Yellow Submarine (DVD, 2012 release vs 1999 release)

This is just a comparison of the two DVD releases of Yellow Submarine.

  • The menus are different, but the chapters are the same.
  • There are no new DVD extras for the new release; the one different feature is that the old version has an isolated music audio track in 5.1 surround. The DVD extras include audio commentary, making of documentary, original theatrical trailer, storyboard sequences, interviews, original pencil drawings, and behind the scenes photographs.
  • I’m guessing the soundtrack was redone: the new edition has a plain stereo option and a DTS 5.1 surround option in addition to the original mono; the old has the mono and a 5.1 surround option.
  • The movie itself is widescreen; the old version had black bars to make it full screen, while the new version is widescreen.
  • The new version has a wider array of language and subtitle options than the old: the old had English audio only and French, English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portugese subtitles (English and French only according to the back cover); the new has German 5.1 surround and Italian 5.1 surround in addition to the English options and subtitles in English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Polish and hard of hearing captions in English and German.

The packaging and physical extras are nicer for the new version: a nice booklet and cels and stickers vs a short foldout booklet only for the old version. Most of the text in the new version’s booklet is the same as that in the old version, though.

Yellow Submarine - 2012 releaseYellow Submarine - 1999 release

The most important difference is in the image quality; the new version was restored frame by frame by hand.

Screencaps were made using VLC on my laptop; the new version had to be deinterlaced (and I just used the automatic option). I picked random moments; they are not exactly the same, but are close enough for comparative purposes. 1999 edition screencaps are on the left; 2012 are on the right. Click the pictures for full-size screencaps.

Yellow Submarine - 1999 cap 1Yellow Submarine - 2012 cap 1

Yellow Submarine - 1999 cap 2Yellow Submarine - 2012 cap 2

Yellow Submarine - 1999 cap 3Yellow Submarine - 2012 cap 3

The new version is definitely cleaner, but the colors are not as bright as the old version. The whites are kind of grey. I was going to say that the edges are not as crisp, but that may be a result of the deinterlacing. I’m a little disappointed in the colors; I might change my mind once I see it on the TV, though. I don’t know if it was actually worth it to get the new version, but I had to have it.

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4 Responses to Yellow Submarine (DVD, 2012 release vs 1999 release)

  1. ianimoe says:

    Very interesting. I was curious to know what exactly is different between 1999 and 2012 release other than Blu-ray and maybe quality. They already did a fantastic job restoring the audio in 1999 with true 5.1 Beatles Music including never heard multitrack version of Only a Northern Song.

    Do you know if there is any differences in the actual movie? For example, 1999 included “Hey Bulldog” scene but had to edit the original “Baby You’re a Rich Man” scene that is slightly different in the original 1968 film. “All You Need Is Love” is also different in the 1999 version where George says “It’s all in the mind ya know” instead of John’s glove line in the 1968 version.

    Basically, does the 2012 version reflect just the 1999 movie or do they have some extras or changes that bring out the best in both versions?

  2. zabez says:

    I still haven’t gotten around to watching it all the way through, but my impression is that it reflects just the 1999 release. I haven’t seen any mention of any changes and the chapters are exactly the same as the 1999 version.

  3. Stephen Cornish says:

    “1999 edition screencaps are on the left; 2012 are on the right”. Is that correct? To my eyes the pictures on the left look brighter and clearer.

  4. Karli says:

    I’ve had an older version of it since I was younger and I absolutely love it. The movie and music never gets old.

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