Transformers: The Movie (Preview)

in 1986, Generation One, Movie Review

Transformers Movies

On August 8, 1986, Transformers fans visited movie theaters across the country to find their world of Transformers taken to a new and powerful level. Transformers the Movie promised to provide a story "Beyond good, beyond evil, beyond your wildest imagination!" and they were given just that.

Transformers the Movie drew much critical scorn, did not do well at the box office and by theater standards. To the movie industry, Transformers the Movie was a bomb. However, fans would never forget the new world they had been introduced to.

Taken from their safe universe of the 80's, fans were transported to a new world of the year 2005. A new groups of Transformers were now taking center stage, with older characters fading into the background (or being eliminated altogether). Transformers the Movie also set down several precedents for the Transformers Universe. Now, heroes could die, the Matrix (the ultimate Transformers plot device) was introduced, a dark god known as Unicron would be reused over and over for future stories and subsequent Transformers series would continue moving farther and farther into the future. The very scope of the Transformers universe changed from just Earth and Cybertron to an entire galaxy of fantastic creatures and characters.

Before the release of the movie, test animation was put together featuring characters with character designs that differed from the final product. Screen captures from this preview are provided to the right. Among the more noticable changes are the colors of Ultra Magnus (based on the original toy before he was released in the Transformers toy line), Hot Rod with his Autobot symbol above the flame pattern on his chest and Autobot city loaded with weaponry.

Despite its critical disdain, Transformers the Movie deserves a lot of credit. The animation was very well done, the storyline was grand and it fit well into the "rock and roll" movie era. The movie garnered enough enthusiasm to convince Rhino Video and Hasbro to work together and re-release the movie on DVD last year. Before that, the movie had been re-released in Canada in VHS format. You can purchase these in the Videos Section.

When Transformers the Movie was released on television, it was not shown in its entirety in one day. Rather, the movie was broken up into five parts, each one being labelled as "Transformers the Movie: Day One, Two..." and so on. The fifth "day" needed extra footage, so a music video of "The Touch" featuring singer Stan Bush and scenes from the movie was added in. For the purposes of's synopsis and reviews of the movie, I will follow this separation scheme.

Transformers the Movie Index


Kup walking around the Autobot ship


Hot Rod

Attack on Autobot City

The attack continues

Ultra Magnus, Springer and Arcee

Racing to the transformation control room

Ultra Magnus transforms Autobot City

Autobot City in battle mode

Decepticons attack!