Transformers: The Movie (1986) Review

So I just finished watching Transformers: The Movie for the first time, and this movie is freaking awesome. I’ll start by saying this, this isn’t going to be an idpeth review or a super long one like I tend to do. This one is likely going to be pretty short as everything I have to say is going to be is going to be around the fact that I really enjoyed this movie. Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated science fiction action film based on the Transformers animated television series. The movie was directed by Nelson Shin and written by Ron Freidman. It stars Peter Cullen, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Frank Welker, Orson Welles, Casey Kasem, Eric Idle and more. The story is set in the far off future of 2005 and sees an adventure across the galaxy as the Autobots must fight to survive against the Decepticons after a devastating attack on Autobot city that saw to the death of Optimus Prime. The Autobots must also contend with the new power behind the Decepticons, the planet eating transformer known as Unicron. 

While the story isn’t much to snuff at, it still works for what this movie is. It’s a glorified tory commercial killing off the old toys/characters and introduction the new toys to buy. As someone with very little Transformers knowledge or connection this still works for me as an exploration of this universe and the coming of age heroes journey for Hot Rod to become the new leader of the Autobots. Even though I didn’t grow up with Transformers, or at least these specific ones, I can see how this movie would affect those that did. Its a surprisingly violent and brutal movie aimed at kids that features some relatively horrific moments and scenes as well as some truly sad moments like when Optimus Prime dies. I can see why the Michael Bay live-action movies were as violent as they were, but I also feel like this movie handles the violence better than those movies. This movie doesn’t really glorify the violence or show it in the same way that the Bay movies do. The way this movie handles the violence, destruction and death with as much weight as it can. This is a war movie that shows the violence as horrific as they can in a children’s animated movie. I mean the scenes where Unicorn eats the planets are legitimately horrifying. Its weird too as its also a movie with awesome action sequences, but doesn’t revel in the violence as much. 

The pacing of the movie is brisk, things happen fast and often. It also doesn’t feel overwhelming though. The length is pretty perfect for this movie too, its not too long but long enough to do what it wants to do. The voice acting is all great as well, everyone gives a great performance. The animation is incredible in this movie, you can really see the movie budget being put to good use in the fluidity of the animation. The designs are also all great too, each place we go has different looking robots with their own design elements that makes this feel like a real universe. The music is incredible as well, the soundtrack and the score are both just amazing. The soundtrack is full of rocking music that really helps being up the energy and enjoyment level of this movie for me. One thing about it though that made me laugh a little bit is that I mentioned to some friends that this movies feels like if fellow 80s animated movie Heavy Metal had a continuous story with the music choices this movie makes. The new theme song is amazing and the fact that these weren’t used in the Bay movies is a travesty. Vince DiCola’s score is incredible as well, it brings a lot of the energy as well as the sadness and horror this movie has. 

I don’t really have a lot of issues with this movie. Sure the story isn’t much and its a glorified toy commercial, its still a fun ride of a movie. I guess the only issue I had was some technical issues with the editing around of the music making some weird cuts between parts of a song. 

Over-all this a fun ride of a movie that is well worth the watch if you haven’t seen it yet, or even if you haven’t watched it in a while. I can see why so many people love this movie and why its gotten a cult following in the time since it’s release. I give this movie two thumbs up !