What is the best animated film and why is it The Transformers Movie from 1986?

07 March 2023
The Transformers movie from 1986 is an animated science-fiction action film directed by Nelson Shin and produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions. 

The movie was made to serve as a bridge between the second and third seasons of the Transformers animated series and also to introduce a new line of toys and characters.

Because money.

I saw it on my birthday when I was 8 and I left the theatre thinking I had seen the greatest movie ever made!

The plot of the movie is set in the year 2005, where the war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons continues. The movie opens with the Autobots struggling to defend their home planet, Cybertron, from the Decepticons, who are determined to drain the planet's energy resources. The Decepticons' leader, Megatron, discovers a powerful new energy source called "The Matrix of Leadership," which he plans to use to conquer the universe.

Meanwhile, on Earth, a group of Autobots led by Optimus Prime are battling the Decepticons, who are led by the treacherous Starscream. The Autobots discover that the Decepticons are planning to use the planet's resources to rebuild their home planet, Cybertron, and ultimately destroy Earth.

transformers the movie post

The Autobots travel to Earth to stop the Decepticons, but a fierce battle ensues, resulting in the deaths of many beloved characters, including Optimus Prime, who passes the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus before dying. The rest of the movie revolves around the Autobots' attempts to retrieve the Matrix and defeat the Decepticons, who have seized control of Cybertron and plan to use the Matrix.

The movie features an all-star voice cast, including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, Frank Welker as Megatron, Judd Nelson as Hot Rod, Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, and the great Orson Welles in his final role as the voice of Unicron. 

Despite being a commercial success, the movie was met with mixed reviews upon its release. Some critics praised its animation and action sequences, while others criticized its violence and darker tone compared to the television series. However, the movie has since become a cult classic among Transformers fans and is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in the franchise's history.

At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!

The death of Optimus Prime in the Transformers movie from 1986 was a controversial and emotional moment for many fans of the franchise. Optimus Prime had been a beloved character since the start of the animated series, and his death came as a shock to many viewers.

The scene of Optimus Prime's death, which is accompanied by a stirring musical score, was widely regarded as one of the most powerful and memorable moments in the movie. Many fans were devastated by the loss of the heroic Autobot leader, and some even boycotted the franchise in protest.

The decision to kill off Optimus Prime was made by the movie's producers in order to introduce a new line of toys and characters, and to create a sense of high stakes and drama in the movie's storyline.

However, the backlash to Prime's death was so strong that the producers eventually brought him back to life in the animated series that followed the movie.

A classic move indeed (looking at you Darth Maul and Emperor Palpatine).

Despite the controversy surrounding Optimus Prime's death, the scene remains an iconic moment in the Transformers franchise and a testament to the emotional power of animated storytelling.

Key Plot Points

The 1986 Transformers movie features several key plot themes that are present throughout the film. Some of the most notable themes include:

  • Sacrifice: One of the major themes of the movie is the idea of sacrifice. This is most evident in the death of Optimus Prime, who sacrifices himself to defeat the Decepticons and protect his fellow Autobots. Other characters, such as Ironhide and Ratchet, also sacrifice themselves to help their friends.
  • Coming of Age: The movie also explores the idea of coming of age, as several young characters, including Hot Rod and Daniel Witwicky, go through personal growth and development. Hot Rod, in particular, learns to take responsibility and become a leader, while Daniel learns to become more independent and brave.
  • Good vs. Evil: The conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons is a central theme of the movie. The Autobots represent good and fight for justice and freedom, while the Decepticons are evil and seek to dominate and enslave others.
  • Technology: The movie also examines the role of technology and its impact on society. The Transformers themselves are advanced machines that can change shape and transform into vehicles, and the movie explores the consequences of this technology and its potential for both good and evil.
  • Loss and Grief: The death of several key characters, including Optimus Prime, has a significant impact on the other characters and drives the emotional arc of the movie. The characters must deal with their grief and loss, and find ways to move on and continue fighting for their cause.

Sometimes the needs of the few...

Leonard Nimoy, who is best known for his iconic role as Mr. Spock in the Star Trek franchise, had a notable connection to the Transformers franchise as well. As noted above, Nimoy provided the voice for the character of Galvatron. Nimoy's distinctive voice and commanding presence gave Galvatron a sense of menace and gravitas that made him a worthy successor to Megatron.

Years later, Nimoy would return to the Transformers franchise to voice character, Sentinel Prime, in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Sentinel Prime was a key figure in the Transformers mythology, having been Optimus Prime's predecessor as leader of the Autobots.

Nimoy's performance as Sentinel Prime was once again widely praised, with many fans noting the irony of Nimoy playing a character who was in many ways the opposite of Spock - a ruthless and power-hungry leader who was willing to sacrifice anyone or anything in order to achieve his goals. Nimoy's performance added a layer of complexity and depth to the character, making him one of the most memorable and compelling villains in the entire Transformers franchise.

Tell us about Petro Rabbits:

There is a popular theory among fans of the Transformers franchise that Grimlock's iconic "Tell me about the petro rabbits" line is a reference to John Steinbeck's classic novel 'Of Mice and Men'.

In the novel, one of the main characters, Lennie, is fixated on the idea of owning and caring for rabbits, and frequently asks his friend George to "Tell me about the rabbits.

tell me about the petro rabbits

Grimlock's line is a nod to this famous quote, and that it draws a parallel between Grimlock's simple-minded and direct way of speaking and Lennie's childlike innocence. Both characters are big, hulking, and somewhat clumsy, and are often underestimated or dismissed by those around them.

You've got the touch!

The Transformers 1986 movie features a number of memorable songs that have become associated with the franchise. Two of the most famous songs from the movie are "The Touch" and "Dare".

"The Touch" is performed by Stan Bush and was written specifically for the movie. The song plays during the climactic battle scene at the end of the film, as the Autobots fight to save the universe from destruction. "The Touch" has become one of the most popular songs associated with the Transformers franchise, and it has been used in various Transformers media over the years, including the 2007 live-action movie.

"Dare" is another original song written for the movie, this time performed by the band Stan Bush and Barrage. The song plays during a scene where the Autobots are preparing for battle and serves as an anthem of courage and determination. "Dare" has also become a beloved song among Transformers fans and has been featured in various Transformers media over the years.

Other songs featured in the movie include "Instruments of Destruction" by N.R.G., which plays during a battle scene, and "Nothing's Gonna Stand in Our Way" by Spectre General, which plays during the end credits. The movie also features an instrumental score composed by Vince DiCola, which helps to create a sense of epic grandeur and excitement throughout the film.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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