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Transformers: The Movie, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1986
Channel:
Theatrical
Prod. Co.:
Nelson Shin and Kozo Morishita
Genre:
Film
 

4.00

Great
1
Votes
Characters & Voices
Kranix - Norman Alden
Arblus - Norman Alden
Astrotrain - Jack Angel
Prowl - Michael Bell
Scrapper - Michael Bell
Swoop - Michael Bell
Junkion - Michael Bell
Bombshell - Michael Bell
Grimlock - Gregg Berger
Arcee - Susan Blu
Devastator - Arthur Burghardt
Spike - Corey Burton
Brawn - Corey Burton
Shockwave - Corey Burton
Cyclonus - Roger C. Carmel
Quintesson Leader - Roger C. Carmel
Quintesson Judge - Regis Cordic
Jazz - Scatman Crothers
Optimus Prime - Peter Cullen
Ironhide - Peter Cullen
Dirge - Bud Davis
Inferno - Walker Edmiston
Perceptor - Paul Eiding
Blitzwing - Ed Gilbert
Bumblebee - Dan Gilvezan
Wreck - Gar
Blaster - Buster Jones
Scourge - Stan Jones
Cliffjumper - Casey Kasem
Starscream - Chris Latta
Wheeljack - Chris Latta
Daniel - David Mendenhall
Scavenger - Don Messick
Ratchet - Don Messick
Blurr - John Moschitta Jr.
Hot Rod - Judd Nelson
Rodimus Prime - Judd Nelson
Galvatron - Leonard Nimoy
Unicron - Leonard Nimoy
Shrapnel - Hal Rayle
Kickback - Clive Revill
Bonecrusher - Neil Ross
Hook - Neil Ross
Springer - Neil Ross
Slag - Neil Ross
Ultra Magnus - Robert Stack
Kup - Lionel Stander
Megatron - Frank Welker
Soundwave - Frank Welker
Rumble - Frank Welker
Frenzy - Frank Welker
Laserbeak - Frank Welker
Wheelie - Frank Welker
Junkion - Frank Welker
Unicron - Orson Welles
 
(drawn animation)

A word of warning to the uninitiated: The Transformers: The Movie was made for the fans. They love it. You may not get it. It isn’t that the film wasn’t designed to be entertaining; it’s just that Transformers was on ongoing series, and the movie never stops to play catch-up.

A little background: Hasbro’s line of morphing toys (robot to truck/handgun/boom box/car/airplane/etc., and back) stormed onto toy store shelves in the spring of 1984, followed up by a Marvel comic books series that summer and a syndicated cartoon at the end of the year. In every format, Transformers were an instant hit-the must-have, must-read, must-see phenomenon of the mid-80’s.

The comic and animated series followed dueling bands of Transformers, the good Autobots (led by Optimus Prime) and the bad Decepticons (led by Megatron). Originating on the planet Cybertron, the two sides crash-landed on earth, where the battle began anew in 1985. The storylines were ongoing-often in multiple parts-and new characters were frequently introduced.

The Transformers: The Movie picks the action up in 2005, back on the planet Cybertron. In a bot-to-bot showdown, Optimus Prime and Megatron send each other to the scrap heap. The evil Megatron is revived by Unicron, a living mechanical planet who consumes other planets for sustenance. Reborn as Galvatron, the former Megatron resumes his wicked ways in the service of Unicron.

The living planet’s only weakness is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, and Unicron has designs on eliminating that weakness by destroying the Autbots. Naturally, Galvatron is more than willing to go along with this plan, but he has a new nemesis in Autobot newcomer Hot Rod.

This was much more than a drawn-out extension of the regular Transformers series. The movie earned its PG rating, killing off several major characters over the course of the film’s many battle scenes, blazing a path that the series would later follow (one other PG-worthy element was Spike Witwicky’s use of the “S” word, edited out in later home video releases).

Despite a voice cast that included Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Judd Nelson, Eric Idle and Orson Welles (who passed away during production), and despite the adoring legions of young Transformers fans who begged to be taken to see it, The Transformers: The Movie was a financial disappointment in its brief theatrical release. It has since become a cult classic for Transfans around the globe, buoyed up by the success of its syndicated cartoon descendant, Transformers: Beast Wars.
 
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