The Transformers: The Movie (1986) (30th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Nelson Shin
Starring: Orson Welles, Robert Stack, Leonard Nimoy
Rated: PG/Region A/1:85 & 1:33/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Shout! Factory
The year is 2005…For millennia, the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), have been at war with the evil Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons over control of their home planet of Cybertron. However, an even greater threat – Unicron (Orson Welles, Citizen Kane), a colossal converting planet that devours everything in its path – is heading right for Cybertron. The only hope is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Will the Autobots be able to save themselves and their home world in time?
Was it done for a new set of toys? Was it done to just scare kids for life that went to the theater back in 1986? We may never know for sure, but Transformers: The Movie has now been restored in 4K and is coming to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. In this animated full-length movie, we join in that familiar war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Only this time around (spoiler alert) we have a body count! It doesn’t take long into watching this movie realize that this wasn’t our normal cartoon we’d sit and watch with countless commercials for the toy line. This is a movie playing for keeps. Not only are we getting new characters but we’re clearing off old ones at a pace most kids took to heart. This is a strategy that not only made countless kids leave the theater in tears but it also hurt the movie at the box office. Is the movie that great? Not really, to be honest. But it tugs on those nostalgic strings a lot of people have and as a result, it makes it a movie you want to go back to even if you aren’t in love with it. Also, any movie that has The Touch from Stand Bush in it is a winner in my own personal book. The 80’s flavor is what makes me want to see this one again, but I do admit even now that I hate seeing some of what happens in this movie, even if it just a cartoon after all.
One of the boast here about this release was the fact it is remastered in 4K. I will say that the movie looks good and I’m sure you may have seen some of the screen comparisons Shout! posted online. That being said I still have to slightly question just how much detail you can bring out of a cartoon movie from 1986. It comes down to more or less if the color is good and the color is very good. You could say it has been DNR’d to death but I’m not sure that’s the case and I’m will at least say nothing looks bad here regardless. I love Transformers and even with me being born in 1983 I have memories of watching these cartoons as a kid alongside G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe. This is part of my 80’s cartoon rotation. I will always have a soft spot for the movie and while it is better than most the live action movies, it still isn’t a classic movie by any means. I don’t think it is a bad movie but it does manage to make a lot of missteps. For one being all the on-screen deaths. Even with the way things were handled after this movie is the reason Duke ended up surviving in the G.I. Joe movie that would follow soon after this. This is a good nostalgic trip. It has its moments, but it should also be seen as a prime example of what NOT to do when you make a movie about a children’s cartoon.
– NEW ‘Til All Are One – The Comprehensive Documentary Looking Back At The Transformers: The Movie With Members Of The Cast And Crew, Including Story Consultant Flint Dille, Cast Members Gregg Berger, Susan Blu, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, Singer/Songwriter Stan Bush, Composer Vince DiCola And Others!
– NEW Transformers: The Restoration Featurette
– NEW Rolling Out The New Cover Featurette
– Audio Commentary With Director Nelson Shin, Story Consultant Flint Dille, And Star Susan Blu
– Archival Featurettes – “The Death Of Optimus Prime,” “The Cast & Characters,” And “Transformers Q&A”
– Animated Storyboards
– Original Theatrical Trailers
– TV Spots
Quality of Transfer: 90%