It's Beatlemania all over again these days. A documentary on the band's first U.S. concert is set to appear this summer, and "Yellow Submarine," that classic cartoon from 1968, is being released for some local theater runs and on home video.
But this "Yellow Submarine" might not be the one you remember. It still features the Blue Meanies, the Nowhere Man and all the other characters that have made the movie such an enduring favorite. But it's also digitally remastered with footage that viewers didn't see when it first arrived in U.S. theaters nearly 35 years ago.
"Yellow Submarine" was released this week on Blu-ray and DVD with such bonus features as the original trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and a short making-of documentary titled "Mod Odyssey." The film's soundtrack also has been released on CD.
There might be a few other things you don't know about this famous Beatles film. Here's a short quiz to test your "Yellow Submarine" knowledge.
Q Who wrote the title song?
A Paul McCartney, of course, with help from John Lennon. But Scottish troubadour (and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) Donovan contributed these crucial words: "Sky of blue and sea of green / In our yellow submarine." Donovan modestly called it "not the most earth-shattering couplet in the world," although it now seems like the song's signature lyric.
Q Who created the movie's famous look?
A The bold lines and psychedelic colors are often erroneously credited to the pop artist Peter Max. But the film's art director was Heinz Edelmann, a Czech-German graphic designer then well-known in Europe. Max's similar-looking posters might have served as inspiration; he has said that Lennon initially asked him to work on the film.
Q Who played the Beatles?
A The songs were theirs, but the voices came from actors: Geoffrey Hughes as McCartney, John Clive as Lennon and Paul Angelis as Ringo Starr. Peter Batten played George Harrison until he was arrested as a British army deserter during production and then virtually vanished. Angelis also played Harrison.
Q Who wrote the script?
A The story reportedly came from a writer named Lee Minoff, but the handful of screenwriters included future "Love Story" novelist Erich Segal. The movie's many puns and British witticisms are widely credited to poet Roger McGough.
Q What happened to "Hey Bulldog"?
A It's on the DVD and Blu-ray! An animated sequence for this hard-charging, piano-driven track reportedly appeared in the U.K. film version, but was later deleted to quicken the film's pacing. A 1999 re-release restored the footage.