This is going to be the first in a series of posts about the music from one of my favourite films of all time, Transformers The Movie (1986). This first post is a bit of scene setter and outlines my history with Transformers and the reasons I love the movie. The second part will look at Vince DiColas soundtrack and the third will focus on the other music in the film. Hope you enjoy!
So to begin. As a child my very favourite cartoon was Transformers, no doubts no questions asked. I inherited my love for the robots in disguise from my older brother who was also a fan and who had the toys as well. We actually still have quite a few of them now including; Optimus Prime, Ramjet, Hoist, Astrotrain, Motormaster and all of the Protectobots. We even had Megatron who is notoriously difficult to transform and is now pretty darn rare; unfortunately a long time ago he did end up breaking and if I recall correctly it was his head that fell off, so we had to get rid of him. Something for which I’m still sad about now!
I grew up watching these metal titans do battle with the Autobots always foiling the Decepticons plans, and Megatron swearing vengeance. The Transformers fuelled my imagination and they were my first entry into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy.
Unfortunately when I was growing up in the early 90’s the cartoons weren’t on the TV any more so I had to rely on VHS tapes. I had a few which I would watch on repeat, I remember I had Dinobot Island Parts one, two and three, the Revenge of Bruticus, Headmasters parts one, two and three and Starscreams Brigade. These episodes are imprinted in my brain and I remember having hours of fun re-enacting the episodes and making up my own stories with the toys we had.
Alongside the TV episodes though we also had Transformers The Movie on VHS. Now Transformers The Movie is in my opinion on of the finest animated films of all time, yes I am biased but here are my practical reasons:
1. The animation is superb, gone are the colouring mistakes and voice continuity issues of the tv episodes, this is top notch highly detailed artwork. Don’t believe me? Just look at the detail in Megatrons damaged visage after his fight with Optimus Prime. I love the smirk on his face, he pulled no punches in the movie unlike in the TV series.
Image from Transformers The Movie -Image source https://zacksmithwriter.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/transformers/
2. As so artfully put in the article from the link above it finally shows the villains getting the upper hand, let’s not forget that while Optimus did come back (after Hasbro realised the massive clanger they dropped in killing him off) Megatron won their epic fight. He survived, Prime died. Then there is the shuttle scene below which for an animated film back in 1986 was pretty damn brutal.
Scene from Transformers the movie – 1986 all rights Hasbro
3. The voice talent, it of course kept Peter Cullen and Frank Welker in their most famous roles but the movie added the talents of Robert Stack, Judd Nelson and the late Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron and Orson Welles (who hated the movie) as Unicron.
I love Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, he adds a real sense of weight behind the new Decepticon leader, with the below scene showing this pretty well. This weight though gave way to a much more unbalanced and unhinged Galvatron who liked to threaten and beat up his warriors in the ensuing TV series. This more physcopathic Galvatron is due to him spending a good portion of time in a pool of molten lava after being thrown out of Unicron by the new Prime, Hot Rod.
Scene from Transformers The Movie – 1986 all rights Hasbro
4. The music, this is for the next posts 🙂 but suffice to say I love the music and the day I finally got my hands on the complete soundtrack a few years ago was a joyous occasion.
To be continued…