The fandom and the 1986 movie - a masterpiece or "the end of G1 as we know it"?

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The fandom and the 1986 movie - a masterpiece or "the end of G1 as we know it"?

Post by Nevermore » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:00 pm

I've noticed that the 1986 movie is a double-edged sword in the eyes of a large portion of the Transformers fandom.

On the one hand, I've read a lot of posts by people who insist it's one great awesome masterpiece of storytelling, the ultimate piece of Transformers fiction ever, and what-have-you. Some people even think it's superior to the 2007 live action movie.

In fact, before the 2007 movie was released, I've read a lot of posts by people who insisted that the live action movie better follow the 1986 animated movie closely in terms of music, storytelling, plot etc., second only to the cartoon's original "More Than Meets the Eye" pilot.



On the other hand, however, I've also noticed a lot of posts by people who outright hate the G1 movie, hate how it killed off nearly the entire 1984 cast, hate Hot Rod, hate Wheelie, hate Ultra Magnus... mostly because They're Not 1984 Enough.


Of course, there's also those like me who think it's a cheesy animated toy advertisement like the G1 cartoon itself was.


However, the one huge twisted view I've noticed was between "It's the ultimate representation of everything that made G1 great" and "It ruined everything that had made G1 great in the first place".


So I've been wondering: How does everyone view the 1986 movie? Do you love it because it's G1 at it's best, do you hate it because it marked the point when G1 jumped the shark, are you undecided because you agree to both of the aforementioned views, ore are you mostly indifferent about it (like me)?
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Post by Jaynz » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:23 pm

I won't say that the 1986 movie was a better movie than the newer one, but I did (and do) enjoy it more - though out of a love for what brought me into the fandom in the first place than anything else.

The 1986 movie, for fans of that era, is a mixed-bag. On the one hand, we had a big movie with lots of stuff in it, some fairly new cool concepts, and the 'big ass battle' we all wanted to see, along with a level of 'severity' we hadn't seen before. (And to be fair, we had ALREADY seen the movie's level of cheese in the cartoon already.)

On the other hand, a lot of favorite characters were killed off without even a 'by your leave'. And, of course, Prime's death. There were large portions of the movie that were pointless (Quintessa, Goo), and the better parts of the narrative were dropped off abruptly to 'make room for the new toys'.

It's not too hard to see why it's got a love-hate relationship going with G1 fans.

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Post by Energon Hot Shot » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:30 pm

The animation was good. The fight scenes were choreographed well. The story, humor, and handling of the robots is leaps and bounds better than the 2007 movie. The death of Prime added maturity to the franchise and I believe the controversy prevented it from fading away like so many other 80's franchises did.

It's not a masterpiece, but it isn't a bad movie. Not the end of G1 by any means.
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Post by wolfbolt86 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:32 pm

I liked it, mostly due to being one of the few G1 things I could have rented when I was little. I do like how the movie was more serious than the cartoon. I have only recentaly been able to see Season 3 of the cartoon, and like them better than most of Season 1 & 2.

On the debate of which one is better, I have no perference.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:35 pm

Both for me. I really, really like the first half, but I basically can't watch the second. However, I think this is more to do with the second half of the film simply being worse - the tacky alien travelogue hides that the second half is just padding to stop the Autobots just flying up and grenading Unicron with the Matrix. The first half has much better visuals, and is a good light and sound show - the imagination seems to vapourise at about the half-way point. Plus, never really got the fuss about Unicron - so he's big, and he turns into a planet. Big ****ing wow, y'know?

We should note at this point that I could care less for the impact the film had on kids and stuff in 1986 - that's self-evident.

With the characters, I'm not that fussed - I prefer Optimus to Rodimus by miles, but it's not enough to scupper a good script ("Fight or Flee" > "Megatron's Masterplan" regardless of who's carting the Matrix around). Aside from Op, I don't think there are any real characters actually killed off in the film - Starscream had ran his course round about Season 1, with his Season 2 role basically being a self-parody ("Hmmm, you built a highly organised team of deadly commandos and took over Cybertron. I'll let you off this time, though"). And as for the Autobots, was the world really that much worse off without such dynamic characters as Ironhide (in-depth profile: hick), Brawn (jock), Ratchet (fixes people) and Prowl (police car)? Would Season 3 really have been much better with them? No.

Sure, the new characters all sucked mightily bar Ultra Magnus (whose weird blend of picking up Rodimus' slack and ****ing up mightily really livened Season 3 up), but they really weren't any worse than the faceless morons they replaced. And at least Scourge showed some signs of sentience compared to, say, Skywarp or Thundercracker.

Plus Galvatron was a lot more fun than Megatron. I mean, Galvatron's brain-damaged, there's an excuse for the odd brain-fade. Megatron was just into negative levels of credibility before the end of Season 1, and like Starscream descended into self-parody ("Let's clone Prime! Let's make the humans think the Autobots are the evil ones!" - it took him four million and twenty-one years to come up with "Let's just kill them", and then he still ****ed it up).

But then, I'm Marvel TF, was at the time, still am now. None of my favourite characters really died - the Prowl, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Optimus Prime etc. I gave a toss about either lived or died in much better ways on the whole (now, Smokescreen dying through uncharacteristic stupidity in G2, that I can rant about).

I'm more likely to watch the first half than I am to watch all but about five episodes of the cartoon. Read into that what you will...

Also, I never liked the way the Autobots were effectively decimated to a dozen characters - I know we find out there are the usual numbers come Season 3, but the film's implication that Hot Rod, Ultra Magnus, Blurr, Kup, Springer, the Dinobots and Arcee were it always seemed needlessly crass.

Plus it has Arcee in it. That's a black mark right there.

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Post by starlord » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:36 pm

The endo of G1 as we knew it. It basically ruined the series and kill it big time that not even the beast wars could save it.
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Post by Vincent » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:32 pm

Cliffjumper has some good points. My main problem with the movie was that it just seemed so "dead" in the second half.

Though Prime and Screamer got kicked, they at least had a characterized death. Which is the main reason why I disliked Ironhide, Ratchet, and Prowl's death. They just didn't get well-dignified "shut-downs".

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Post by wolfbolt86 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:46 pm

starlord wrote:The endo of G1 as we knew it. It basically ruined the series and kill it big time that not even the beast wars could save it.
Care to elaborate. How could it killed the series when there were two seasons (one with only three eps I know), and there were what two series before Beast Wars. Beast Wars brought the seires more life, and from what I heard, many of the old G1 show believe that Beast Wars was the better show.

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Post by Gouki » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:06 pm

Vincent wrote:Though Prime and Screamer got kicked, they at least had a characterized death. Which is the main reason why I disliked Ironhide, Ratchet, and Prowl's death. They just didn't get well-dignified "shut-downs".
Well, it's a war. Not everyone gets to have a big, sweeping dramatic gesture passing on wisdom to their loved ones while all watch and cry. Some people just die.

Yeah. I love the '86 movie. I make no attempt to hide that. I mean, it's horribly flawed, derivative, not very original, incredibly transparent, and oh so cheesy. But still, I can just sit there, and space out, and it just pushes all the right buttons. It's fun. It's nothing more than giant transforming robots shooting at each other and I'm completely okay with that.

If I want transforming robots with deep plots I'll watch Beast Wars or something. If I want really deep plots, I probably wouldn't even watch Transformers.
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Post by Energon Hot Shot » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm

Gouki wrote: If I want really deep plots, I probably wouldn't even watch Transformers.
Then read Transformers.:)
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Post by another tf fan » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:24 am

The movie itself is only half the point.

In 1984 I was in first grade. Transformers were all the rage. Same story for 1985, Transformers were still top of the list and all the first season characters had new freids to fight with.

By the time the movie came out all my freinds were all going into third grade and attitudes towards toys changed slightly. We saw the movie, enjoyed some of the new toys and all that, but the ones were had known were gone and we were growing up. The movie was just at that turning point where the kids who were gonna be into sports were walking away from toys to go to practice, the others who were not sports types dicovered drawing and reading.

By the time 1989 rolled around there was no more talk of Transformers in my group. We were starting to notice girls and had real schoolwork and chores to do.

My group of kids never really seemed to notice that G1 was gone. G2 came and went like a fart in the wind and when Beast Wars came out my clique was infinatly more interested in Weed and Sex. Oh and Rock and Roll.

It wasn't as much what the movie did to the franchise for me but more about when the movie happened. It is a fun movie and now that I have been schooling my 6 year old Godson on Transformers it has gotton the true child enjoyment from him that Iwas just a hair too old to give it.
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Post by Blackjack » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:57 am

Personally? The Animated Movie has a better story, but uses bad character choice. The Live Movie has a normal run-of-the-mill story, but what a choice of characters.

I HAVEN'T seen the Animated Movie. Still searching the DVD, dammit. However, I've read the scripts, the summaries, the deleted scenes etc. But it just ain't the same without watching the movie itself.

The Animated Movie has sweet Animation (from screenshots anyway) and an interesting story about the Matrix, Quintessa, Unicron, and intergalactic fighting. However, the character choice is just absurd. They kill off about three-fourths of the Season 1 and 2 cast, leaving kids to watch robots that they didn't know who the hell what the new robots are doing. As a result? No Optimus Prime, no Ironhide, no Prowl, no Brawn, no Ratchet, no Wheeljack, no Windcharger, no Megatron, no Starscream, no Skywarp, no Thundercracker, no Insecticons, no Reflector.... (the list goes on and on for characters phased out and/or killed in deleted scenes)

Therefore, the Animated Movie might have been the best if they killed of the bloody characters at the RBFATE (Really Big Fight At The End) instead of early on in the beginning.

While the 2007 Movie features deaths, they happen at the end of the Movie and not too many died. (only half the cast) Only Blackout, Bonecrusher, Bravastator, Jazz and Megatron. As well as possibly Scorponok. And fan favourites such as Jazz and Megatron might return.

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Post by Notabot » Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:48 am

Blackjack wrote:The Animated Movie has sweet Animation (from screenshots anyway) and an interesting story about the Matrix, Quintessa, Unicron, and intergalactic fighting. However, the character choice is just absurd. They kill off about three-fourths of the Season 1 and 2 cast, leaving kids to watch robots that they didn't know who the hell what the new robots are doing. As a result? No Optimus Prime, no Ironhide, no Prowl, no Brawn, no Ratchet, no Wheeljack, no Windcharger, no Megatron, no Starscream, no Skywarp, no Thundercracker, no Insecticons, no Reflector.... (the list goes on and on for characters phased out and/or killed in deleted scenes)

Therefore, the Animated Movie might have been the best if they killed of the bloody characters at the RBFATE (Really Big Fight At The End) instead of early on in the beginning.

While the 2007 Movie features deaths, they happen at the end of the Movie and not too many died. (only half the cast) Only Blackout, Bonecrusher, Bravastator, Jazz and Megatron. As well as possibly Scorponok. And fan favourites such as Jazz and Megatron might return.
Psshh, guess I don't have to watch THOSE movies now. (Hey, where'd the eye rolling smiley go?)
Spoiler tags next time? A little consideration for those who haven't gotten around to watching yet? Please?

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Post by Vincent » Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:12 am

blackjack: you should see the movie. Admittedly not that "great", but it has some amazing scenes. One of my favorites is the one where Megatron and Unicron meet.

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Post by Catalyst Dragon » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:39 am

It's a love/hate thing with me... I loved the story, action, art, and music.
But hated the death of so many of my favorite characters, and the addition of new characters that had no intoduction or background in the series.

I still, to this day, cringe at the Decepticons ambush of the ship in the beginning of the movies, I hate not knowing how Wheeljack died, hell of all my old G1 toys he was my favorite.

I dislike Hot Rod/Rodimus, but liked most of the other new bots, especially Springer and Cyclonus.

So IMO, the movie was great( I can quote virtually the entire movie) but it killed the series.

A Double-Edged sword is a good term for it.
All that was needed was a catalyst and the machines of war are set in motion.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:34 am

Gouki wrote:Well, it's a war. Not everyone gets to have a big, sweeping dramatic gesture passing on wisdom to their loved ones while all watch and cry. Some people just die.
Which would work fine, if we were talking about a universe which had some sort of history in defining war. But we'd had two years of factions acting like cops and robbers, with Megatron as a sort of mad scientist. The death toll for Seasons 1 & 2 is, what, Alpha Trion going all Obi-Wan and that's it. So suddenly wiping out half a dozen characters who've been taking hits for two years smacks of a sensationalist changing of the rules.

For me also, it's a case that they don't just die - the shuttle crew die in a massively stupid way. Prime sends four warriors on a milk run. Their shuttle seemingly has no radar or communications. The crew stand up and attack a squad of a dozen Decepticons one at a time - Brawn stands up and runs at them unarmed. He even pauses halfway to make sure his approach is a complete and utter failure. Once his body hits the ground, Prowl goes "Hmmm, could be some fighting here", decides to get his gun off, languidly gets a shot off with all the accuracy of Luca Toni, and takes a shot from Scavenger. At which point he dies in a cloud of smoke. The Amazing Onebox Brothers then finally arrive at the conclusion that there are Decepticons on board, leap out from cover and open fire, again with the sort of result that makes Stormtroopers look like the cocking SAS. Both, unsurprisingly, get gunned down. However, Ironhide survives. So what does he decide to do? Claw at Megatron's leg, with his head positioned directly under Megatron's fusion cannon, just to make sure he has no chance whatsoever.

Pulling the realistic war angle only works if things are halfway realistic. The whole sequence relies on abject stupidity from the Autobots from start to finish - it's as if Hasbro didn't CC them on the note that they were going to gore this one up and they expect the same old 'direct hit knocks you on your back, just do a "Wow, that's quite a kick!" line and get back up' idiocy of the cartoon itself. Add on the ninth-rate heavy metal dubbed over the top, and the result is masturbatory violence... If someone wrote that sequence as fanfic, they'd get laughed at.

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Post by RUNAMOK » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:09 am

The movie is not a masterpiece, but plot holes and goofs aside I still think it is fun to watch once in a while.

In many ways The movie actually turns out to be "the end of G1 as we know it", but that is not just due to the new characters. We get new characters that replace some of the older ones, but the series also changes setting. Where it in season 1 and 2 mostly was Earth and in some cases Cybertron that were the places where the cation happened(with a few exceptions in child's play, god gambit, the gambler and seachange, atleast it's those i can think of), it changes to be more Cybertron and other planets in season 3 and 4. Also we get a new enemy in the Quintessons, these offer some somewhat different plots from the usual Autobot/Decepticon interactions. To say it in a simple way, The transformers universe gets quite a bit bigger after the movie.
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Post by Catalyst Dragon » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:54 am

I think what annoyed me most was the lack of consistancy from Series to movie... in the series Brawn took a direct hit in the chest from Megatron and didn't even get a scratch, but in the movie he takes a hit to the shoulder and goes down?
All that was needed was a catalyst and the machines of war are set in motion.

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Post by Gouki » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:56 am

Cliffjumper wrote:Pulling the realistic war angle only works if things are halfway realistic. The whole sequence relies on abject stupidity from the Autobots from start to finish - it's as if Hasbro didn't CC them on the note that they were going to gore this one up and they expect the same old 'direct hit knocks you on your back, just do a "Wow, that's quite a kick!" line and get back up' idiocy of the cartoon itself. Add on the ninth-rate heavy metal dubbed over the top, and the result is masturbatory violence... If someone wrote that sequence as fanfic, they'd get laughed at.
I guess I view all the "And... suddenly, everyone can aim! And then this happens! And Prowl dies! And and and Starscream is awesome with Megatron and then this one dies and that one!" the same way I view The Clone Wars cartoon sudden acrobatics and huge jump in the power of the force. They have freedome now. Let them go nuts. Admittedly, the Clone Wars did it for style, and the Transformers did it for new characters.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:14 pm

Aye, the problem is it completely jars with what's gone before - unlike SW, TFs had the problem that the characters really are invulnerable for the first couple of seasons - while the shots aren't super-accurate, lots of TFs take hits in the series, and are usually just knocked over.

Re: Brawn... the shot hits him in the shoulder, that's just the entry point. In the frames immediately afterwards, just before Prowl makes his incredibly logical move, it's clear his back's been blown out... it's not consistent with the cartoon for sure, but it's not like he dies from a nick on the shoulder.

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