In the summer of 1986, children were traumatized when Optimus Prime sacrificed himself to stop his archrival, Megatron. But it wasn’t Megatron who pulled the trigger, it was a writer named Ron Friedman.
Ron Friedman wrote Transformers: The Movie. He wrote the five-part miniseries that launched GI Joe. He is close friends with Stan Lee and helped Stan develop The Marvel Action Hour, featuring Iron Man and Fantastic Four. He has written episodes of All in the Family, Happy Days, and Fantasy Island. In addition to his writing credentials, Ron is an architect and a teacher at Chapman University.
In 2014, Ron plans to chronicle his experiences as a writer in the memoir, I Killed Optimus Prime. The book promises a fascinating look behind the scenes of the shows that defined our childhood.
I had the privilege of speaking with Ron about his career, his friendship with Stan Lee, what he thought when he first saw the Transformers, how Orson Welles became Unicron, and why he didn’t want to kill Optimus Prime.
So, to kick off the 30th Anniversary of the Transformers, click below to learn about Ron Friedman, the man who wrote the movie.
Optimus Prime was the transcendental figure that is the glue for every legend or story. The transcendental character of big daddy, big brother, your personal champion, the repository of all that is good and worthy. He was the true center of the Autobot family. I think about the gathering of various comic icons and their peers as families. Who was Megatron? The worst possible father figure. He topped King John in the days of Robin Hood. Who was Starscream? He’s Iago, the treacherous second in command, the bad uncle or younger brother who lusts after his older brothers wife. I recognized that I needed to assign family identities to characters in order to create the recognition factor that young people need. They cannot verbalize this; it’s beneath the surface. To remove Optimus Prime, to physically remove Daddy from the family, that’s wasn’t going to work. I told Hasbro and their lieutenants they would have to bring him back but they said no and had “great things planned.” In other words they were going to create new more expensive toys.
Picking up where "Transformers Prime" left off, this feature-length animated tale finds the Autobots, Decepticons and Predacons teaming up to fight Unicron, who has taken over Megatron's body.
Cast: Peter Cullen, Frank Welker
Director: Vinton Heuck
Genre:Children & Family
Explore the rich world of Transformers Prime! Loaded with character animation models, concept art, interviews with the creators and more, Transformers: The Art of Prime provides and unprecendented look behind the scenes of bringing the TF Prime universe to television audiences. Jim Sorenson (Transformers The Ark, Transformers AllSpark Almanac) brings this deep, vivid world into focus!
For Immediate Release
TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE
Featuring Action-Packed BUMBLEBEE Animated Adventures!
SPECIAL DVD DEBUTS IN STORES EVERYWHERE
OWN IT ON FEBRUARY 25, 2014 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY KIDS
Spring into action with BUMBLEBEE from Hasbro Studios’ Emmy® Award-winning series TRANSFORMERS PRIME! Beloved by kids and legions of fans worldwide, BUMBLEBEE is a dedicated warrior and a scout who serves as part of the elite squad lead by OPTIMUS PRIME. Though he may be one of the smallest and youngest of the TRANSFORMERS, don’t let that fool you. Time and time again, this AUTOBOT proves that he has the bravery to fight for what is right and the tenacity to throw himself into action to battle against his opponents no matter where they appear. On February 25, 2014, Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will release TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE on DVD, featuring a collection of four best BUMBLEBEE adventures from the TRANSFORMERS PRIME lore. Packed with visually stunning CG animation and unforgettable characters, this new DVD delivers fun-filled home entertainment that kids and parents will enjoy! Bring home TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE DVD at an affordable low price of $9.99. SRP.
Pre-order at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Transformers-Prim ... blebee+dvd
Four action-packed BUMBLEBEE adventures include:
- Masters and Students
- Operation Bumblebee, Part 1
- Operation Bumblebee, Part 2
Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Josh Keaton, Jeffrey Combs, Kevin Michael Richardson, Will Friedle, Sumalee Montano, Ernie Hudson, Markie Post and Steve Blum lend their voices to this hit series produced by Hasbro Studios. TRANSFORMERS PRIME is executive produced by Duane Capizzi, Jeff Kline, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The series airs on The HUB TV Network in the U.S. and on Teletoon in Canada.
About Hasbro Studios
Hasbro Studios is the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS). The studio is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling for the company across television, film, commercial productions and short-form. It develops, produces and distributes TV shows based on Hasbro's world class brands, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and FAMILY GAME NIGHT. Many of these shows air on the Hub Network, a U.S. television network for kids and their families, that is a joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Hasbro Studios shows can also be seen on networks in more than 180 territories globally. Since its formation in 2009, the studio has received seven Daytime Emmy wins and 16 nominations. On the film side, the studio is developing and producing a number of features based on Hasbro's brands, including TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount), G.I. JOE 3 (Paramount) and CANDY LAND (Sony). The studio team also oversees the production of commercials that feature Hasbro's brands as well production of short-form content that can be seen on all of the major digital and social media platforms globally.
About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com
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