The 80s were a fantastic time for television, movies and music. Hair metal was popular, Robert Stack was helping the word solve a mystery both in Unsolved mysteries as seen on the third and oldest running host, and Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercatsand He-Man and the Masters of the Universe all reigned supreme like Saturday morning cartoon royalty.
Whether your favorite phrase to shout when playing with your friends is “I have the power”, “Thundercats, hoh” or “Yo, Joe”, there was one that perhaps ranked above all. others, especially when it comes to 80s animated movies. “Transform and Deploy” has helped shape a generation of children, making The Transformers: The Movie perhaps one of the greatest animated films of the 80s.
The Cast of Transformers: The Movie
For the film, original cast members who were already famous for various on-screen roles, voice-over roles or Top 40 countdowns – Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Scatman Crothers, Casey Kasem and a plethora of others — were joined by a few newcomers Transformers franchise. Mister Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy joined the cast as the crazed Galvatron, a reformatted, crazier version of Megatron. This will not be Nimoy’s only passage in the Transformers franchise, as he would join the 2011s Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon as the wicked-hearted Sentinel Prime.
Fan of Monty Python? The Transformers: The Movie got you covered, as Eric Idle joined the film’s cast in humorously TV-quoted Wreck-Gar. Bringing in additional talent and releasing many performances in the 80s such as love boat, Strike force, and masterpiece of comedy Plane!, Robert Stack brings to life Ultra Magnus, an incredibly armored soldier who would meet his end in the film only to be reborn. John Moschitta Jr., once the world’s fastest talker and former spokesperson for the Micro Machines franchise, has entered the hearts of fans as the lovable and speedy Blurr.
In the 80s, there was perhaps no bigger name in movies than Judd Nelson. A member of the Brat Pack, which included actors such as Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald, Nelson joined the cast fresh off the smash hit of The breakfast club, John Hughes’ masterpiece of teenage angst is set in the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois. The film even boasted an Oscar winner: In his last role, voiced before his death in 1985, Orson Welles, who won the Oscar for his work on Citizen Kanevoiced the cannibalistic and menacing Unicron.
The music from The Transformers: The Movie
From a great electronic score by Vince DiCola to fantastic hair metal rock by Stan Bush, Specter General, Lion, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic and NRG, the music sets the tone for the film from start to finish. spanned over time, with Bush even making songs featured around the franchise in his videos well into the 2010s. Bumblebee released in theaters, audiences witnessed what was critically acclaimed as the best Transformers modern day film. There was one problem, though: In the early moments of the film, Generation One (G1) fans were treated to a slew of fantastic Transformers cameos in their original designs from the series in a massive moment as we witness the fall of Cybertron. Soundwave, Starscream, Brawl, Arcee, the menacing Shockwave, and a host of others are all seen in all their glory. The problem is that the music that Dario Marianelli selects for the opening scene doesn’t quite go with the action. The score is fantastic for most of the movie, but in this particular case, the “Cybertron Falls” track misses the mark. Shortly after, a fan project, using the theme of The Transformers: The Movie superimposed the song on the action with a much better result. You can check this remix here.
The Transformers: The Movie is gripping from its first moments as it reaches out and grabs your attention with a scene that shows a planet approaching, stalking, and moving towards another. It’s usually not the type of behavior you’d expect from a planet, but when said planet opens its mouth and nibbles on a whole other planet – well, how often do you see a cannibalistic planet on the big screen ? The film took risks to try to sell toys, mainly, kill everyone’s favorite tractor-trailer: Optimus Prime.
Here’s the thing: when you kill off the kids’ favorite hero of the 80s, the mothers go crazy. In an era before Change.org, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and the Internet in general, mothers everywhere wrote to Hasbro, Sunbow and Marvel in a massive campaign to express their displeasure with the decision. The mob of angry mothers wrote stories of children crying and locking themselves in their bedrooms.
Here’s the crazy part: the campaign worked! The apparently well-orchestrated letter-writing campaign saved G.I. Joe Duke character of a similar fate in that franchise’s 1987 film. Not only was Duke saved, having been sidelined for the majority of the film, Optimus Prime was later revived in the Transformers third season, not one, but two! Plus, for America’s mothers rising up against evil Sunbow and company, the film spawned steel book releases and was in theaters to celebrate its movie anniversary, as well as the anniversary of the franchise, most recently in 2021.