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Yellow Submarine


  • International Theatrical Version
  • UK Original Version
Release: May 16, 2024 - Author: TheHutt - Translator: TheHutt - external link: IMDB
The classic of psychedelic animation, "Yellow Submarine", premiered in 1968 and revolutionised the genre of animated films for an adult audience. Even though the Beatles were only marginally involved, they were so taken with the psychedelic design by the graphic artist Heinz Edelmann from Düsseldorf that they even made a small cameo appearance at the end of the film.

The movie puzzled many viewers around the world for decades: the accompanying soundtrack album contained the extremely groovy John Lennon song Hey Bulldog, but it seemed to be missing from the film. The solution was quite banal: while the this song with the accompanying scene was included in the 1968 UK premiere version of the film, later, when the movie was released worldwide, it was cut for runtime reasons and replaced with a short dynamic battle scene. Interestingly, when the movie was released on VHS in England in 1988, it also only contained this shortened version.

Beatles fans have been begging the studio to restore this scene for years, as the Hey Bulldog song is often considered the best track on the original soundtrack album. In 1998, the film underwent a thorough restoration. Apart from giving the colour splendour a due polishing-up and creating a multi-channel sound mix, "Yellow Submarine" was restored to its original state, including the Hey Bulldog scene.

This restored version is now also the predominant version on home media. The old international theatrical version, on the other hand, has been almost forgotten - which is a bit of a shame; it could at least belong into the bonus materials.

Basically, the alternative scenes build up different moods: the battle scene in the theatrical version establishes the Beatles as leaders of an uprising in Pepperland - however, the whole scene is accompanied by a rather cheap jazzy saxophone music, which was probably recorded in the last moment. In the Hey Bulldog scene, on the other hand, they are portrayed as likeable guys who overcome their enemies by cunning; the whole scene seems more cartoonish in its mood and deviates stylistically from the rest (which may be one of the reasons why it was omitted).

Apart from Hey Bulldog, there are also other minor differences, all of which happen towards the end of the film. In All You Need Is Love, for example, there are several alternative takes. The song Baby You're A Rich Man also deserves a special mention - while it was once exclusive to the international theatrical version, the whole matter is no longer that simple.

So buckle up, take a puff on a well-tempered joint and join us on a journey to the 60s - in the Yellow Submarine!

A comparison between the 1998 restoration of the original UK version (represented by the US DVD) was compared with the international theatrical version (represented by the US LaserDisc).

International theatrical version: 01:25:45 (01:25:17 without logos/credits)
UK original version: 01:30:00 (01:28:42 without logos/credits)

The timestamps are given in NTSC. Minor deviations (like dropped frames) are not mentioned.

This analysis has been reworked completely.
Studio logo
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:13:52
Timecode restored UK version: 01:13:47

The United Artists logo is different for both versions.

(not counted for runtime)

Block 1: All You Need Is Love
For the song All You Need Is Love there are some differences between the int. theatrical version and the restored UK version.

Cut 1
Alternative footage
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:13:52
Timecode restored UK version: 01:13:47

[Paul jumps down from the Sgt. Pepper's giant head]
In the int. theatrical version, Paul lands, does a dancing spin and then a somersault.
In the restored UK version, he lands in a different way and sings the lyrics "All you need is love". In front of him, John sticks his head into the frame and adds "Love".
[Afterwards: The flight of the Glove]

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version

Runtime difference: none

Cut 2
Alternative footage
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:14:11
Timecode restored UK version: 01:14:06

[The Glove has become entangled in the letters and flies away, as a ball]
Int. theatrical version:John says "Glove, glove, lovely glove." The Chief Blue Meanie is rolling on the ground and screaming. The inhabitants of Pepperland wave flowers, then slowly start walking to the right to attack the Meanies
[George points to the right with his hand].
Restored UK version: the ball flies away for longer; John's "Glove, Glove, lovely Glove" starts off-screen, then John finishes it differently. We see Ringo from below, looking down from Sgt Pepper's giant head.
Ringo: You took the words right out of me mouth, John.
Ringo jumps down. Now it's George's turn.
George: Hey, wait, and watch.
He also jumps, but floats down slowly and lands gently.
George: It's all in the mind, you know.
[Afterwards: George points with his hand to the right]

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version

Running time difference: 7.5 sec (UK version longer)

Cut 3
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:14:23
Timecode restored UK version: 01:14:25

[Chief Blue Meanie and Max recoil]
Int. theatrical version: a panoramic shot of the inhabitants of Pepperland who are slowly walking towards the Meanies.
[Afterwards: a vertical pan along a colourful flower]

Int. Theatrical Version

Runtime difference: 3 sec (int. theatrical version only)

Cut 4
Alternative footage
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:14:29
Timecode restored UK version: 01:14:28

[Vertical pan along a colourful flower]
Int. theatrical version: the Bonkers (toll men in top hats) shrink back and drop their apples. A butterfly flies towards an army of Butterfly Stompers (blue furry creatures with numbers), who flee from it.
Restored UK version: a flower grows from the tail of an animal sitting in the meadow. Other identical animals appear around it.
[Afterwards: a dancing crowd]

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version

Runntime difference: 2 sec (int. theatrical version longer)

Cut 5
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:14:34
Timecode restored UK original: 01:14:31

[Dancing crowds]
Int. theatrical version: a wide shot; on the left in the picture Old Fred is dancing with the mayor.
[Afterwards: the statue of two shaking hands is reconstructed]

Int. Theatrical Version

Runtime difference: 3 sec (int. theatrical version only)

Block 2: Liberation of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Hey Bulldog
The biggest difference between the restored UK version and the int. theatrical version is the Hey Bulldog sequence. This song was missing in the int. version, but was replaced with other material.

Cut 6
Alternative footage
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:15:14
Timecode restored UK original: 01:15:08

[Beatles in front of a crowd. George says "That's a funny place to leave a goldfish bowl."]
Int. theatrical version: View of the large glass sphere from below.
Restored UK version: the previous shot pans further to the right after the Beatles have left the visible image area.
[Afterwards: the Beatles are standing in front of the glass ball]

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version

Runtime difference: 1 sec (int. theatrical version longer)

Cut 7
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:16:07
Timecode restored UK version: 01:16:01

Here, one needs to differentiate. The scene is actually identical, but the background music is different: in the int. theatrical version, the song Baby You're A Rich Man was played, while in the UK version, the scene was only accompanied by the music of the trapped brass band. In the restoration of the UK version, the song Baby You're A Rich Man was used for the 5.1 soundtrack instead of the brass band music, although it starts slightly earlier.

[John says "Break the glass."]
Int. theatrical version: after Ringo presses the hole from his pocket against the glass ball, the song Baby You're a Rich Man is faded in. The rest of the scene is accompanied by the song (see next cut).
Restored UK original version (mono): the complete scene is underlaid with the band's brass music.
Restored UK original version (5.1 mix): after John's line "Break the Glass", the song Baby You're a Rich Man is faded in. When Ringo puts the hole on the glass ball, the song is played louder. After Paul's "Hey, they're decanting", the song ends abruptly.

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version

Runtime difference: none.

Cut 8
Alternative footage
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:16:38
Timecode restored UK original: 01:16:32

Two completely different scenes. In the int. theatrical version, the Beatles start a battle against the Blue Meanies, who flee in panic. In the UK version, the Beatles meet their Pepperland alter-egos. Then the additional song, Hey Bulldog is played; there is no final battle like in the theatrical version.

Int. Theatrical Version
[The glass ball runs out and disappears]
The Beatles dance and sing along to Baby You're A Rich Man while the Blue Meanies cover their ears.

The song is interrupted by Ringo on the trumpet, and Paul shouts: "Beatles, to battle!"

The Blue Meanies flee. Their weapons fire flowers instead of ice bolts.

A Meanie tries to make explosions using an explosive Clown; instead, signs like "YES" and "OK" pop up everywhere. As the clown flees as well, the Meanie falls off the ladder.

The Meanies flee in droves.

Ringo is looking for Jeremy and finds him when he hears him saying: "Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo, I've got to study, let me go."

[Afterwards: Jeremy is hanging from a rope, guarded by a patrolling Blue Meanie]

Restored UK Version
[The glass ball runs out and disappears]
The Beatles and their alter egos from Pepperland greet each other. John thinks that his counterpart is an extension of his personality. The latter agrees and says that he is the "alter ego man". John says, alluding to the song I am the Walrus, "And I'm the ego man, goo goo, g'joob." The Beatles and their alter egos walk around in pairs. But John thinks they should hurry to the skirmish.

Paul says "Beatles to battle, charge!" and Ringo blows his trumpet, but has to take cover from approaching ice bolts.

A crowd of Blue Meanies with a four-headed dog and a clown rush in.

Ringo saves himself in the bushes. The Beatles are surrounded, but come across a mechanical piano. They hide behind it.

John stretches out his hand, turns the crank and the song Hey Bulldog begins. The dog is attracted by the piano, but jumps off in fright and knocks over a Blue Meanie.

The dog runs back towards the piano and knocks over the clown, who lands on the Blue Meanie and screams in alarm.

The dog tries to explore the piano further. It's hit by the rotating handle and howls.

The Beatles and their alter egos play hide-and-seek with the dog and increasingly confuse it. They lure it in with a bone.

Instead of the bone, however, the dog is given a stick of dynamite. The four-headed dog throws it from mouth to mouth until the last one puts the stick in the mouth of the clown. When the stick explodes, four of the Beatles run away.

The clown is covered in soot. The Meanies rush after the Beatles and trample over him. The Clown is then completely buried under the ground, from which a flower grows. Then he sticks his head out as well.

The Meanies and the dog are searching for the Beatles in the bushes. The dog jumps into a bush.

The piano stands still and the four Beatles inside call to the dog. As the dog checks it out, the piano opens. Inside is just the works of the mechanical piano.

A hand with a revolver aims at the dog; a flower comes out of the barrel. As the dog is sniffing it, it is sprayed with water.

The four Beatles wave from the bushes and distract the dog. When the alter ego Beatles in the piano call out to him, the dog brakes, confused.

John says to the dog: "What do you say? Sing it!" The dog barks.

Alter Ego-John says "Do you know anymore?" The dog howls.

The Beatles and their alter egos jump out of the bushes and the piano and run in opposite directions. The dog doesn't know whom to follow.

The dog crashes into the piano, destroying it. All the multiple Beatles run away, except for Ringo.

Ringo comes running into the picture from the right, looking for Jeremy.

[Afterwards: Jeremy is hanging from a rope, guarded by a patrolling Blue Meanie]

Runtime difference: 03 min 19 sec (UK version longer)

Cut 9
Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:18:22
Timecode UK version: 01:21:35

[Jeremy comes out of the picture]
Restored UK version: Jeremy wanders through the blossoming landscape of Pepperland.
[Afterwards: fleeing hosts of Blue Meanies]

Runtime difference: 3 sec (UK original version only)

Timecode int. theatrical version: 01:25:40
Timecode UK version: 01:29:00

After All Together Now, the int. theatrical version ends with a single title, "Released through United Artists".
The restored UK version does not include this title card; instead, restoration credits are faded in and roll on as credits.

(not counted for runtime)

Int. Theatrical Version

Restored UK Version