Fifty years since its first release, Yellow Submarine will once again fill theatres across the country starting July 8. To commemorate the anniversary, the original film has been restored by hand, one frame at a time, in order to preserve the integrity of the original, meticulously hand-drawn animation. The musical engineers of Abbey Road Studios also restored “All You Need Is Love,” “Yellow Submarine,” and “A Northern Song,” from the famed soundtrack.
While this is indeed a “return” for the iconic film and soundtrack, Yellow Submarine has never fully left its place in popular culture. It has shapeshifted from its original form to children’s books, Lego sets, and other marketable knick knacks. No matter the decade, the jangling opening chords of the title song signal wide-grinned singalongs and pure Beatles-induced merriment. Watching the Fab Four defend music and beauty against the Blue Meanies still brings joy in the post-1960s psychedelic world.
However, the film finds value even outside of its position in essential Beatles lore. The experimental animation that brought the surrealist Pepperland to life, pushed the boundaries of what was expected from the industry at the time, and laid the foundation for future creative art directors to build upon. According to Josh Weinstein, former producer of The Simpsons, it was Yellow Submarine that showed the world that animation was not restricted to a kids-only audience. He believes that this film opened the doors for animated films to be more than a cartoon, but something larger and more meaningful, such as satire or art.
Whether theatregoers this summer are seeking a dose of nostalgia, or attending with fresh eyes, the lush, colorful images combined with the treasured pop-masterpieces will deliver a rich sensory experience. Tickets for the big screen event go on sale Tuesday, April 17, on the film’s website