Analog Jones has the touch and rolls out with the Autobots! This week you get to enjoy our faces and talk robots with our, The Transformers: The Return of Optimus Prime (1987) VHS Movie Review.
This summer, I visited SDCC 2019 with the Geekscape Network and heard an interesting story from an animation writer named Marv Wolfman in a panel called "Nostalgia-Ganza: A Look Back at Animated Series from the '80s". Panelists included Eric Lewald (Rescue Rangers, Winnie the Pooh), Len Uhley (Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales), Marv Wolfman (Transformers, G.I. Joe, Superman), Karen Willson (G.I. Joe, She-Ra), Craig Miller (The Real Ghostbusters, The Smurfs), Brynne Chandler (He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Marc Scott Zicree (The Real Ghostbusters, The Littles).
There were many fantastic stories from these writers that helped create some of my favorite cartoon series growing up. But, one story stood out more than the rest from Marv Wolfman and his work on The Original Transformers. After the Transformers animated movie premiered and killed off the beloved leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, the toy company Hasbro got an unimaginable amount of hate mail. As a result, Marv Wolfman was given only two days to write a two-part episode that had to bring Optimus Prime back to life but also features every Transformer character that hadn't been seen on television in over a year.
After hearing this story, I decided to hunt down the VHS and talk about the episodes with Matt. Enjoy!
Airdate: February 24, 1987
Written by Marv Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson
Animation studio: Toei
Production company: Sunbow Productions
Distribution company: Kid Rhino Home Video
VHS Box Description
The Return of Optimus Prime Part 1
An evil scientist and his assistant decide it's time to rid Earth of Autobots and Decepticons. Their plan is to use Optimus Prime's lifeless body to lure every robot to their lab, then infect them with Sun Spores, an alien plague that instills a hatred so overwhelming that Autobots and Decepticons will want to destroy one another. It's too late to stop the madness when it's clear the Sun Spore virus is deadly to all life. The universe's only hope is to revive Optimus Prime.
The Return of Optimus Prime Part 2
Sky Lynx returns with the only being able to repair Optimus Prime—a Quintesson. If Optimus recovers, he and his Autobots will need to find a metal alloy that will protect Prime from Sun Spores while he ventures inside a virtual world containing the wisdom of the ages. Their destination lies deep inside heavily guarded Decepticon territory. Now both Autobot and Decepticon must put aside their differences and work together if either expects to survive.
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