Transformers: The Movie (1986) Review

Using my Laughs, tears, cheese and cheers rating system, here is my spoiler-free review for the essential ‘Transformers: The Movie’ (1986), with links below if you want to find out more.


Quick Summary:

It’s hard for me to separate this movie from my upbringing. Released when I was just 5 years old, and a constant companion even now in my mid-thirties, I genuinely believe this to be a masterpiece. Geek-love aside, it is exquisitely animated in the Manga style, has an awesome score and soundtrack, and I think, a rip-roaring story for all to enjoy, even if transforming alien robots isn’t ‘your thing’.

Laughs: 2/5

This movie is serious business for the most part, with an epic plot to unfold and a lot of action to get through. As fans will know, the story is predominately skewed more towards the dramatic than it is the comedic. However, jokes and japes are there, with some of the best coming from the young upstart Autobot Hot Rod (Judd Nelson), such as his aside when surrounded by an army of metal-munching robot sharks on a planet ran by murderous robot judges that ‘we have got to get a new travel agent’…

Tears: 4/5

It’s hard to believe that anyone who may read this won’t have seen it already, but just in case, I won’t give away a death (one of many) that scarred me and a generation forever. Somehow you feel for these robots, you really do…

Cheese: 0/-5

Just to be clear, when I mark down movies for cheese, it’s because it was bad cheesy, not, and I repeat not, Stan Bush ‘You got the touch’, Optimus Prime flying through the air shooting baddies, one-will-stand one-will-fall, awesome cheesiness. If I could give plus points in this category, I would.

Cheers: 5/5

There is so much to cheer for, with each fist pump timed perfectly to the stunning visuals, the cock-rock soundtrack and the expertly crafted character arcs and realisation of one of the most epic showdown’s in Movie history, against the biggest, and baddest foe of all time.

Bonus Category: When all are one… + 2

This is a movie of convergence: The right time, cast, animation studio, music and audience, all occurring perfectly and showing perhaps for the first time that tie-in franchise productions could, and should, stand on their own two feet. My opinion may be forever tainted by the role this film played in my early life, but even being as objective as I can be and acknowledging that others may not be as invested in the characters as I was and am, it is a visual and audio masterpiece if nothing else.

Total: 13

(Check the Leader Board to see how it compares…)




Agree / Disagree with my assessment? Leave a comment to let me know or submit your own scores for this or any other film listed in the leader board below to be aggregated into the upcoming ‘readers choice’ table on the main rating page…


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