30th Anniversary The Transformers: The Movie

In 1986, and after 2 successful series of selling Transformers to kids all around the world, toy company Hasbro took the decision to refresh its line of plastic robots. The behemoth decided to create a motion picture to do this. Why? Because it’s the 1980s. Nothing makes sense. With one of the worst titles of a mainstream film, The Transformers: The Movie released to the world. It wasn’t the most successful, but the people that did see the film went crazy.

They didn’t go crazy because it The Transformers: The Movie was the next Citizen Kane (even though Orson Welles as the all-powerful Unicron is a massive coop). People didn’t like the film because it is dark, twisted and upsetting. Children left the theatres over the content of the film. Adults didn’t get it.

To paint the picture, imagine taking your child to see Frozen and getting Game of Thornes. The script demanded that every character was up for the chop. After all, Hasbro had a new range of toys to sell and 89 minutes to sell them. Compromise had to come from somewhere.

Everybody’s Trying To Break Your Spirit


When you cut through all the pain and suffering, we’re left with an epic battle of survival. Cybertron is under threat, not just from Decepticons. A planet sized Transformer who identified as Unicron is moving through the cosmos, devouring everything in his path. It’s up to the Autobots to put a stop to all the evil in the world.

It wasn’t enough to just save the world, oh no. This was the 1980s. Optimus Prime and the Autobots enlisted everything that defined the decade. Synthesizers, glam rock, Judd Nelson and hell, even Weird Al had a look in. It is the quintessential ‘80s film.

Despite throwing everything at The Transformers: The Movie it is still feels that its priority is to sell toys first. The story suffers because of this. While the film moves at a brisk pace, it has no real direction except to move from one epic fight scene to another.

It’s Time For Us To Join In The Fight

To give credit, The Transformers: The Movie took a lot of risks that aren’t present in today’s cinema. By putting all eggs in one basket, Hasbro risked alienating millions of children with new robots. It’s something that Michael Bay has not risked in 4 films and probably won’t either.

30 years after the original release, the film is updated to a quality never seen. When compared to the theatrical run, it is like watching a whole new film. The downside to this enhanced quality is that all the shortcuts the animators took are under the microscope for all to see. Within the box, you have 2 discs. Both are different presentations to the film; either post-box and widescreen options. If you find black boarders effecting your viewing pleasure, use the widescreen option. I do think the post-boxing disc gives a better clarity of image.

The Transformers: The Movie Conclusion

If you’ve yet to delve into this dark, aggressive world of Transformers, I suggest giving it a go. The plot may have flaws and is consistently brutal throughout. But, you’re left with a film that wouldn’t get make in today’s climate. That’s why The Transformers: The Movie has lasting appeal. It Dares you to see it once.

30th Anniversary The Transformers: The Movie
3 (out of 5)
Pros
  • It takes risks
  • The soundtrack
  • It's lovingly 80s
Cons
  • Too brutal for kids
  • The plot doesn't quite gel
Summary
This is the stereotypical 80s film. Everything that defined a decade is contained within.

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