The film was distributed worldwide by United Artists in two versions. Released in the midst of the psychedelic pop culture of the 1960s, Yellow Submarine was a box-office hit, drawing in crowds both for its lush, wildly creative images, and its soundtrack of Beatles songs. The version shown in Europe included an extra musical number, "Hey Bulldog", heard in the final third of the film. For the US version, the number was replaced with alternative animation due to time constraints. It was felt that at the time, American audiences would grow tired from the length of the film. Of all the Beatles films released by UA, this had been the only one UA retained the rights to, leading up to its purchase by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981. In 2005, Sony Pictures Entertainment led a consortium that purchased MGM and UA. SPE had handled theatrical distribution for MGM until 2012. Conversely, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was responsible for home video distribution when the most recent home video release went out of print.
In The Beatles Anthology, the surviving Beatles, including Harrison, all admitted that they truly liked the film; regarding their initial non-participation, Harrison, who considered it a "classic", later admitted that he preferred that the group did not provide their own voices, feeling that the professional voice actors captured a certain "cartoonish" element far more effectively than they might have done themselves. Ringo also revealed that for years he was approached by children and asked "Why did you press the button?", referring to when his character curiously pressed the panic button ejecting him from the submarine into the sea of monsters. Lennon also implied that his son, Sean, first realised his father had been a Beatle because of the film. After seeing Yellow Submarine at a friend's house, Sean came home asking why his father was a cartoon.
As of 16 January 2011 (2011 -01-16), the Internet Movie Database gave it a "MovieMeter" score of 7.2 out of 10, meaning "favourable". Yellow Submarine currently holds a 96% percent rating on review aggragtor Rotten Tomatoes based on 46 reviews.
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