on 17 February 2001
This is quite simply the best animated movie ever made. It manages to appeal to both the adults of the Transformer generation and the kids of today (How they loved Grimlock, hehe). Transformers combines heavy action with some uncharacteristic themes for a children's film (Characters actually DIE. Watch Prime's death, it's pretty deep for a kids film). The film is all the better for it, though. Just watch the cartoons kids have to put up with today - pokemon, etc. Crap. Buy TF:TM and show them what a REAL cartoon with a REAL story is like. If they're not hooked on 80's synth/rock/heavy metal by the end of it, buy the soundtrack and they will be =)
I can't praise this film enough. And now it can live forever on DVD! Now all we need is the episodes released in chronological order so we can force kids to watch them and make the world a better place.
Look, just buy it, ok? And when you're done buy the toys. Now they were REAL toys back then. Why I remember.......
on 17 October 2006
Ok, so watching Transformers the Movie may not be the most mature viewing of alltime and no, no woman is ever going to be impressed if you can quote any lines from the film, but boy is it fun!
When my family first bought a VHS player in 1988 when I was just five years old, this was the first VHS my parents picked up. I loved it at the time, but unlike so many things I loved as a kid, this stands up very well. The music is 80s hair metal and never less than hard-rocking fun (btw the soundtrack is also worth checking out) and goes perfectly with the on-screen boys action. The siege on Autobot City, the death of Optimus Prime, the reincarnation of Megatron as Galvatron and the final assault on the giant, robot planet Unicron are stunning. The film is always enjoyable and should not be dismissed as a kids movie, or just a run of the mill action flick.
The film is classic 1980s animation and should bring back warm memories as well as being a barrel full of fun no matter your age.
Here we have a timeless classic. Transformers: The Movie was unquestionably a milestone and turning point in the history of the Robots in Disguise. It's failure at the box office doesn't mean a thing these days, as it has since gone on to become one of the most memorable cult classics of all time.
The critics who panned it as being `one, giant toy commercial' didn't know what they were on about. It changed everything about Transformers, introducing such radical, yet awe-inspiring concepts that inspired and fuelled the success of Transformers comics and future shows. The movie also showcased deeper and darker storytelling than that usually seen in the first two seasons of the TV show, boasted a phenomenal soundtrack and all-star voice cast, and had animation beyond anything else from Generation 1.
For those who don't know the plot of the film, it goes like this. It's set in the year 2005 (God, does that feel weird now or what?). Twenty years have passed since the end of Season 2, and things have gone very bad for the Autobots. The Decepticons now rule Cybertron, and whilst the Autobots are planning their uprising, the Decepticons attack Autobot City: Earth to wipe out their arch-enemies once and for all. But whilst all this is going on, a new threat arrives which makes the civil war pale in comparison. Unicron, a monster planet that is intent on destroying the Transformer race.
Now, there're have been so many DVD releases of this film. Starting in 2001 when Maverick released a long-awaited Region 2 copy of this film. Then we've had versions of the film that can be purchased for a fiver and come without any extras. And when Metrodome took up the rights to produce Transformers DVDs, as well as releasing box sets of the G1 show, they naturally released their `Reconstructed' version of the movie. And now, to coincide with the release of the new live-action Transformers film, we have the Ultimate Edition of the cult classic, this time spread onto 2 discs.
Regardless of how it's released on DVD, I will always give the FILM five stars. The issue here is whether or not the extras make this edition the DVD release of Transformers: The Movie the one we've REALLY been waiting for after all this time.
Surprisingly, there are TWO versions of the film released here, but there's a reason for this. On disc one, you have an extensively remastered version of the original cinematic release from the US, presented here in 16:9 widescreen format and complete with a 5.1 surround sound option. This version of the film is absolutely gorgeous. It is so crisp and colourful and the audio is truly of cinematic levels, which will please any widescreen/surround sound fan. However, because this is the original US version, you will notice changes in this that may take you by surprise, such as the inclusion of Spike's infamous expletive and changes that I had never even heard of, like Superman-style opening credits and the absence of narrations here and there by Victor Caroli.
On disc two, you have the original 4.3 full screen version of the film. And it's still a real treat to see. The visual here is more darker and thus suits the tone of the film more, regardless of the superior mastering on the widescreen version. It's also more pleasing to see the familiar UK moments, such as the Star Wars-style intro at the beginning and the narrations that are missing from the widescreen release. Both versions have their pros and cons over the other, but either way, it's all good to see. The choice of full screen or widescreen is refreshing and one of the greatest strengths of this Ultimate Edition.
Moving on to the extras, there are absolutely loads here, again spread onto the two discs. These include the alternate US and UK scenes (highlighting the differences between the cinematic releases), trailers, TV spots, character bios, animation tests, storyboards, DVD-ROM original script and the Paramount trailer for the latest live-action film.
All these are brilliant and earn their keep on the two-disc set, but there're extras that truly stand out above the rest. Such as the audio commentary on disc one provided by Transformers expert, Chris McFeely. Five minutes into listening to the commentary made me realise that McFeely knows what he's talking about. He provides such a fascinating insight into not just the film, but Transformers as a whole, talking about the origin of the concept, certain characters, voice actors, later incarnations of Transformers etc. I was absolutely amazed to discover things even I didn't know about Transformers. It really is so enjoyable and enlightening to listen to McFeely's narrative. It stays away from being boring and will interest all fans.
There's also an exclusive booklet written by McFeely, uncovering more interesting facts about the movie and the whole Generation 1 saga (as released on Metrodome's box sets). A great interview with Flint Dille, who acted as a story consultant for the movie and wrote numerous episodes of the TV series. An exclusive Q & A with the legendary Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime in the original cartoon series), which is a real treat to watch. And finally, the long awaited release of Scramble City, the Japanese-exclusive episode that took place instead of the movie (which Japan didn't get till 1990). This is subtitled and also features commentary from Chris McFeely. It's a great piece of animation, filled with everything that makes Transformers so great.
So...is this the ULTIMATE edition of Transformers: The Movie? I would definitely say YES. It has all the extras it needs to flatter a great, great film. And the collector's tin that comes with it is so beautiful. Metrodome have really delivered here. This is the best release ever of TF:TM. Get rid of your old versions and replace it with this one. You WON'T regret it.
on 27 September 2001
I say the best animated film, but it may even be the best film ever made. The story line was superbly written, and the sound track is amazing! And with the likes of Eric Idel and Lenord Nimoy voicing the characters, what more could you ask from a film. The start will leave those of you who havent yet seen it shocked, where as the end will amaze you. Theres a good mixture of new and old charecters, and of course EVERY Autobot and Decepticon leader ever! A must see for those of you who grew up on Transformers and for those who didnt!
on 29 November 2007
Wow, this version is the reference for all future efforts.
The only scene i can qualm about is the secene where Hot Rod and Spike are sitting fishing. The scene is a bit of softfocus. The color is phenominal and consistant in this version. The clarity of the frames is with the exception of a few frames from that one scene remarkable. I prefer what i saw to a real high end digital remastering. It is phenominal. I'd almost swear it's MPEG2-HD. Might be. I imported it to the US, works fine on US PS3, is not region locked. There is nothing more i can say. You MUST own this if you are a transformer's fan. I don't watch most of the 'extras' and there are some here, I understand there was more on the Anniversary DVD from a couple years ago. Nice disc, but, the framing in widescreen is far superior here. Just seeing the detail in the HD one of Optimus standing far in the background but they still fully hand drew his details... again, just phenominal.