Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Shout Factory - TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE on Blu-ray ""

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shout Factory - TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE on Blu-ray

TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE (1986; Nelson Shin)
It should come as a n real surprise, but I wasn't the most popular kid during my middle school years. One of my few true pleasures back then was coming home from school and watching lots of afternoon cartoons that happened to be showing each weekday. Transformers and G. I. Joe were both staples for me and I became completely obsessed with them. I loved escaping into those animated universes and always looked forward to getting lost in them every day after a crappy education experience. I must to admit to having been obsessed with the toys as well (which was obviously the driving purpose behind those programs). One thing I've always enjoyed about the movie versions of popular animated shows is seeing which actors of the day are brought in to do celebrity character voices. In the case of TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE, the cast is pretty amazing - voice actor veterans like Frank Welker, Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Scatman Crothers and Peter Cullen are present of course, but some of the other choices are not necessarily what you might expect. You have a lot of the regular voices from the show (Optimus Prime, Megatraon, StarScream etc), but then you have stuff like Judd Nelson as "Hot Rod". You also have the the likes of Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Lionel Stander and Eric Idle as guest voices. And who could forget Orson Welles as the voice of the giant planet-smashing "Unicron" (in his second to last film role). One more neat thing about movie versions of cartoon shows is that sometimes they would put a little money into the soundtrack and get some memorable real songs to play throughout. In TRANSFORMERS, the soundtrack consists of hair metal sounding lesser-known bands from the time. Bands with names like "NRG", "Spectre General" and "Lion". And then of course there is the song "The Touch" by Stan Bush (which may be one of the things that is most oft remembered from the movie). I so associated this song with TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE that when Mark Wahlberg starts singing it in BOOGIE NIGHTS, I was totally thrown off by it. Stan Bush does a few songs for the soundtrack actually. Let's just say there are a lot of hot licks to be enjoyed. And since Stan Bush sounds a little like Sammy Haggar, you kinda feel like you're getting some later-era Van Halen tunes on the soundtrack. Obligatorily, there's a spruced up re-do of the TV Show's original theme song in the mix as well. TRANSFORMERS also features "Dare To Be Stupid" by Weird Al Yankovic (in a scene that doesn't have anything to do with the song - which is always silly).
So, story wise these movie versions of shows are often played out on a slightly bigger scale with bigger stakes. We may see important characters die (or appear to die), new characters introduced and the bad guys will often have the upper hand much longer than they would in a regular episode (this having to do with more runtime to allow for the tide to turn back in favor of the good guys). Just seeing these slight shifts in storytelling was always something I liked when I watched a movie like this and TRANSFORMERS does deliver on that level. You get much a much higher peril quotient in a movie version. You get things like "Sharktacons". There's also a lot of scenes of robots running from destruction and fighting each other. As movies made from television properties go, this movie is a nice adaptation of the show and an incredibly quintessential encapsulation of the 1980s.

Special Features:
Shout Factory's 30th Anniversary Edition of the movie has some nice supplements:
-NEW -" 'TIL ALL ARE ONE: Looking Back at TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE" (47 mins) This retrospective documentary includes interviews with Flint Dille (story consultant), cast members Dan Gilvezan (the voice of "Bumblebee"), Neil Ross, Gregg Berger, Susan Blu and more. It's a fascinating examination of what the concerns and purposes of a movie like this are for the company and toy lines behind them. I've always had this huge curiosity about the way that voice actors work and what the experience of doing a movie like this is like for them. Lots of neat stories here. They also talk to Stan Bush himself about his songs from the movie. My favorite bit of trivia from his interview is that Bush originally wrote "The Touch" with Stallone's movie COBRA in mind.
-NEW Transformers: The Restoration Featurette
-NEW Rolling Out The New Cover Featurette
-An 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



TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE can be purchased on Blu-ray here:
http://amzn.to/2b8GRJ0

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