Transformers - The Movie 20th Anniversary Special Edition
by Rob Meyer

From the dynamic lenticular insert to the stunning new artwork by Don Figueroa, the packaging alone on the new Transformers 20th Anniversary DVD is nearly worth the price of admission. But don't let the fancy packaging fool you, this two-disc set is loaded with more features and fun than you can shake an energon cube at.

Disc 1 features the incredibly remastered and color corrected Theatrical Widescreen Version of the movie as well as two different audio commentaries. The first commentary features director Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille and the voice of Arcee - Sue Blu. The second commentary features Transformer fans reliving their experiences seeing the movie for the first time, as well as telling interesting stories and little known facts about the film. I found this to be one of the most fascinating features in the set. I'm always curious to learn the origin of a fans passion, why some people develop a particular attachment to a film, toy, etc... and why it means so much to them. This was a unique and enjoyable DVD experience and something I wouldn't mind seeing other studios adopt. Another feature I really enjoyed was the Autobot Matrix of Knowledge, this is a 'pop-up video' style version of the movie where fun facts and trivia pop up at random times during the movie.

Ok, so now you've watched the movie 4 different ways, what about the bonus features? Well Disc 1 has bonus features to spare. The Original Trailer and TV spots are a great trip back to in time, captured here all in one set. A really neat photo gallery. The Scramble City episode with commentary. Another unique and interesting feature is a look at some side-by-side remastered comparison scenes. It really is amazing to see how beautiful the restored colors look. The movie is now over 20 years old, and looks as brilliant and sharp as anything realeased today. Lastly for Disc 1 (I told you this thing was jam-packed!) is a sneak peak at the Transformers live action movie hitting theaters in July of 2007. This is a really cool look at the making of the film, featuring Michael Bay, Steven Speilberg and many others talking about why Transformers will be so darn cool. And you know what, I'm sold! While the footage is pretty much robot-free, the enthusiasm of the cast and crew comes through loud and clear and left me as excited as ever!

In addition to the Full Screen version of the movie, the special features on Disc 2 are equally as impressive. Show your friends who's the real king of Transfomers knowledge with the "Activate Autobot City" trivia game. Also included is the promotional trailer with commentary, test footage as well as deleted and alternate footage with commentary. Animated storyboards, Scamble City commercials, DVD-ROM link to exclusive content and my favorite: US and Japanese toy commercials!

After watching both discs, the features that impressed me the most were "Cast and Characters", Transformers Q&A" and most notably, the all-new feature "Death of Optimus Prime". Told from the perspective of the toy industry, the producers, story consultants and the director, "Death' was a real eye-opener. It was interesting to finally get the real story on why our hero Prime was so abrubtly killed off. We learn their reasons, regrets and what they would do if they could do it all over again.

Overall this DVD set is one of the most entertaining and value-packed I've ever come across. Whether you are a life-long Transformers fan or a newcomer to the Robots in Disguise, you are going to love this set!