Gaming

‘The Transformers: The Movie’ Returns From 1986

There’s a Transformers for everybody. The sprawling franchise has seen innumerable adaptations over the years, including comics, cartoons (including the upcoming Transformers: Cyberverse), video games and one of the most successful live-action movie series ever made. But things were simpler once upon a time in Autobot City—just a cartoon and comic series called, predictably, The Transformers. If you hate the live-action movies, or haven’t kept up with all the Beast Wars and Robots in Disguise, or just want to see where it all began then start stockpiling energon: 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie is returning to theaters for one night only.

The Transformers: The Movie is set between Seasons 2 and 3 of the cartoon series, but don’t worry, it’s not heavy on continuity. It begins with a devastating attack on Autobot City that leaves both Megatron and Optimus Prime mortally wounded. When Megatron returns to life as Galvatron, the surviving Autobots must go on the run. But Galvatron isn’t the biggest threat the Autobots will face. That would be Unicron, a world-devouring cyber-planet— The Transformers’ very own Galactus.

What’s really remarkable about The Transformers: The Movie is the incredible aggregation of talent involved. Sure, it’s a movie about robot toys, but it’s also one of the best oddball time capsules in movie history. While much of the vocal talent, including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, is from the cartoon series, The Transformers: The Movie also features characters voiced by a bewilderingly deep talent pool, including: Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), radio personality Casey Kasem, Leonard Nimoy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Clive Revill (the voice of The Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back) and Monty Python’s Eric Idle. The Transformers: The Movie is also the final role of both Scatman Crothers (The Shining) and Pinky and the Brain inspiration Orson Welles, who plays Unicron.

If all that isn’t 80s enough for you, The Transformers: The Movie also includes a soundtrack by Vince DiCola, who also composed the score for Staying Alive and Rocky IV. There’s even a whole scene of the movie set to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Dare to be Stupid.”

The one night screening of Transformers: The Movie—a collaboration between Hasbro Studios, Shout! Factory and Fathom Events—will be at 7 m. on Thursday, Sept. 27. The movie will be preceded by a sneak peek behind-the-scenes of the next live-action Transformers movie, Bumblebee. Tickets can be purchased online starting Aug. 3.

transformers the movie A poster for "The Transformers: The Movie." Hasbro Studios / Shout! Factory

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