The Transformers: The Movie is the awkwardly titled feature film debut for everybody’s favorite “Robots in disguise.” Transformers are the very definition of successfully turning Japanese toys from the 80’s into an exciting story for kids. So it was only a matter of time before I became a fan, but really it was my brother who became obsessed with it. After the live-action movie was released, we backtracked to the show that started it all. Although we foolishly saw the movie before watching the 1984 animated series. It makes way more sense after we watched seasons 1 & 2. Since every Autobot, Decepticon, Dinobot, Insecticon, and Constructicon appears with no explanation for non-fans.
How awesome it must have been to be a young fan in 1986 seeing the Transformers on the big screen with highly detailed animation. In the distant future of 2005, Decepticons have taken Cybertron for themselves. With Autobots ready to mount an offensive from one of their moon bases. You might expect a standard war between factions, but The Transformers: The Movie is a total energon-bath. Beloved Autobots and Decepticons are killed left and right. Fortunately Bumblebee is safe with an older Spike. Starscream isn’t so lucky after one too many betrayals. A heated early battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron actually results in both icons being mortally wounded. Killing Optimus Prime was a major child traumatizing mistake that Hasbro should’ve thought twice about.
It gets so intense that Spike actually says “Sh*t” in this animated kids movie. Eventually you realize every death was just to make room for new toys. As well as high profile voice actors. Judd Nelson is next generation Autobot Hot Rod, Leonard Nimoy is Megatron reborn as the Decepticon Galvatron, and Orson Welles himself is the massive planet sized main antagonist Unicron. It’s a desperate struggle for the all important “Matrix of Leadership” where “One shall stand, one shall fall.” The transformative action is seriously intense, but the fun is never lost. The 80’s anthem “The Touch” ensures The Transformers: The Movie as an 80’s benchmark for generations to come.