“Nothing Is Real.” Or is it? Yellow Submarine was released by Apple/Capitol on Blu-ray back in May, with a stunning 4K transfer presented in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. “It looks so beautiful,” marvels Bob Balser, one of the 1968 film’s original animation directors. No automated “cleansing” occurred here, as Paul Rutan Jr. and the specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. did the restoration of the film’s 89 minutes by hand. The Sea of Holes has never been holier (or more deeply black), the vessel’s interior detail never more distinct (like the repeated flower patterns on the peach-hued hull).
The Blu-ray’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 “songtrack” is revelatory. You’ll really feel the subwoofer thumps that introduce “Eleanor Rigby.” You’ll dig the organ fills, skittering horn lines, and percussion burbling in the rear channels on “Only a Northern Song.” And you’ll be absorbed by the rising, full wash of the strings during the dénouement of “All You Need Is Love” and the low-end bounce of “Hey Bulldog.”
“I can’t imagine any other film being made like this,” concludes Balser. By Neptune’s knickerbockers, I’d have to agree. Maybe we should all live here. All together now!
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