well as a one-off date in the U.K. and Ireland on July 8. The re-release print will be digitally restored and be given a new 5.1 surround sound remix.The film has grown into cult status thanks to its distinctive art style and obviously great soundtrack. It was initially intended as a means for the band to fulfill their three-picture deal which began with “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964) and “Help!” (1965), both directed by Richard Lester. An animated film was seen as an easy way of ending their contract with minimal effort.Development of “Yellow Submarine” was therefore given little attention by the band, and the four Beatles were instead voiced by British voice actor soundalikes (albeit with over-exaggerated Liverpudlian accents). However after the band reportedly viewed rough cuts of the film before its release, they were impressed enough to offer a live-action cameo at the end of the film.
The film’s iconic psychedelic pop-art style was headed by art director Heinz Edelmann who himself was a contemporary influence on Peter Max, one of the more famed artists during the hippie movement. In addition, each song on the film’s soundtrack, mainly taken from the band’s 1967 output, was given its own unique style to create a distinctive coherent piece. For example, the surreal creatures of the film during the Beatles’ foray into the “Sea of Monsters” fit neatly beside the neon flashes and blurred bright watercolors of the “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” sequence.
But above all it’s worth noting that the song sequences in “Yellow Submarine” that may have stirred those adult viewers ingesting chemicals at the time are just as timeless, stoking kids’ imaginations in the present day.
Specific dates and locations for the film’s release are yet to be announced but can be found on the film’s official website.