Both Voltron teams unite to unleash some blazing sword smack down…
What They Say
In a bid to destroy the Galaxy Alliance, evil King Zarkon joins forces with the leader of the Drule Empire, Viceroy Throk. They create the largest armada of destroyers that has ever been seen in space. When this Fleet of Doom begins obliterating one key Galaxy Alliance outpost after another, they realize the threat is too great even for one of the mighty Voltron units to deal with. Therefore, they send the call both to the stellar ship Explorer and to the Castle of Lions. Keith, Princess Allura, Hunk, Lance and Pidge fly into battle in their robot lions, alongside Commanders Jeff, Krik and Cliff with their vehicle teams. When Prince Lotor arrives as the head of a super Robeast made of five united Robeasts, Keith and Jeff give the order to form both Voltrons! Haggar targets Keith and Allura with a curse, and the Fleet of Doom is closing in on Galaxy Garrison. The ultimate giant robot team-up is Earth’s last hope!
For this viewing session, we listened to the English only dub of Voltron. The stereo mix for this series is nicely expansive as it makes good use of directionality throughout the program both for action and dialogue effects. The sound effects may be a bit dated, but the sound quality is excellent. The transfer to Dolby 5.1 sounds great due to the fact that Voltron was the first American TV program to ever be recorded in stereo. The dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback on either language track.
Originally airing back in 1986, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The video footage is comprised of three elements, video from Hundred Beast King FiveLion (GoLion), Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, and new footage created by Toei Animation. The movie is nearly 24 years old, the transfer for it looks decent for a remastered movie that is comprised of three different source footage.
As with any restored footage this old, there is some graininess to the video that causes some of the solid color areas to look a distorted. Animation quality is also observable as you can see obvious differences between the new and old footage. One will also notice that there is quite a bit of recycled footage as well from both Voltron series.
The packaging for the movie is on par with your typical anime release. It was disappointing that there was not some type of special edition collection with this as this movie has created quite a bit of interest for those of us who have not been able to see it since our youth. In fact, I’m not sure if it ever aired in recent years.
The front of the case features both Voltrons. The background for the artwork on the package features a vast armada of ships as observed in the movie. Lion Voltron is featured in the top-center of the package with in its famous cross arm pose while Vehicle Voltron is featured in foreground hold the spinning lazer blades. The Voltron logo and move titles are featured at the bottom of the case. The back of the package features the typical plot synopsis, technical specs, and screen clips.
The menu for the movie is clean and simple. The main menu features an image of the DVD cover with the menu choices on the right and left sides. The Voltron theme music loops in the background while the main menu is displayed. The scene access submenus contain art from the DVD collections used throughout both series. As with the main menu, a looping musical theme plays while the submenus are displayed.
The extras are pretty much nonexistent in this collection. You have a smattering of animation bloopers and the first episode from Lion Voltron and Vehicle Voltron.. Overall, this is pretty disappointing. I was hoping that there would be some more substantial extras.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
The last hurrah is finally here and it’s time to say farewell to an old friend of my youth. It has been a long time since I watched this movie. In fact, the last time I remember seeing this was on a torrent download many years ago that was really crappy, but allowed me to see the whole story. Voltron was the king of animation back in its day and has had a huge impact on anime in the US as it paved the way for many other anime series. Voltron is aged, as well as I, but it’s still fun to take a look at now and then. Can this movie bring anything new and refreshing to the series? Can it bridge the Lion Voltron story to the Vehicle Voltron story? Kinda, but not really….
Voltron: The Fleet of Doom is the only iteration of Voltron where Vehicle Force Voltron and Lion Voltron team up. Both teams work together to thwart the evil King Zarkon who allies with Viceroy Throk of the Drule Empire to create an new army, The Fleet of Doom. The movie’s purpose was to bridge the two series together, thus making the transition from Lion Force Voltron to Vehicle Force Voltron. At the conclusion of the Lion Voltron series, there was some mention about the Vehicle Voltron team, but nothing substantial. Can this movie carry it any further?
My childhood memory serves me pretty well and I don’t really remember seeing this movie after the Lion Voltron series concluded. I also do not remember it airing prior to the start of the Vehicle Voltron series. If my memory serves me well it seems like this movie was released after the conclusion of both series. A little research on my part revealed that it was in fact released after the conclusion of both series. This was probably because World Events wanted to get one last hurrah with the huge success that was Lion Voltron. With that, you will obviously note that this movie’s plot leans heavily Lion Voltron.
The plot is fairly simple, The Drule Empire and Planet Doom team up to take out the Galaxy Alliance. The plot does not really do a great job of connecting the two series for two reasons. First, Lion Voltron’s last season was really discombobulated in that there were new characters and episodes that really didn’t flow well together. In fact, the third season of Lion Voltron used new footage that was created by Toei Animation. New footage, but no real plot makes for a dull ending. The second reason this movie does not connect well is that there is no real passing of the torch or emphasis on why viewers should get excited about the Vehicle Voltron team.
The primary focus of this movie is around Princess Allura and Commander Keith. For those of us who really want to see them hook up, this is as close as you get. Princess Allura finds herself fighting for her life once again as the evil Witch Haggar imprisons Princess Allura's spirit in an alternate dimension. This results in Keith going off to rescue her. Things are not that easy for him as Haggar casts an evil spell to make him lose his courage.
With the Lion Voltron team left to three members, The Doomies along with the Drules unleash a massive armada to attack a secret planet that provides most of the energy needs for the Galaxy Alliance. As the planet is attacked, the Lion Voltron team and the Vehicle Voltron team race to stop the Fleet of Doom. With the planet in harm’s way, can both Voltron forces stop the evil plot and can Commander Keith rescue Princess Allura in time? What culminates in the end is a battle royale that will satisfy the cravings of those who long to see both Voltron’s unleash their blazing swords in glorious splendor!
Fleet of Doom is a movie that teases the Voltron faithful with a promising adventure that culminates into a typical TV movie. The first half or two-thirds of the movie heavily focuses on the fan favorites, Keith and Allura, while the latter one-third is all about cannon fodder and blazing sword action. Don’t expect this movie to deliver the goods on character development or bridging the relationships between the two Voltron teams. As witnessed throughout the Voltron saga, you’ll find that this movie is pretty much on par with the simplistic storytelling and old dub patchwork. It still is fun to revisit and I couldn’t help but get giddy about seeing both Voltron teams sharing the same screen together. Flaws aside, it still makes the inner kid in me get excited as I watched my favorite animated heroes of past teaming up with some great blazing sword finish moves. As always, when approaching an older series like this, the child-like lenses have to be placed over the critical adult eye in order to make it a richer experience. Nostalgically recommended!
English 2.0 Language
Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080i