We at unicron.com and TFDb are ecstatic to have received an advance copy of the first ever release of Transformers The Movie, on Blu-Ray. Between us Lukis Bros, I'm sure we've seen it well over a hundred times. We've studied its beautiful animation frame-by-frame. We can recite every carefully thought out line of dialog - well, except maybe other than Blurr's because we can't talk that fast! We can sing every song llyric and hum every note of its exqusite score. Between us, we own every known version of its release, from the infamous VHS cassette with Spike's "Oh shit! What're we gonna do now?" edited out, to the 20th Anniversary DVD, and many more in between. So, the question is, does a 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray release have anything for discerning fans like us to get excited about? The answer: YES!
Let's start with the packaging. I like the art of IDW Transformers Comic artist Livio Ramondelli, but I'll admit I think there are other artists, in my opinion whose style would have been better suited for this film cover. Even if you don't care for the new art, there's good news. One can reverse the sleve and have the cover image from the original Japanese home media release of the movie.
TFTM - Blu-Ray Case
So, sure. The new case and art are cool. But, it's what's inside that fires me up! At the time this article was written, the digital download site was not yet available. So, therefore, I simply took photos of my TV screen with my iPhone to use as comparison. For what it's worth, my new home theater set-up is pretty awesome, including a 65" Ultra HD Samsung with 4K Blu-ray player. For me, on this screen, the differences between Blu-ray release and every version prior are EXTREME and DRAMATIC! Of course, for now, I don't have time to frame-by-frame analyze the entire film (maybe someday!) So for now, we'll analyze just a few frames in the opening scene, which will serve as a useful comparison. Let's start here, Unicron's great feast!
Below, the opening sequence featuring Unicron's annihilation of the planet Lithone. To get a fair comparison, on a computer screen, let's zoom in on Unicron's equator. On the left, the Remastered 20th Anniversary DVD. On the Right, the new 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray.
Next, let's zoom in on Unicron's feast itself. Each image is cropped but otherwise unaltered photo taken with my iPhone of my television screen. The far left image of the 2000 "Collector's Edition" DVD. Middle image is from the 2006 "Remastered, 20th Anniversary DVD," and on the right, the new 2016 Blu-Ray.
As I said, the difference is dramatic! Don't get me wrong, if you have a lousy television, you might not see the difference. But if you look closely on a viewing system worthy of this Blu-ray, be prepared to be blown away. Let's look look a few frames further. Remember when Unicron's tractor beam starts lifting Lithonian citizens off the ground and tearing the planet apart? One thing I NEVER noticed, Arblus, Kranix and a third Lithonian scientist can be sceen looking out their laboratory window! The detail has been there all along. We've just never seen it before! This is the frame I'm talking about. Look closely, right in the middle...
30th Anniversary Blu-Ray Image, See Arblus, Kranix and a third Lithonian Scientist looking through the window?
Below, image is from the 20th Anniversary Remastered DVD
Don't feel bad if you didn't see this before! Until now, it's been nearly impossible to see. Below we offer a cropped, zoomed in view.
The bottom line: if you are going to bear witness to the total annhilation of your world, you want to see it in Ultra High Blu-ray definition. Side by side, these images are pretty remarkable. I've recently rewatched the entire film in both formats and have to say, the differences are pretty awesome. It was like sitting in a movie theater seeing paint brush details in background, crisp lines and details that I had never seen before.
Still frame from 2000 Collector Edition DVD
The same scene on 2016 Blu-Ray
The new edition Blu-ray will finally be released to all Tuesday September 13, 2016. Click here to order standard version on Blu-ray or the Steelbook Blu-ray on Amazon.com. Click here for the complete press release. More info and images will be provided as time allows and when they become available to us.
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2016 - TFTM Blu-ray Stills