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by Cth (


This Weeks DVD selections were brought to you by:

The letter "O" and the number "2717"

It's finally on DVD, so let's take a closer look at this gem of 80s animation..

Transformers: The Movie

Cover                       2/5  (Awful; Poor design; Tacky yellow banner proclaiming Collector Edition)

Direction/Story         5/5  (Atmospheric; Excellent soundtrack; fluid animation; acting talent amazing)

DVD Layout             3/5 (Some animated menus; easy to navigate)

Extras                      2/5 (The re-addition of the fabled curse word; interview; storyboards)


OVERALL                3/5  (If you're a Transformers fan or completist)

                                 2/5  (If you have it on VHS already or just not really interested in animation)


I can't get over how much I dislike this cover.  It's bad enough it looks like a bootleg photocopy of the actual movie poster.  I mean, if you go to put the poser on the case, at least make sure it fits.  As it currently is, the text proclaiming "Collector's Edition" is in a bigger font size than the movie title itself.  Or maybe I'm overreacting.  It would have been nice to see a newer poster for the DVD


Check out the voice talent on this film... Eric Idle, Orson Wells, Leonard Nimoy, Judd Nelson, Robert Stack, That Speed Talking Guy, etc, etc.  This movie is closer to "Heavy Metal" than it is to your typical Disney flick and that's obvious from the beginning.  From the re-imagined theme song, to the first glimpse of Unicron.  Not since Akira has there been an animated film with such attention to shadows and was willing to kill off major characters.  Truly you get a sense of the epic scale of this story and that's due to the direction. 


Unicron, a planet eating planet (don't ask) makes it's way across the galaxy.  In it's path is the planet of Cybertron, home of the Autobots and Decepticons.  A distress call is put out and the Autobots are aware of the problem.  Unfortunately, at home, they face a closer threat, that of Megatron and the Decepticons.  In the course of the fight, the Autobots almost lose the city to Megatron and Devastator until Optimus Prime shows up.  Through trickery Megatron mortally wounds Optimus and Optimus returns the favor.  During their escape, the Decepticons dump Megatron into space where he's found and reconstructed as Galvatron by Unicron.  Back on Earth, Optimus passes the Matrix to Ultra Magnus, but not before Hot Rod gets chosen by the Matrix first.  It turns out the

Matrix can kill Unicron, so it's out to destroy it.  The Autobots travel into space to try and stop Unicron who transforms and a huge battle ensues. 


Slight adjustment period with the menu navigation.  You don't have to press "ENTER" on the remote to select an option, just move to it and it automatically rotates the menu around.  Luckily, it's only 3 buttons but still it could be a problem if it were more.


Menus that "transform".. well really shift themselves around.   An interview with the composer.  Also, some storyboards from the film which are always fun to view.  No commentary track though.  Or DVD-ROM features.  Even a pic of the toys like the Playstation game would have been nice.

DON'T MISS              

Chapter (I kid you not) "A Dirty Word". Back then this was WAY controversial.  It garnered a PG rating for one word :)  Kids everywhere were talking about this and parents everywhere paled when they took their kid to the movie at that point.  I'll tell you what the word is, but you have to be quiet.

"SHH..IT's a secret."  At least this settles for everyone if it was real or imagined.  Like those Boba Fett rocket figure toys.  And for the record, those figures were produced, but scrapped. 


One of the best animated films of all time and deserves to be in every collection.  I believe it also started the trend of adding "The Movie" after the title.  It's a great purchase, although I would have preferred more extras.  There was a lot of potential for a cool layout, but was never realized.  And as I stated in my column, it's worth it to hear all these actors forced to say bizarre lines. 

Copyrightę2000 Cth