Transformers One Transformers One

Paramount Animation has revealed the trailer for Transformers One, the first fully-animated film in the Transformers franchise since 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie, released in the early days of the Hasbro toy line.

Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley is helming the new pic from a script by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari. It’s touted as an origin story recounting how Orion Pax and D-16 went from brothers-in-arms to becoming the sworn enemies Optimus Prime and Megatron.

The trailer shows off an uncompromising sci-fi style that isn’t often seen in animation coupled with a snarky comedic tone that’ll definitely feel familiar to feature animation viewers. It remains to be seen whether this combination of elements can draw crowds back to the franchise, which has seen diminishing global box office returns since peaking with the 2011 release Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Paramount has pushed back the release of the film one week to September 20, presumably to avoid head-to-head competition with Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice sequel while ensuring enough premium large-format screens for the launch.

Industrial Light & Magic is handling the animation production. Producers are Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto & Don Murphy, Michael Bay, Mark Vahradian, and Aaron Dem. Executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Zev Foreman, Olivier Dumont, Brian Oliver, B.J. Farmer, and Matt Quigg.

Key cast are Chris Hemsworth (Orion Pax), Brian Tyree Henry (D-16), Scarlett Johansson (Elita-1), Keegan-Michael Key (B-127), Steve Buscemi, Laurence Fishburne, and Jon Hamm.

Amid’s Take: It’s refreshing to see an animated feature that isn’t trying to be all things to all people. As someone who hasn’t watched Transformers since the 1980s, there was nothing that an outsider like myself could grasp onto in this trailer or which made me remotely interested in seeing any more of it (though I’ll still definitely go to see it). And that’s perfectly fine.

I’m happy to accept that this film isn’t intended for me – and in fact, I’d argue that there’s room in the animation marketplace for more genre titles that target niche audiences, just like live-action. All that matters with Transformers One is whether the people who are invested in the toy franchise’s lore and mythology want to see it. The Transformers market has proven significant in the past with multiple films in the franchise having grossed over $1 billion worldwide, and if those same people turn out for this film, Paramount will have plenty to celebrate.