ROCKS 1D: Transformers The Movie (1986 Animated¬)

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this. It’s going to be an enjoyable ride!

    We're starting off with the original 1984 series of Transformers, and specifically for this thread, we're discussing the 1986 Movie.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
    Mark M likes this.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I love the Transformers Movie.
    The first time I ever heard of the movie was from a friend around 1996 who told me briefly about some things that happened in it.
    A few years later around late October/early November 2000, when I was 15, one Saturday I went up to a town called Coleraine with my Mum and Dad as my friends from school were not coming around that day as they were going to a Record and CD fair in the city to look for some rare albums they were after for their collections. We were really into music, especially Metal and Rock music.:cool
    We were in a shop called £-Poundstretchers and I wandered off to have a look at the VHS tapes. £-Poundstretchers usually always had some cool tapes in. As I was browsing I seen the Transformers tape and as I loved Transformers the moment I seen the tape I grabbed it to have a look at it. I read the back of the tape and I realised I had never seen the movie so I knew there and then I had to buy it.:D
    I bought it for £2.99. On the way home both my Mum and Dad were commenting how they recalled I always loved Transformers and how years ago it was in Coleraine I got my first Transformers toy, Chromedome, which I still have 100% complete with all his original accessories.:)
    Got home and I was all prepared to watch it after I got some art home work done and ate dinner. As we were eating dinner the door knocked and in came my two friends who got back that messed up my plans lol. Of all nights they stayed quite late as their lift home was late. :mad:
    As soon as they left though I put the tape on and watched it half way through as it was too late so I had to watch the rest of it on Sunday morning.
    The movie was awesome and I loved it then and still love it the same now. :thumbsup
    After seeing the movie I was able to make sense of some events in the other episodes I had on tape.

    There are so many great memorable scenes in it and the soundtrack is really good.
    The battle of Autobot city is probably my favourite scene if I had to pick one.

    Of course looking back though the story is a little questionable in parts, but it worked in the marketing sense for the toyline.

    My opnion might be biased but I am a big Transformers fan and I love this movie. I hope you all can enjoy it and look forward to reading your thought on the movie.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I watched this one twice just to be sure of taking everything in.

    Firstly, the animation is superb. A much higher visual quality than the series. Given the budget, I guess that's to be expected.

    Secondly, the story. It's a pretty contrived way to get rid of most of the original characters to make way for a new range of toys. But if you can get past that, it's pretty good. Optimus Prime's last stand is particularly impressive. The writers knew they were stirring up a hornet's nest by killing him, so they made damn sure his last battle showed him at his very best, kicking Decepticon butt like nobody else can and going out in a blaze of glory. Megatron becoming Galvatron is a lot more contrived. OK, he lost the battle and was then thrown out by Starscream, but there wasn't really any cause for Unicron to actually rename him (or indeed the other Decepticons). The death of Starscream on the other hand was much more fitting. He's just been crowned the new leader of the Decepticons, when Galvatron shows up, and he recognises this character as the reincarnation of Megatron - who then destroys him. Just about the only original Autobots shown to survive this film are Jazz, Cliffjumper and Bumblebee. And even they had a narrow escape!

    Which brings me to characters. As stated, they were introducing a whole new set of characters, so had to properly introduce them. This is one area where the movie outperforms the series by a long way. Of course, with it being one long story, they have plenty of time. As Galvatron is basically Megatron with a respray, the main ones here are Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod and Kup. Ultra Magnus is a good solid second-in-command, while Hot Rod and Kup are the classic "odd couple" who ultimately bond. Actually, the first time I ever saw this movie back in 2002, I thought Kup was called Cop - he looks like a crusty old cop, and is reminiscent of Frasier Crane's father in Frasier. As for Hot Rod, the "chosen one", he reminds me of Witterquick in Visionaries.
    The apocalyptic Unicron is a great villain, revealing himself at the end to be, well, the ultimate evil Transformer. Orson Welles' very last role before his death, just five days later, and he played the part very well indeed.

    This leads nicely onto the subject of casting. I'm not entirely certain of Leonard Nimoy's performance as Galvatron. It's like he's trying to play it like Frank Welker, and indeed Welker reclaimed the part in the next season anyway, so why they felt the need to usurp him for half a movie is unclear. Actually, the version I saw doesn't list either Welker or Cullen on the big opening credits, which is very unfair. I don't care how much more famous Robert Stack, Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy are, this is a Transformers movie, and whatever shakeups there were in it on the character front, as far as the audience were concerned going in, Optimus Prime and Megatron are the stars of the show, and Cullen and Welker should have been billed accordingly.

    The billing should have gone:

    Peter Cullen
    Frank Welker
    Robert Stack
    Leonard Nimoy
    Judd Nelson
    and Orson Welles

    Instead, they list a few names alphabetically, beginning with Eric Idle - what? Eric Idle should not have got top billing by any means! That said, his character, Wreck-Gar, could have been written for him, he does play the part to perfection.

    Overall, yes, very good indeed. There are some elements that were inexcusable, but as a whole, this movie is great.
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    From a toy stand point they had to change him as there was a bit of controversy over his toy. It transformed into a realistic looking Walter P38. So real looking someone used the toy to rob a liquor store. So Galvatron is a completely new toy that changes into a space gun and cannon.

    The new characters (Rodimus, Kup, Arcee, Springer and Ultra Magnus) get plenty of time to shine and are quite consistent in the third season.

    Ultra Magnus was the first large Transformer I got.
    I got Galvatron as one day my Mum and Dad bought me the Pretender Jazz figure (The Pretender toys were not very good) but it wasn't very god so my Dad returned it to the shop and to my surprise when he came back he had Galvatron with him.

    I agree about the casting of the guest stars. Personally since they wouldn't be reprising their roles in the third season I don't really see the point in why they were hired at all. Orson Wells didn't even like his part or the concept of the movie. Ironically though in Transformers Animated Judd Nelson would reprise his role as Hotrod. Leonard Nemoy returned to Transformers for the third live action movie playing Sentinel Prime.
  5. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Just finished the movie and the only thing that comes to mind is WOW!!! (which is 50% "That's amazing wow" and 50% "I'm shocked wow") :)

    The opening scene is incredible. The ominous appearance of Unicron and his subsequent ingestion of an entire planet immediately sets the tone of the movie as well as grabbing the audience's attention. I like how the title credits are done in a similar style to those of "Superman (1978)".

    The animation is superb! So much intricate details, vivid colors, and shading. As an artist myself, I know how difficult it must have been for the animators to draw numerous mechanical objects. This is something even the most talented animators dread. When Disney started experimenting with using CGI in their hand drawn cartoon, the first thing they did with it was use it for creating vehicles and backgrounds.

    There certainly was a LOT to take in (characters, locations etc), but I guess that is only a problem for someone like me who has not seen all the episodes leading to the movie. It's like showing someone the first four episodes of TCats and then show them "Return to Thundera 5 parter". :) I did find it hard at times to keep track of where everyone was. Moon Base 1? Moon Base 2? Earth? Cybertron? Junk planet?

    The story itself was very dark and violent for an 80s cartoon. It was quite a gigantic leap from the tone established by the season 1 and 2 episodes. The Decepticons and Megatron in particular was extremely ruthless here, even blasting an injured Autobot at his feet. The makers had guts to go this route and kill most of the popular characters early on. I'm not sure if these were the reasons for the movie's poor performance at the cinema.

    I'm with Liam as far as Galvatron is concerned. I don't see the logic of changing Megatron's looks, AND his name, AND his voice actor. It's like a completely different character. I'm surprised how Starscream even managed to recognize him. They should have just stuck with Frank Welker to give the character familiarity. Orson Welles voice was scary as Unicron, and his accompanying music was equally eerie (and an almost identical copy of Ivan Drago's music from "Rocky IV"!) ;)

    In conclusion, I'd say it was a very mature cartoon movie, enjoyable, but a bit too depressing. In the end I felt like Beachcomber from "The Golden Lagoon". The Autobots won, but the losses were too great for me to achieve any kind of satisfaction at the end. So Mark, I hope that the next batch of episodes that you choose are going to cheer me up a bit! ;)
    Mark M likes this.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I think you will be very pleased with the next batch of episodes. :D
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Agreed. Unicron's first appearance is pretty impressive. We don't know what it/he is at the time, but we know it's a serious threat to everyone and everything in its way. Orson Welles' performance was pitch perfect.

    Killing off Optimus Prime in particular was a brave move, and I don't think it was a good idea. Obviously we know that the movie was designed to clear out the old characters and introduce a new wave of toys, but as far as the audience at the time were concerned, killing off so many beloved characters, including the star of the show is not a good idea. Can you imagine if Thundercats Ho had actually killed off Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro and Cheetara to make way for the new characters?
    Mark M likes this.
  8. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I recall an old "Making of Star Wars" documentary in which George Lucas says that the opening sequence of a massive spaceship appearing on the screen was crucial. It would either make or break the movie. If they failed to captivate the audience with that scene, then it was curtains for them. The opening of this movie was kinda like "Jaws". :)

    Totally agree with you. As the old saying goes, there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity, and the makers' decision to kill of most of the beloved characters was p probably more stupid than brave. ;) They could have just incapacitated or incarcerated the main heroes. That way the focus of the movie could be on the new batch but also ensure that it wouldn't be difficult to bring them back in the future. Again, something like what was done to Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back".

    I'm an adult who just got into Transformers and even I was quite upset at the deaths of the heroes. Just imagine how much kids who were die-hard fans of the show must have felt back then. Mark, I hope they have a clever way of bringing back the characters in Season 3. :)

    Isn't it funny that this movie is set in 2005? It was the distant future back then but is now over a decade in the past! :biggrin
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.
  9. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Wilycub, I know what you mean. I never saw Transformers as a kid, I saw the movie and the last 5 episodes in the summer of 2002, and then I watched the pilot last year, but really I'm in pretty much the same boat as you, only now getting properly into it for the first time.

    I was chatting on facebook about this with Mark, and he was making the point about the new characters all transforming into futuristic versions of vehicles. I think that was deliberate to "emphasise the fact that this is now the future". Other evidence for this being Spike's son Daniel. Which reminds me - when Spike is about to be dropped into that vat of acid . . . the only survivors of the original Autobot cast that I could see were Bumblebee, Cliffjumper and Jazz, all of whom were behind him. If any of those had been in front of him . . . we'd have seen some of our beloved heroes meet a very unpleasant end indeed.

    They could easily have worked out a way to keep the original characters alive, just in the background. Say that they needed to build more powerful Autobots and Decepticons. Also have Optimus Prime and Megatron get some upgrades in the process, that way at least you've got those two for keeps. I know Galvatron sort of is Megatron just under a new name, but even that could have been done in a less contrived way. Have Megatron get some improvements, and throw in a line about him being "galvanised for action", and he could decide on Galvatron as his new name that way . . . as for the Autobots, have them find the matrix of leadership or equivalent gizmo on some far off planet and it transforms Optimus Prime into something bigger and better.
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  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yes they could have just had the season 1 and 2 characters stationed on Cybertron or staying on earth a bit like Tygra and Pumyra.
    It's odd you should mention that about Optimus Prime being upgraded. The original Diaclone Japanese toy (I believe it was called Power Convoy) of Ultra Magnus was based on was an upgrade for the Optimus (Convoy) toy but in a different colour scheme. It would have been interesting to have Prime's look change. Allegedly Magnus was going to just be the standard Diaclone colours but they decided to change it.
    Speaking of toys the Ultra Magnus figure was an awesome large toy and worked well against the large Galvatron toy. The Rodimus Prime toy was a real disappointment and did not look anywhere near as cool as he did in the cartoon.

    I was quite stunned seeing all the characters I knew getting killed off when I saw the movie. Although I grew up watching some season three episodes so it puzzled me as to the change in leaders etc so seeing the movie helped it all make sense.
    There was a rather brutal scene in the original script that made it in the comic version of the movie but altered. Instead of just being blasted by the sweeps Ultra Magnus had a more brutal end with the sweeps quartering him.
    We will cover the return of one character in the season three episodes. ;)

    I hope both of you Wilycub and Liam give the show a chance and check out a lot of the episodes we didn't cover. :D
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  11. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I certainly shall be. I'm definitely going to watch at least the whole of season 1 at some point.
    Mark M likes this.
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Excellent. Season one has some really good episodes that you will enjoy and as I have said there are a lot of really good ones in season two and three. Of course I am very found of the three episodes of season four if those can really be counted as a proper season.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  13. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I surely plan to do that! Like Liam, I want to tackle the first season first. :)

    Thanks for the pics and info on the Ultra Magnus toy, Mark. Is it just me or are the toy's colors inverted from those in the movie? I don't know anything about the character himself, but he did look like a clone of Optimus Prime to me. ;) Also what was the deal with Arcee? Is she the Transformers "Smurfette" or do more female robots appear in future episodes?
    Mark M likes this.
  14. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It is rather odd that they suddenly have a distinctly female character. Someone must have cried sexism.

    Considering that these things are ROBOTS, and can be said to be WITHOUT GENDER, then surely this is one time where not having a female character wouldn't be an issue! (Don't get me started on the introduction of Emily to the Thomas The Tank Engine franchise, although "at least" those characters did have human names and so there is sort of something for people to point the finger at in terms of gender, but still!) And then here we have Arcee, very feminine in figure as well as voice, and even looking like she's wearing lipstick! (Standard animation shorthand for female characters I know, since forever!)

    And she's basically flirting with HotRod the entire length of the movie . . . and I seem to remember hearing that she didn't even get a toy! Like I said, this was a show where sexism shouldn't have been an issue anyway as they were robots and therefore without gender, and suddenly they make it an issue by giving them gender.
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  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    It's funny you mention him being an Optimus clone as part of his toy was a repaint of the original Optimus toy.
    Yes Wilycub there are some other female Transformers in season two and some in season three. The Transformers were supposed to be genderless but some writers in the cartoon and comic clearly stated female Transformers.

    You are correct Liam she did not get a toy in the G1 toyline. I know there was a G1 prototype but I believe it was for release in the 87 toylines Headmaster wave and was built on the Chromedome toy mould. Maybe they didn't think a bright pink and white car would be a good seller which is really silly when you think about it as she was a such a prominent season three and comic character.

    Thankfully Hasbro have addressed the lack of female character toys and since 1988 Hasbro and Takara have made plenty of female action figures and the other year actually made a G1 cartoon accurate Arcee toy. :D

    Strangely enough Tonka's rival Transforming robot cartoon, Challenge of the Gobots, had lot's of female characters from the start and all got toys. :D Although having said that the toys were already made and released in Japan as Machine Robo so Hanna Barbera could do whatever they wanted with the characters and make them whatever they wanted. Aside from Crasher's female face there was not other way to tell what characters were female aside from there voices and when the were addresses as she and her. Gobots had: Crasher, Smallfoot, Vamp, Pathfinder, Snoop, Spay-C. There was even a toy of the female Rocklord Solitaire.

    That is one thing I will always applaud LJN on with their Thundercats line. They gave us a lot of females. Cheetara, Pumyra, Wilykit, Wilykit (PVC), Berbil Belle and technically Stinger if you want to count her as a female.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
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  16. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    A very good point, Liam! It seems illogical to have female robots. Because that will inevitably lead to the question of reproduction. Before, it was shown in "Heavy Metal War" how the Decepticons "built" the Constructicons. And in this movie we saw how Ultra Magnus was brought back to life. So clearly they have their own system of perpetuation.

    You bring in a female and suddenly every one is comparing them to humans. What happens when two robots hook up? How do they "do it"? And of course, if you have female robots then the next step will be baby robots! And they raise their own set of uncomfortable questions! ;)

    Now that I think about it, why were there female Berbils in ThunderCats? And why did robotic bears grow food? :confused
  17. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Quite. OK, so they have personalities, so we refer to them with a gender pronoun, and by default we say "he" because they were all (initially) voiced by men.

    Ironic really. This is one area where Thundercats ticked the boxes better for gender stuff. Cheetara had her own figure, as did Wilykit, and then Pumyra when she came along. Robear-Belle too had a figure - a very strange decision when you consider there were worthier female characters that deserved figures but didn't get them. Mandora, Willa and Nayda all deserved figures (more than some one-time male characters who did get figures!), and there's a case for Mumm-Rana, Jagara and even Ta-She. OK, so that's a lot of deserving female characters that didn't get their figures, but Thundercats definitely did better than most on this issue.

    As I understand it, a lot of shows from that time omitted the female characters from their toylines. Visionaries didn't bother making Galadria and Virulina, COPS didn't make Mainframe or Mirage (not sure about Nightshade and Miss Demeanour), and Spiral Zone didn't make Kat (but they did bring out Duchess Dire, and Kat was going to be in the second wave).

    The only one I know of where the decision not to make toys of the female character can't be called sexism is Defenders Of The Earth, because they didn't make ANY of the kids. It wasn't just Jedda who was omitted, there were no Rick, L.J. or Kshin figures either. Just Flash, Phantom, Mandrake, Lothar, Ming and Garax. Odd that they didn't do generic ice robot or man of frost figures. Then again that toyline had its faults from the get-go. The legs were a bit fragile . . . but I'm getting off the point. We can talk about DotE when we do that in ROCKS 2A-2D!
  18. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Well that's where we come into contradictions and complicated territories. The cartoon and comics had rather different origins of the creation of transformers. I like to just think that Transformers can build and create new ones to save the hassle. I like to think of them all as genderless but some are a bit more feminine/male than others.

    I could be wrong but as far as I know C.O.P.S. didn't make any female characters. That was a real shame as what I recall of the series Nightshade was a cool character.

    I wish Bravestarr had gotten the J.B. figure. They did a prototype that was planned for series two though. A Vipra would have been great.

    MOTU made Teela, Evil-Lyn and Sorceress (of course they had all the She-Ra cartoon characters...) but in fairness there wasn't really that many other interesting female characters in MOTU that deserved a toy. Well Katrina and Shakoti would have been cool.

    Since we are speaking of toys though, this might be a bit of a surprise for you, but a rather large omission from the Transformers toyline was UNICRON!
    There was a prototype but it wasn't released and didn't look much like the cartoon. Thankfully though they did release a a rather G1 Unicron toy in the 2003/4 Armada toyline which has been retooled now and then to look more accurate to the movie.
    upload_2016-10-20_17-46-16.png upload_2016-10-20_17-46-36.png

    Attached Files:

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  19. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Back then they could probably only get so close to how the characters looked in the cartoon. That original prototype of Unicron may not be 100% cartoon accurate but it's recognisable enough.
    Mark M likes this.
  20. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yeah there wasn't many other big planet Transformers to get him mixed up with. It's not any less carton accurate than a lot of the other 86 toys. Let's just say the toys of Springer, Hotrod, Rodimus Prime, Blurr, Kup, Wreck-Gar, Galvatron and Cyclonus suffered like a lot of Transformers toys of either one of two or both faults. 1. Toy didn't look much like the cartoon. 2. The toy was not very good.

    Wilcub and Liam here is a little bit of trivia for you. In the original Marvel comics and in later comics and TV shows it is revealed that the planet Cybertron is a Transformers like Unicron called Primus. And yes Primus got a toy in the 2005 Cybertron toyline from the cartoon of the same name.
    LiamABC likes this.

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