Podcast – The Unicron Variant

The second of two CinePunked Christmas specials for 2021 sees the team revisit a childhood of cartoons and toys via the spectacle of 1980s favourite The Transformers: The Movie.

Sleeve notes are below.

With Robert JE Simpson, Ben Simpson and Neil Sedgewick.

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You can leave your thoughts on the episode via the comments below, or on any of our social media channels, or leave a review on iTunes.

Episode URL: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=942653

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The genesis for this episode was set months ago during a rare pandemic in-person meeting between the CinePunked team. While we were discussing films for the upcoming season, Neil Sedgewick put a request in for his favourite film of all time – The Transformers: The Movie.

In the run-up to Christmas we found ourselves back in studio looking back over the stresses of the last year, and looking forward to the bustle of the festive break. 

Ben and I had just recorded our Scrooged episode with Rachael, and come straight into this, and between the two, there’s a lot of nostalgia and trauma caught up within discussions that are ostensibly about the happy things we connect with our own pasts. 

While Transformers was a summer movie, and very much a film for any time of year, its origins as a toy-line led nicely into a Christmas conversation, and we hope that it stimulates some conversation among listeners about their own favourite festive gifts. 

This marks the first animation film that we’ve covered, and also marks yet another outing for Orson Welles (we’re not intentionally covering all his films, I promise!). We’ve named the episode in honour of Welles’ character, but also as a nod to the variant of Covid-19 sweeping across the world at the time of recording. Somewhat ironically, the two Simpsons tested positive for Covid a couple of days after recording – did we tempt fate?

Hopefully this episode serves to remind listeners that no film is off-limits with conversation (and yes, we do have a bit of a conversation about the modern Transformers movies and how memory impacts our appreciation of them). What we thought would probably be a fairly light-hearted conversation, became a quite intense and introspective discussion between the participants. We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

The episode contains audio clips (used within fair use provision) from the following:

The Transformers: The Movie (dir. Nelson Shin, 1986), distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.
The Transformers: The Movie, original trailer (1986).
Stanley Unwin extract from Colour Me Pop (First broadcast: BBC Two, 21 June 1968).

The Transformers: The Movie is available to buy on DVD/BluRay/4k Ultra BluRay, and also via multiple streaming services.

Recorded during via Zoom in Comber, Dundonald and Newtownards, Northern Ireland on 15 December 2021 with our separate home studio setups. 

Engineered and edited by Robert JE Simpson. First published on 24 December 2021.


Contributor links:
Robert JE Simpson
Neil Sedgewick
Ben Simpson

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