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The Phantom Zone Anime Review Site.

Transformers: The Movie

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Distributor: Kid Rhino, Marvel, Hasbro
Original Story: Hasbro
Volumes: N/A
Rating: PG
Anime Code: A

Before I begin, let me just say that this isn't anime as we know it.  However, I am choosing to review it because the TF franchise is so associated with anime (with the last 3 TF series being anime-driven).

It is the year 2005.  The Decepticons have conquered Cybertron (don't ask me how).  But now, an evil force called Unicron is on his way to suck everything up.  With Optimus Prime and most of the Autobots from G1 fallen in battle, it's up to a new group of Autobots to save the day.

Review: This movie debuted in 86, 2 years after the series first aired.  Until Kid Rhino re-released it, the only time I seen the movie was in video stores.  This is definitely not like the series.  I mean for one thing, they kill off most of the characters from the TV series and replace them with new guys voiced by such stars as Robert Stack, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, John Moshitta (the announcer for Hollywood Squares and the Micro-Machines line), Eric Idle (of Monty Python) and Orson Wells as Unicron (fitting, huh?).  I never miss a chance to see this movie.  It can get pretty scary at times and there are some annoying characters (and for once, Bumblebee isn't one of them) but it leaves such an impact because it set the stage for Beast Wars/Machines, RiD, Armada, and Energon.  TF fans, get this movie.  Anime fans, get this movie.  (Secret info: I heard that when they showed this in theaters, they got a lot of peopel upset, especially with Optimus Prime's death.  It's why they made "The Return of Optimus Prime" and "Dark Awakenings").

For the 20th anniversery release of the movie, they included a whole boatload of extras including two commentaries, the Scramble City special, remastering techniques, and so much more.

Action Level: 4/5
Spaceship battles and hand-to-hand combat, stuff that you won't see on the TF television series.

Romance Level: 3/5
They really fooled us with the whole Hot Rod/Arcee thing.  And fans would notice how Arcee is acting a little too friendly with Daniel, one of the two human characters mentioned.

Comedy Level: 3/5
The Dinobots had some funny lines.  And Wheelie's voice was so annoying, it was hilarious.

Adult Level: 2/5
Up until this, the concept of a Transformer dying really never occured to the average public.  Also, in the unedited version, Spike says the 's' word and Ultra Magnus says the 'd' word.

Drama Level: 4/5
They really milked the whole Optimus Prime thing for what it's worth even though there were more deaths then just that one in the movie.  But I think Joseph Campbell would've been proud.

Overall Level: 4/5
For all its errors and inconsistencies, TF:TM is a great movie.  2006 will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie.  I wonder if they'll do anything.  I actually have 2 versions.  The unedited American version, and a U.K. version that contains a Star Wars-type opening.