Transformers-movieposter-westD Laurentiis Entertainment Group
1986
PG

“I would have waited an eternity for this. It’s over, Prime.”

Set in the futuristic year of…2005, the epic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons has escalated all the way back to Cybertron, which has been reclaimed by the Decepticons. After a massive battle that resulted in the deaths of many Autobots and Decepticons, and the near-destruction of Autobot City, the victorious yet mortally wounded Megatron is turned into the even more powerful Galvatron by the planet-sized Unicron. The purpose…to find the Autobot Matrix and destroy it, as it’s the only thing that can stop the destruction of Unicron…

I remember when this came out in theaters. Mind you, I couldn’t see it, as I was only 11, and at the time my parents were rather strict as to violent content in movies. Regardless of my ravenous fanaticism with both the toy line and the cartoon that bordered on religious, it was only recently when the movie was re-released on DVD through Rhino (God bless ’em) that I was able to recapture a bit of my lost childhood there.

Viewing it now, compared to the quality of animation nowadays, Transformers The Movie seems a bit dated. Mind you, the action and violence in the movie is on a higher level than that of the TV cartoon, hence the PG rating. Many robots are killed here, including Optimus Prime and Starscream, both major characters in the Transformers lore. Really, the movie seems to be a jumping-on point of reference with the second generation of shows that followed, with new Autobot leader Rodimus Prime and other new robots both good and evil making their appearance here.

The voice talent is pretty much top-notch, with many of the usual voices from the original TV show appearing, plus Judd Nelson, Scatman Corthers, Lenord Nemoy, Eric Idle and the late, great Orson Wells lending their voices.

Some low points: There’s just an overabundance of music stuck in that took away from the action, mostly from more generic rock bands. The hair metal theme by the band Lion was cool, but with odd choices (like Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare To Be Stupid”) kinda taking way from the enjoyment. Also, there are many edit cuts here, which makes the pacing kind of choppy at times.

As part of the Transformers lore, The Movie is an essential part of the old-school storyline. Although not perfect, it is one of the better 80s cartoons that was made for the big screen…