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Blu-ray Review - The Transformers: The Movie 30th Anniversary Edition
Kill the grand poobah!
The Transformers The Movie celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new release of the film (street date was Tuesday, September 13) featuring a brand-new 4K transfer of the film along with some new bonus features. It's totally worth double and tripping dipping for this new transfer of the film alone.
The Transformers: The Movie was released theatrically August 8, 1986. The storyline involves the Decepticons fully in control of Cybertron as the Autobots plan to take back their home; the forthcoming battle results in Ultra Magnus taking over the Autobots and Starscream assuming command of the Decepticons. Megatron is reborn as Galvatron by the gargantuan and planet eating Unicron. Galvatron is sent by Unicron to destroy The Matrix of Leadership, which is still in the Autobot’s possession.
Next to the impressive animation and a soundtrack ripped directly from the 80s, the most extraordinary aspect of The Transformers: The Movie is its remarkable cast. Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Chris Latta are voice acting legends in their own right, but the film managed to secure the talents of Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), Robert Stack (Unsolved Mysteries), Eric Idle (Monty Python’s Flying Circus), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), and Casey Kasem (the original voice of Shaggy from Scooby Doo). It’s insane to think that this type of cast came to fruition on a film that was essentially about talking robots battling over their home planet. Some of the cast only had small roles and Kasem, in general, only had one line in the entire film.
If the new 4K transfer of The Transformers: The Movie is the main course, then the new special features are the icing on the cake. A new documentary called ‘Til All Are One (runtime 46:32) sheds some light on what went on behind the scenes. Included in interviews are story consultant Flint Dille, director Nelson Shin, singer/songwriter Stan Bush, composer Vince Dicola, comic artist Livio Ramondelli, and voice actors Gregg Berger, Dan Gilvezan, Susan Blu, and Neil Ross. The feature covers kids being upset that Optimus Prime was killed off in the film, how the film was meant to introduce a new toy line, what it was like working with the actors involved in the film, what went into choosing the music for the film as well as the composition of it, and the unbelievable longevity the film still has to this day.
Transformers: The Restoration is a seven minute feature that highlights how the film was restored, what process they used, how the restoration brought out detail that wasn’t even in the original theatrical release of the film, enhancing color, depth, shading, and texture, and how they had to basically clean up each individual frame of the film to get the final product.
Rolling Out the New Cover is a feature that runs just under five minutes and showcases the new Blu-ray cover of the film created by comic book artist Livio Ramondelli. Ramondelli has been the artist for the Transformers comic books for about six years now. He goes over his original sketch ideas and his drawing process before revealing the final product.
A new audio commentary track has been added to the film with director Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille, and voice actor Susan Blu. The three featurettes The Death of Optimus Prime (5:02), The Cast and Characters (10:02), and Transformers Q&A (13:03) look to all have been lifted from the 20th Anniversary version of the film. Animated storyboards for the Fishing Scene (2:09), Battle (4:31), and “One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall” with Deleted Sequences (5:27) are also included along with just over three minutes of original theatrical trailers and about six minutes worth of TV spots.
The film itself is already full of exceptional animation and this release really only enhances an already entertaining and visually stimulating piece of work. Unicron is awesome, but you can’t help but think he’s basically a giant butthole that sucks unsuspecting planetary dingleberries into its massive orifice. The Dinobots are hilarious, especially Grimlock; just remember that Grimlock not bozo or kisser. He’s a king that kicks butt. The beryllium baloney/cesium salami argument is amazing as is just about everything on the Junk Planet; Eric Idle’s voice acting is top notch. Lastly, it’s intriguing to compare Unicron and Megatron/Galvatron to Galactus and Silver Surfer. There are quite a few similarities between all of them.
The 30th Anniversary Edition of The Transformers: The Movie is worth picking up, especially if you can get a hold of the steelbook edition, but if you already own a previous release of the film then it probably isn’t as much of a mandatory purchase. Nevertheless, the film has never looked or sounded better and the new bonus features are captivating and amusing. Now if we could just get a similar treatment for G.I. Joe: The Movie…