DVD
Transformers the Movie (1986)

Starring (voice): Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Lionel Stander and Orson Welles
Metrodome
RRP: 5.99 / £22.99
MTD5297 / MTD5296
Certificate: PG
Available 04 June 2007


Huge robots with the ability to turn into vehicles, planes and other technology are fighting a gigantic battle of good versus evil in which the future of the galaxy hangs in the balance. The evil Decepticons have taken control of the planet of Cybertron and the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are planning a heroic strike to retake their home planet. However, with both sides warring against each other, they are totally unaware of the immense and deadly threat that is approaching: Unicron - devourer of worlds. On the edge of destruction, Cybertron's single hope of survival lies with the one Autobot who can rise up and save their existence...

Set in 2005 Transformers the Movie (1986) is being released to cash in on the hype of the 2007 live action movie. To be honest this is one movie that if you haven't already seen you probably shouldn't bother. It's very much a product of its time. While I grew up on The Transformers range of toys, and cartoon series, I really don't think it's aged that well.

The animation is crude and the story is a little too deep for young children and a little too shallow for adults. If animated robots fighting are your bag though you'll love it.

What I really couldn't understand was Metrodome's bizarre pricing for this release. You can buy it as a single disc edition for £5 or as a double disc version for £22. Is it just me or is that a little crazy? And don't think that it's because you get a nice steel pack for the two disc release either, because there are only a few thousand being produced in this packaging (according to the press release we received.) Now if it had been released with the original 4:3 version of the film on the single disc then I could understand (a bit better) this pricing. Maybe that would represent a budget release for those who just want to own the movie while the 2-disc version offers both the 4:3 and remastered movie with 5.1/stereo option, but it appears that the single disc includes the remastered version of the movie so I'm not really sure what that is all about.

On disc one you get the remastered movie with 5.1 audio/stereo option; an audio commentary with Transformers expert Chris McFeely; Alternate US/UK version footage plus branching option (these are from three scenes - the opening sequence, the closing sequence and Spike's expletive); Title, Colour and Exposure Tests; Character Biographies; and New Transformers the Movie Trailer. "New" in this context does not mean the 2007 movie, and is simply a trailer for the movie contained on this disc. Whether it meant "new" as in "new remastered print" or this was a mistake, and the 2007 teaser trailer was supposed to be included on this disc, is unclear.

Disc two contains the original 4:3 version of the movie; a 24 minute interview with Flint Dille (story consultant); a 21 minute Q&A (although you never hear the questions) with Peter Cullen who provided the voice of Optimus Prime; exclusive Japanese Scramble City episode (23 mins) with optional audio commentary with McFeely; test, deleted and alternative scenes (5 mins) with optional commentary by McFeely; trailer for the 2007 live action movie; animated storyboards (11 mins); DVD Rom material: original movie script and 5.1 audio breakdown; and exclusive booklet written by McFeely.

To be perfectly honest if I was going to buy either version of this release, I'd save myself some money and purchase the £5 version. To be perfectly honest not many people will watch the extras more than once anyway and, unless you really want to see the Scramble City episode you're better off purchasing the single disc release. As it goes, the single disc release is pretty good value for money - something that can't be said of the two-disc release.

Pete Boomer

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£5.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Special Edition - Single Disc Release
   
cover
£14.98 (Amazon.co.uk)
Ultimate Edition Limited Tin Box - Double Disc Release
   
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£5.99 (Play.com)
Special Edition - Single Disc Release
   
cover
£14.99 (Play.com)
Ultimate Edition Limited Tin Box - Double Disc Release.
Includes Play.com Exclusive Sleeve Art Cards
   
£3.99 (HMV.co.uk)
Special Edition - Single Disc Release
   
£14.99 (HMV.co.uk)
Ultimate Edition Limited Tin Box - Double Disc Release
   
£14.99 (HMV.co.uk)
Ultimate Edition Limited Tin Box - Double Disc Release.
HMV Exclusive: Special Packaging
   
£4.89 (Sendit.com)
Special Edition - Single Disc Release
   
£14.89 (Sendit.com)
Ultimate Edition Limited Tin Box - Double Disc Release
   
£14.93 (Thehut.com)
Ultimate Edition - Double Disc Release.

All prices correct at time of going to press.