DVD Review: Magical Mystery Tour

There's something about seeing the green Apple logo that just makes me happy every single time. When I got my DVD of Magical Mystery Tour to review and saw that little logo on the back, marking it as a part of Apple Films, I knew I would love it no matter how odd it may be.

My mom has a signed and framed poster from this movie, and I think it's the one piece of Beatles paraphernalia she is perfectly fine hiding in the garage. I'm not going to lie: I wouldn't have known it was a Beatles thing right off the bat without a close look for their name. This was about when things went from psychedelic to odd. I was pleasantly surprised to find, though, that the film itself is just a documentation of a really good bus ride.

On the bus itself, we have a cast of characters that, oddly enough, aren't so odd. Ringo and Aunt Jesse bicker, Paul looks incredibly cool next to the movie starlet, and George and Paul are just enjoying the ride. The supporting cast includes a quiet silly man, Buster Bloodvessel (who thinks he's part of the crew), and Ms. Winters and Jolly Jimmy Johnson, our hosts for the ride.

The film is sprinkled with music, of course, but rarely is it on the bus (aside from the occasional sing-a-long of old Irish ditties). Instead, we are removed from the bus to see these sort of mini music videos. First there's "Fool On The Hill" (which is Paul, if you were wondering), then "Blue Jay Way" and "I Am The Walrus," among a few.

Oh, and there's sort of a story. I mean, there is an actual tour and stops along to see the countryside. I think everything's sort of influenced by these "four or five magicians in the sky" who are keeping track of the magic and mystery throughout the ride. There are dreams of passengers of love and fear. But is there a meaning? Maybe not. Or maybe it's just meant to show a lighter ice of life.

But let's get to the real fun... the special features!

Making of Magical Mystery Tour

I think I enjoyed this the best out of everything I watched today. This movie was made right after Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and started with merely a circle and a dot. From that, Paul divided ideas into segments, built them up, and arranged them into a film. They grabbed a few fans from the club and took to the road. Paul was the first on, and the other Beatles were picked up along the way, and the plan was... well, really, there was no plan. They just kept rolling (says Ringo, the Director of Photography). For the Beatles, this was entirely a project of imagination and fun, in which they were involved every single step of the way.

Ringo the Actor

Just some general commentary on how Ringo was and always had been the actor in the group, and his "character" in the film was meant to tie the whole story together... somehow.

Director's Commentary with Paul McCartney

I didn't watch this part, mostly because I didn't have time to sit through the whole movie again, but Paul's a talker for sure. He's made it a point in his career to be more and more vocal about his own feelings and involvement with the Beatles, and I'm sure this was no exception.

Meet the Supporting Cast

A look at the other casted folks and their acting backgrounds: Jesse Robbins (Aunt Jesse), Nat Jackley (Nat the Rubber Man), Ivor Curler (Buster Bloodvessel), the Bonzo Dog Doo-Doh Band, Vigtor Spinetti (Recruiting Sergeant), George Claydon (Little George the Photographer), and Derek Royal (Jolly Jimmy Johnson).

Additional Materials

1. Background footage and alternate cuts of videos for:
  • "Your Mother Should Know"
  • "Blue Jay Way"
  • "The Fool On The Hill"
2. A video promo of "Hello Goodbye" which has almost nothing to do with the film, though footage of the Beatles in the editing room was used.

3. Deleted Scenes:
  • Nat's Dream
  • I'm Going In The Field
4. Some music video for Traffic's "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush"

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