Why You Almost Hated Transformers: The Movie
May 25th, 2004
Let me take you back 18 years. To the year 1986, and the release of Transformers: The Movie, the greatest cartoon movie ever made. Ah, what a glorious time to be a kid, watching your favorite characters up on the big screen…Only to see most of them vanquished within 15 minutes of the movie! If that weren’t traumatizing enough, how could anyone ever forget the tear-jerking death of Optimus Prime (I totally thought he was made of sterner stuff. Instead, he turns gray!!).Or perhaps it is better known as the movie that introduced ‘Shit!’ into our vocabularies. And of course, the bad ass Orson Welles as Unicron, a character who could have easily been ruined just by switching two letters in his name. Yet for all the great things in Transformers: The Movie, everything was almost squandered by a few choice plot points and character developments. Lest we forget these heinous acts against disguised robots everywhere, I will now refresh your memory on why you almost hated Transformers: The Movie.
1) Ultra Magnus Was a Pussy.
Ah, Ultra Magnus. He had a lot going for him. The heir apparent to Optimus Prime. The voice of that guy from Airplane! And a complete lack of genitals, however metal they would have been. By looking at the poster for the movie, you’re made to think Ultra Magnus is going to down the Decepticons with just a pea shooter and some blue sunglasses. It doesn’t take long to realize that’s never going to happen. From the moment Prime chooses to pass the Matrix off to him, we’re shown that Magnus definitely didn’t earn his “Ultra” tag. He replies with, “But Prime, I’m just a soldier. I’m not worthy,” which turns out to be the one right thing Robert Stack says all movie.
Everyone knows he had to be next in line because his toy was the EXACT same model as Optimus Prime, except someone forgot to paint him and gave him some leftover Go-Bot plastic as a car carrier. And the fact that Prime chose him as the One shows Prime’s fallibility, causing me to hate Ultra Pussy that much more.
Showing his unworthiness in later scenes, Magnus displays his 'leadership' by telling the Autobots to take cover as he tries to “Unleash the power of the Matrix.” To do this, he transforms into an asshole, and allows himself to be blown up, handing the Matrix to Galvatron.
The worst decision the Autobots made was to have him rebuilt by Eric Idle and the planet of junk. And the worst decision the filmmakers ever made was having us sit through his whiny, undeserving storyline.
2) We’re Fucked! Let’s Dance!
You would think the creators of the Matrix (the movie, not the little ball that can bring peace to the Transformers) would have learned a lesson from a key scene halfway through Transformers: The Movie. While the Autobots are descending towards their darkest hour, most of our favorite toys are dead, their leader has turned gray, their faux-leader just got transformed into a million pieces, the Matrix is now in the hands of the Decepticons, but before they can fight the biggest battle of their lives…they just have to dance! Huh?!?
In one of the most baffling scenes I’ve ever witnessed, the Autobots battle some Transformers made of tires and used condoms for what seems like hours and then, without any reason, form a circle and jam out to Weird Al Yankovic’s Dare to be Stupid. And yes, I realize the irony could not have been soaked any longer on that one before it drips right off the screen. This scene almost single-handedly made me want to renounce my childhood so I could grow up and smack the idiot who came up with that one in the face with my Skullcruncher toy. Now that’s irony!
3) Judd Nelson Has the Touch?
Add to this the fact that Hot Rod gets Optimus Prime killed and then is later rewarded for his recklessness by becoming Rodimus Prime, the one who unleashes the Matrix. What kind of a message is this sending to kids? Act like an idiot, and good things will come to you.
I know after reading this, it’s hard to believe anyone could like this movie, especially with a scene where robots are break dancing to Weird Al. But it’s hard to ignore all the things they did right in giving children life’s harsh lessons. Lessons such as: Alien robots that transform into cars, no matter how much you love them, can be killed in an instant. And, really, these are things that parents just can’t teach. And also why the reasons above are ALMOST why you hated Transformers.
If you can’t
believe I left out Wheelie as one of the main reasons to hate Transformers,
the universal greeting.