“Transformers: The Movie” is so bizarre to watch as an adult. Taking a film and placing it 20 years after the end of the last season of the show is weird. Then, having characters brutally murder each other in a mass shootout during the opening 30 minutes makes eyes pop. You could make the case that it’s true to kids playing battles in the backyard with toys. But, how many kids made sure to shoot their friend’s favorite toy in the face?

If you can look past the rather strong violence and Optimus Prime’s weepy death, you’re left with a TV special transplanted into a feature film. Hell, I didn’t realize how many act breaks existed in the film with such hard fades. You could almost tell where they were going to insert commercials. Well, they eventually did when the film aired on TV. I grew up a GI Joe kid and we were always mad that this film undermined what could’ve been in that film. Optimus died and now Duke surviving that movie makes zero sense.

Many of you have been clamoring for the film. The special features are stunning and are among the best that Shout has released this year. However, the transfer feels incredibly washed out. It’s nothing on Shout’s end, as the source material needs to be cleaned from the negative. From the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group opening logo to the midway point of the film, colors are rather flat and foreground action has visible damage. The film improves in terms of visuals and I have no idea what happened there. Some fans have said that the 4K restoration was a bit too high for the Toei Animation of the mid 1980s. I buy that, as Criterion has chosen 2K restorations for several films known to have visual limitations.

It’s not going to keep anyone from enjoying the movie, but it’s a headscratcher. The audio tracks are clean and well make you think that Unicron is eating your home theater. Solid work all around.


  • ‘Til All Are One feature length documentary
  • Commentary
  • Featurettes
  • Storyboards
  • Trailers and TV Spots
  • 1.85:1 and 1.33:1 presentations of the film


  • 1.85:1 1080p transfer
  • DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track


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