by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor
One Shall Stand; and One Shall Fall.
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, there is a high probability that you are familiar with Transformers: The Movie (not the Michael Bay movie). This epic adventure saw the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons take their fight from television to the big screen. This year is the 30th Anniversary of the film, and Shout! Factory has not only acquired the rights for distribution, but they have remastered the movie for Blu-ray as well. Without any hesitation, I can say that you’ve never experienced the film like this.
For those of you who are less familiar with this release, Transformers: The Movie takes place in the far future (the year 2005 to be exact). The Autobot/Decepticon War continues to take a toll on both sides, and a major battle will soon be a turning point in the battle. The Decepticons launch a sneak attack on Autobot City on Earth, and numerous bots are killed. Optimus and Megatron face-off against each other one last time, and we witness the fall of our hero…the death of Optimus Prime. Meanwhile, an ancient evil has started making its way towards Cybertron. Unicron: The Destroyer is coming, and it will take a miracle to save the day. With the passing of Prime (and a majority of the Autobot lineup from the television series), a new Generation of Transformers must step up to save the universe.
Transformers: The Movie included veteran voice actors Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron), and also featured Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, Eric Idle as Wreck-Gar, Judd Nelson as Hot-Rod, and Orson Wells as Unicron, in his final performance before his passing.
Shout! Factory decided to do something truly special for this release, and that was remastering the video from a 4K digital transfer of the film. What does this mean for viewers? It means that for the first time ever, you can see a level of detail that has been unseen in ANY previous version of the film. The restoration process has made lines and colors incredibly vivid, and you will be shocked by the new experience. While watching this update, you will get to experience a new level of detail on landscapes, backdrops, and within the characters themselves. In addition to the visual restoration, this Blu-ray release also includes a previously un-used audio source for 2.0 audio. Below are some side-by-side comparison from the original releases as compared to this Blu-ray:
- ’Til All Are One – Comprehensive Documentary looking back at Transformers: The Movie. This new featurette includes interviews with cast and crew, including Flint Dille, Gregg Berger, Susan Blu, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, Singer/Song Writer Stan Bush, and Composer Vince DiCola. A majority of this featurette focused on the fan response to the movie, as opposed to the production of the film itself. While it was interesting to hear about the fan reaction from the perspective of the people involved, I would have enjoyed a bit more focus on the creation and development process as well.
- Audio Commentary with Director Nelson Shin, Story Consultant Flint Dille, and Star Susan Blu
- Trailers and TV Spots
Transformers: The Movie was my favorite childhood film. I’ve seen this film more times than I can count. I burned through at least two copies of the VHS tape when I was a kid (80s and 90s kids know all about this problem), and I’ve purchased each iteration of the Anniversary releases on DVD over the years as well. When I say that the 30th Anniversary from Shout! Factory is an astounding step up from any previous edition, you know that it is coming from someone who has a long history and deep appreciation for this film. This is a MUST own for any Transformers fan. Do not miss out.
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