With the ongoing success of the first wave, it makes sense for a movie to me made of the series, and before you all panic: no it’s not the first Michael Bay film (that’s coming latter in this marathon). In continuation with this marathon, it’s time to look at Transformers the Movie. Be forewarned, this will make more sense if you read the review of the first wave.
The plot of the movie? Unicron (the Transformer’s equivalent of Galactus from Marvel comics but can transform into a planet) is going to eat Cybertron but before it can do so, the Autobot Matrix of Leadership must be destroyed or taken away from the Autobots. Cybertron itself (several years after the end of season 2) is now completely controlled by the Decepticons with the Autobots occupying facilities on the moons of Cybertron and Autobot City on Earth. Optimus Prime sends several Autobots, including Ironhide and Ratchet to Autobot City to try and collect enough Energon so that the Autobots can start a attack on the Decepticons (this movie is not for the newcomers of the franchise or the show) Megatron, Starscream and several iconic Decepticons take over the shuttle, killing all the Autobots onboard (this is a running trend in this movie) and plan to use the shuttle to launch a attack on Autobot City. Optimus Prime is called in to provide back up along with the Dinobots and arrive after the City is almost destroyed. Why am I telling you this? Because of the following: if you watch the credits to the movie, you would notice that Optimus Prime isn’t in the initial, character showcase along with Megatron. The reason? Optimus prime gets killed and Megatron is thrown off of Astrotrain because he was too damaged. Megatron is turned into Galvatron (sporting a new voice actor in the form of Leonard Nimoy) and is sent to destroy Ultra Magnus who now holds the Matrix of Leadership as Prime passed it to him in his dying breath (kinda...).The rest of the movie turns into the survivors of Autobot City trying to return to Cybertron to stop Unicron before Unicron can destroy Cybertron.
The production value in the movie is higher and a lot of effort has gone into the story to give it a better pace then the show. The character reactions feel more genuine then the show could ever do at that point in time and the personalities work well in cinematic form, both older characters and newer ones introduced for the story, such as Hot Rod and Arcee. The cinematography in the movie is also much better than the show, making the once clunky fights from the show look like epic battles. This is the Sherman dam fight from the first season (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkCQDMf3_S0) compare that to this from the movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7GeisRaias) (credit to original team behind the show and a thanks to the people who uploaded the videos). In fact, the animation itself is on a higher quality compared to the show, granted it’s because it is a movie instead of a 25 minute weekly TV show, but even still. The best examples of this are, in my opinion, Unicron’s Transformation scene and when the Matrix of Leadership is used. The voice acting is much better in the movie as well, with one of the only two exceptions being Starscream but he bites the dust early on so it’s not too bad. The other voice acting problem I have is Blur but it’s mostly because of his dialogue and rushed delivery (big understatement if you see the movie...).
The soundtrack for the movie is better than the show, but it’s still mostly forgettable. Most of the track in the movie are vocal, generic 80’s songs that don’t stand out much better than the instrumental’s in the shows with the exception being “You’ve got the Touch”, but that because it’s used in the pinnacle moments of the movie, but it is still a great song because of how different it is compared to other battle themes such as (insert your own choice here).
Overall. Transformer’s the Movie has aged better then the first two seasons have, and there are reasons why it is regarded as the best Transformers movie to date (but considering most of its competition, that’s not saying much) and I agree to a extent, this is a brilliant movie and one that Transformers fans should watch. We’re up to the final third of the 80’s now, the next review: Transformers: Generation 1, seasons 3 and 4. The aftermath of the battle against Unicron.