Produced by Ahmed Agrama
Written by Ardwight Chamberlain
Music by Three Dog Night
Cinematography Yoshizaki Kenichi
Editing by Jonathon Braun
Distributed by Cannon Films (USA)
International Video Entertainment (Spanish)
The Rank Group (UK)
Release date(s) July 25, 1986
(limited test run)
Running time 82 minutes
Preceded by Robotech
Robotech: The Movie, also called Robotech: The Untold Story, was the first new Robotech adventure created by Harmony Gold USA after the 1985 premiere of the original television series. The 1986 theatrical film used footage from part one of Megazone 23 spliced with The Southern Cross and had only a tenuous link to the television series.
According to interviews with director/producer Carl Macek, the project had originally been intended to be more of a straight dub of Megazone 23 with dialogue and music changes to reflect the Robotech universe. As originally conceived, it was set during the return of the SDF-1 from Pluto with the protagonist Mark Landry, a relative of Rick Hunter, finding out about the government's coverup of the SDF-1's fate, and Landry fighting to make the information known.
However, at the time, Tatsunoko Productions was involved in promoting their own Macross movie, Do You Remember Love, and insisted that Macek not use elements of the Macross story, so as to avoid possible confusion. Also, distributor Cannon Films felt there were "too many girls and not enough robots and guns," and didn't like Megazone's downer ending, either. Thus, Macek rewrote the story to take place shortly before the Second Robotech War, cut segments of Southern Cross footage into it, and commissioned animation studio The Idol Co. to animate a new ending (which was later included on the laserdisc of Megazone 23, Part II). The new version involved the Robotech Masters kidnapping and replicating veteran officer B.D. Andrews to steal the memory core of the SDF-1.
Because Megazone 23 (an OVA) and Southern Cross (a TV series) were shot on different film stock, 35mm and 16mm respectively, the visual inconsistency was very noticeable on the big screen.
The B.D. Andrews character was named B.D. Edwards in the original cut of the Robotech movie. Taking place during in the Macross saga timeframe, it was the intention that he was to be a younger version of the Colonel Edwards that would later appear in Robotech II: The Sentinels which was in the planning stages at the time. However, the rejection of the first cut of the movie involved relocating the time frame to the Robotech Masters era. Because Edwards would be elsewhere during that time frame, the name of the character was changed to B.D. Andrews, and he was made into a colonel of earth's defense forces who would become abducted and replaced by a Master's simulagent. Also, the Colonel Edwards that does appear in Sentinels was eventually named T.R. Edwards.
The movie disappeared from the United States after a failed test-run in Texas. However, in other territories such as Argentina and Belgium, it ran successfully in cinemas and had a VHS release in Spanish (by International Video Entertainment) and with Dutch subtitles (by Vestron Video), respectively. Harmony Gold relinquished their license to Megazone 23 after director Carl Macek washed his hands of the project, so home video releases were limited to the few VHS tapes that had been in limited circulation in Europe and Latin America.
Some animatics and other supplemental material were released as extras with ADV Films' Robotech DVD release. After ADV acquired the home video rights to Megazone 23, some fans have held hope that a home video release of Robotech: The Movie would again be possible. However, neither ADV nor any other distributor has announced plans for a DVD release of the film.
Comic and novel adaptations
150pAcademy released a comic adaptation of the movie in 1995 written by Benny R. Powell with art by Chia-Chi Wang. The book was a departure from the actual movie, at the request of the publisher. While the first issue borrowed heavily from the source material, the second issue was almost entirely new material. The two-issue series was originally intended to be a longer run, but due to the loss of the license to Antarctic Press, it was vastly condensed. It was among the last Robotech comics published by Academy before the license was moved to Antarctic Press.
Additionally, elements from the movie were used in the plot of the Robotech novel The Masters' Gambit.
Kerrigan Mahan - Mark Landry
Iona Morris (credited as "Britanny Harlowe") - Becky Franklin
Muriel Fargo - Eve
Gregory Snegoff - Colonel B.D. Andrews
Edie Mirman - Kelley Stevens
Wendee Lee - Stacy Embry
Mearle Pearson - Professor Embry
Michael McConnohie - Rolf Emerson
Greg Finley - Anatole Leonard
Tony Clay (credited as "Jonathan Alexander") - additional voices
Etienne Bannliett - additional voices
Frank Catalano (credited as "Wayne Anthony") - additional voices
Bill Capizzi (credited as "A. Gregory") - additional voices
Jaque Maecell - additional voices
Dave Mallow - additional voices
Ike Medlick - additional voices
Spike Niblick - additional voices
Mike Reynolds - additional voices
Bruce Winant - additional voices
Tom Wyner - additional voices