Long before Michael Bay brought Transformers to the big screen in its current live-action/computer-animated form, the Robots in Disguise enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity in cartoon form. The original "G1" series ran from 1984 to 1987, and even spawned a movie with 1986's Transformers – The Movie, which featured the vocal talents of such actors as Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, and a not-long-for-this-world Orson Welles.
With a budget of $6 million and box office gross of $5.6 million, Transformers – The Movie was not exactly a smash hit. It has earned something of a cult following over the years, though. It appears that following is large enough to warrant its return to home video, as a 30th anniversary edition of the movie has now been announced.
The announcement comes by way of press release from Hasbro Studios and Shout! Factory, the company responsible for distributing a number of nostalgic favorites such as Mystery Science Theater 3000 and, of course, the inimitable Cop Rock. According to the press release, the 30th anniversary edition will be released across a number of platforms:
"The multi-year alliance provides Shout! Factory with exclusive home entertainment packaged media (Blu-ray and DVD) and select digital rights to Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE for home entertainment releases in North America. In honor of the 30th anniversary of TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE, this beloved animated feature will be newly remastered and transferred in HD from the original 35mm elements. A full-range of bonus content and collectible packaging are currently in development. Shout! Factory plans an aggressive rollout of TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE 30th Anniversary Edition on September 13, 2016."
The "select digital rights" likely means that the movie will be making its way to Shout! Factory's online streaming platform, Shout Factory TV. The platform is ad-supported and features a somewhat meager selection in comparison to big players such as Netflix and Hulu, but drawing in potential viewers by capitalizing on the popularity of Michael Bay's Transformers movies as the release of Transformers: The Last Knight approaches could help bolster its viewership.
For those who prefer Transformers as a series of cartoons aimed at selling toys to children rather than a series of live-action movies aimed at selling toys to children, the re-release of Transformers – The Movie offers a chance to engage in some serious '80s nostalgia. For those who only know the franchise from its Michael Bay-directed incarnation, the hair metal soundtrack and old-school animation should be an interesting look back at the past. For cinephiles, it is an opportunity to see Orson Welles in his final role. In other words, it has something for just about everybody.
Transformers – The Movie will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 13, 2016. Transformers: The Last Knight opens in U.S. theaters on June 23, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spinoff on June 8, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28, 2019.
Source: Hasbro Studios and Shout! Factory