Iconic Voice Actors of the Transformers Franchise: Peter Cullen, Frank Welker

23 April 2023
More than meets the eye!

The original Transformers cartoon show was one of the GREAT shows of the 80s, better than He-Man even...

While a show about giant robots beating the heck out of each other is always going to rate highly, the thing that raised Transformers above all was the exceptional voice talent and acting. 

The voice acting work in the Transformers cartoon show was truly exceptional and played a crucial role in bringing the characters to life. The voice actors managed to imbue the transforming robots with unique personalities, making them feel like real individuals rather than just machines.

Peter Cullen's voice acting as Optimus Prime was particularly noteworthy, as he brought a gravitas and nobility to the character that made him a beloved icon of the franchise. His deep, resonant voice was perfect for the leader of the Autobots, imbuing him with a sense of strength and wisdom that made him feel like a true hero. Cullne's portrayal was so well loved, he voiced Prime in all the live action films too.

Chris Latta's portrayal of Starscream was also particularly memorable. His sneering, treacherous delivery perfectly captured the character's ambitious, conniving personality, and made him one of the most memorable villains of the series.

The rest of the voice cast was equally talented, with each actor bringing their own unique style and personality to their respective roles. From Scatman Crothers' cool and jazzy portrayal of Jazz to Frank Welker's versatile performances as Soundwave, Megatron, and several other Decepticons, the voice over work in the Transformers cartoon show was consistently top-notch.

peter cullen optimus prime
Peter Cullen

Transformers: The Movie

The voice cast for Transformers: The Movie was an incredible assembly of talented actors, including several notable celebrities who lent their voices to some of the film's most iconic characters. One of the most significant celebrity voice actors in the movie was Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed the villainous Galvatron. 

Nimoy was already well-known for his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, and his deep, commanding voice lent itself perfectly to the character of Galvatron, giving him a sinister, menacing presence.

trasnformers the movie film poster

Judd Nelson, known for his role in The Breakfast Club, voiced the heroic Hot Rod, who eventually becomes the leader of the Autobots as Rodimus Prime. Nelson's performance as Hot Rod was filled with youthful energy and a sense of rebelliousness, which perfectly captured the character's personality and made him a fan favorite.

However, perhaps the most noteworthy celebrity voice actor in the film was the legendary Orson Welles, who lent his booming, commanding voice to the character of Unicron. Welles was a renowned actor, director, and writer, and his performance as the planet-eating Unicron was one of his last before his death. His powerful voice lent an air of grandeur and menace to the character, making Unicron feel like a truly larger-than-life villain.

Leonard Nimoy in The Dark of the Moon

Leonard Nimoy's involvement in the Transformers franchise didn't end with his performance as Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie. In 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Nimoy once again lent his voice to a Transformer character, this time playing the role of Sentinel Prime.

Sentinel Prime was an important character in the film, as he was Optimus Prime's predecessor and mentor, who later becomes a villain. Nimoy's performance as Sentinel Prime was once again outstanding, and his deep, authoritative voice gave the character a sense of gravitas and wisdom.

In the "Dark of the Moon", a snippet of the Star Trek original series is shown as an Easter egg to Leonard Nimoy's legacy as Spock. Nimoy also voiced Sentinel Prime, the Autobot leader who had been missing for centuries.

The Star Trek clip shows the character Spock in a scene from the episode "Amok Time," where he utters the line "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." This line is significant because it hints at a plot point later in the film.

In the movie, Sentinel Prime returns to Earth and is revealed to have made a deal with the Decepticons to save their home planet Cybertron. This deal involves sacrificing the humans on Earth, which goes against the Autobots' philosophy of protecting all life.

Sentinel Prime uses the same line from the Star Trek clip to justify his actions, saying that sacrificing a few humans is necessary to save the entire Cybertronian race. This creates a conflict with Optimus Prime, who believes that all life is worth protecting, regardless of species.

The use of the Star Trek clip not only pays tribute to Nimoy's iconic role as Spock but also serves as a clever foreshadowing of the conflict between Sentinel Prime and the other Autobots. It underscores the ethical dilemma at the heart of the story and adds an extra layer of depth to the character of Sentinel Prime.

Here's a list of the main Autobots and Decepticons from the G1 Transformers television show, along with the voice actors who voiced them:


1. Optimus Prime - voiced by Peter Cullen

2. Bumblebee - voiced by Dan Gilvezan

3. Jazz - voiced by Scatman Crothers

4. Ironhide - voiced by Peter Cullen

5. Ratchet - voiced by Don Messick

6. Wheeljack - voiced by Chris Latta

7. Cliffjumper - voiced by Casey Kasem

8. Prowl - voiced by Michael Bell

9. Mirage - voiced by Frank Welker

10. Hound - voiced by Ken Sansom

11. Sideswipe - voiced by Michael Bell

12. Sunstreaker - voiced by Corey Burton

13. Trailbreaker - voiced by Frank Welker

14. Bluestreak - voiced by Casey Kasem

15. Windcharger - voiced by John Stephenson

16. Hoist - voiced by Alan Oppenheimer

17. Grapple - voiced by Peter Cullen

18. Inferno - voiced by Walker Edmiston

19. Omega Supreme - voiced by Jack Angel


1. Megatron - voiced by Frank Welker

2. Starscream - voiced by Chris Latta

3. Soundwave - voiced by Frank Welker

4. Shockwave - voiced by Corey Burton

5. Thundercracker - voiced by John Stephenson

6. Skywarp - voiced by Frank Welker

7. Reflector - voiced by Don Messick

8. Rumble - voiced by Frank Welker

9. Frenzy - voiced by Frank Welker

10. Laserbeak - voiced by Frank Welker

11. Ravage - voiced by Frank Welker

12. Buzzsaw - voiced by Frank Welker

13. Scavenger - voiced by Michael Bell

14. Bonecrusher - voiced by Neil Ross

15. Hook - voiced by Corey Burton

16. Long Haul - voiced by Gregg Berger

17. Mixmaster - voiced by Frank Welker

18. Devastator - voiced by Arthur Burghardt

Here's a list of the main Autobots and Decepticons from Transformers: The Movie, along with the celebrity voice actors who voiced them:


1. Optimus Prime - voiced by Peter Cullen

2. Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime - voiced by Judd Nelson

3. Ultra Magnus - voiced by Robert Stack

4. Kup - voiced by Lionel Stander

5. Blurr - voiced by John Moschitta Jr.

6. Springer - voiced by Neil Ross

7. Arcee - voiced by Susan Blu

8. Wheelie - voiced by Frank Welker


1. Megatron/Galvatron - voiced by Leonard Nimoy

2. Starscream - voiced by Chris Latta

3. Soundwave - voiced by Frank Welker

4. Cyclonus - voiced by Roger C. Carmel

5. Scourge - voiced by Stan Jones

6. Devastator - voiced by Arthur Burghardt

7. Constructicons (Scrapper, Hook, Long Haul, Mixmaster) - voiced by Frank Welker

8. Unicron - voiced by Orson Welles


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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.

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