Transformers – The Movie (1986/Madman Entertainment Blu-ray)
B Sound: B Extras: B+ Film: B-
PLEASE NOTE: This Blu-ray import is Region Free
and should operate in almost any Blu-ray drive/machine worldwide, including its
extras in PAL (some machines will play it, others not at all and some only the
audio) analog format and can be ordered from our friends at Madman
Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review. The cover art included with this review is
success of the Michael
Bay films increasing the
demand for anything Transformers,
Madman Entertainment delivers with Transformers:
The Movie on Blu-ray. The Region 0 formatted
Blu-ray finally brings the classic 1980’s animated film to the masses; though
not an official NTSC release, fans will be pleased to snatch up this classic in
any way possible.
in all honestly, does not hold up as well as I would have hoped; but it is far from
being the worst of the animated debacles of my childhood. After years of successful marketing with
toys, clothing and everything else they could slap the Transformers name on, the TV series also spawned a 1986 feature
film. The film uses the classic Autobots
vs. Decepticons format as the Autobots attempt to reclaim the planet from the
evils of the Decepticons. The Autobots
are lead by Optimus Prime and the Decepticons by Megatron. After a fierce battle between the Autobots
and Decepticons, Megatron is badly injured and subsequentally ousted by his
fellow minions. This event creates a
chance for the story to…well…transform. At
first the film utilizes the classic Transformer
characters, but then quickly shifts to focus on a host of new characters. So instead of continuing the established Transformers storyline the toymakers, I
mean creative writing staff, decided to jump to the year 2005 to allow new
characters to be utilized *cough* marketed *cough*.
the fact that new characters like Kup, Hot Rod and Blurr are introduced the
same basic premise of the Transformers
saga is continued without hesitation.
Good versus evil and so on and so forth.
In a somewhat odd decision the creators decided to integrate a ton of
stereotypical 1980’s pop-rock singles; from bands you never heard of or most
likely wanted to forget. The likes of Lion and Spectre General all appear throughout the film and who could forget
the powerful Transformers Movie
anthem “The Touch” by Stan Bush. You got
the touch…You got the…
that I suppose.
is not the best but it is well animated and remains surprisingly enjoyable. I even was shocked by one scene when a character
utters the word “shit;” and you thought this was just for kids. Obviously the Region 0 version, did not
unjustly censor the film like previous horrible releases had.
technical features are by no means amazing and still need some work. The many editions of this film on home video
have left audiences confused across the board. Each new release claims to be
the ‘best’ or the ‘true’ release; from the full screen television version to
the original 1.4 X 1 theatrical release, each has its merits, but what the true
intended rendition is can become mind boggling.
In the case of this release all I can say is what is presented and go
from there. The picture is presented in
a 1080p MPEG-2; 16 X 9 1.85 X 1 Widescreen that has its issues, but overall has
a crisp image, bright colors and consistent detail. There are grainy moments here and there, as
well as the opening and closing credits being a mess. The characters colors are still not truly
consistent and at times the image does blur.
As previously mentioned the Blu-ray is far from perfect, but it is the
best the film has ever looked. The audio
is less impressive than the image as the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track only
minimally uses the surrounds, has poor directionality and lacks the ‘oomph’
this feature should have. To be fair the
film has always sounded like crap; it was a horrible sound mix then and it is
just as bad today, coming off of the Dolby A-type analog stereo which was their
oldest sound reduction system. I don’t
know what can help it give or take if sound effects, music and dialogue stems
exist separately and have been preserved properly (or even survived), but it
isn’t here yet.
extras include “Scramble City”
exclusive Japanese bonus issue; Interview with Story Consultant Flint Dille;
Q&A with voice of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen); 80’s toy TVCs, TV spots and
theatrical trailer; “The Touch” film
clip (by Stan Bush); Character, voice-actor and musician biographies; Commentaries
features and extras; Deleted Scenes; Animated Storyboards; Bonus Episode of Transformers: Beast Wars. All I can say is wow! After years of studios ripping us off Madman
Entertainment delivers hardcore with exciting and re-watchable bonus
features. Granted some are better than
others, but between the interview with Peter Cullen and the old TV spots; I was
in heaven. Some of the extras are dry
and you could take ‘em or leave ‘em, but all in all I am just glad they are
think it is the best Blu-ray we will ever see of the film, but it is a start
and Madman Entertainment has done their homework. It is the best the film has looked to date
and it is definitely time to transform your Blu-ray collection.
above, you can order this Region Free Blu-ray import set exclusively from
- Michael P. Dougherty II