So us genuine Transformers fans have been slapped in the face again with the release of the fifth Michael Bay live action film, It’s hard to think how they can make each film progressively worse than the last, but they’ve managed it somehow with this latest monstrosity the worst film in the series to date.
This upset me greatly, so I done the only thing any decent Transformers fan would do and fire up the classic cartoon movie and wonder where it all went so wrong, while sobbing in my crisps. It was while watching Transformers the Movie I started thinking what it is exactly that makes this old 1980’s cartoon far superior to the modern-day live action counter part. What does one do when they write for a blog? Why they write a list of course. So here are 10 reasons why the cartoon trumps all five Michael Bay films combined. In no particular order.
First up, the big reason has to be that Transformers the movie has a coherent plot, and simple case of good versus evil. A giant planet eating robot is on course to eat Cybertron, and it’s up to The Transformers to stop it. Going on an adventure and meeting new characters as they go about it. Transformers The Movie kept the rich history the toys and comics had built up, and not make it up as they go along. It may be 30 years old but it beats the convoluted, inexplicably shit stories of the live action films.
2. Transformers looked like Transformers
The Transformers from the cartoon just look infinitely better. They look like big clunky robots, some of the designs of these Transformers are simply iconic. I mean Optimus Prime, A blue and Red truck. instantly recognizable. Soundwave and his cassettes. Every boys favorite accessory. They look great, they sound great, and transform great. I mean you can actually see them transform, in some cases you can see where their limbs tuck away and where their head goes when they are in-car (or plane) form. The Transformers from the live action movie are ugly. Hey look like a collection of nuts and bolts held together with some rubbish clue. And when they transform, it looks like the glue has given up and everything just falls down, just so happens to fall down into the shape of a car. And where the hell is that iconic transforming sound.
Now the cartoon movie doesn’t shy away from anything, if there is a planet that’s going to transform into a giant robot, the cartoon made it happen. If Unicron was going to destroy a planet he just freakin’ did it, and didn’t give a shit. The cartoon just let rip no mater what. And also he was voiced magnificently by Orson Welles. The live action films could have had one of the greatest cinematic spectacles ever, with Unicorn transforming to robot form and attacking earth. but no, they had to (spoilers) make him planet earth. Just no.
4. Great 80’s Soundtrack
The soundtrack in Transformers the Movie was one of the finest from that era. It was just a 80’s rock fest with some tracks that hold their own today. I mean it has classics like The Touch from Stan Bush which played pretty much through the whole cartoon, and of course there was Dare, also by Stan Bush and who can forget Dare to be Stupid by “Weird Al” Yankovic. You may not know who all these artists are but you can sure as hell remember the tune. Probably because they were sung in many a playground. Can anyone remember a track from any of the live action films? Anyone? Hello?
5. Deaths are a big deal
No one likes to see the death of their hero. No one. But Transformers had deaths a-plenty! Not only did half the Transformers you grew up with all die in the first 10 minutes of the film, Iron Hide, Ratchet, Prowl, Brawn, all copped it on one go. But worse still, The two biggest characters in Transformers history Optimus Prime both died, And their deaths were handled with care and attention, with real emotions from the remaining cast of characters. When you were a child, it was really hard-hitting stuff. As an adult clearly Hasbro wanted to clear the way for their new line of Transformers toys. But still, I can’t think of any other film that dished out the death in such dramatic and heart wrenching fashion. The films on the other hand. Well Jazz died in the first film, arguably everyone’s favorite and coolest of all Transformers, he only said like one line then died and no one gave a shit. Rubbish.
6 Dinobots had a purpose
The Dinobots were a bit deal in the cartoon. the four of them faced up to the mighty Devastator and defeated him, they were seriously bad ass and super powerful Transformers. Sure they’re as stupid as hell but when the chips are down you really want them on your team. But the good thing is they were a big a part of the movie as any of the other characters and weren’t just there for comedy value. Grimlock even made a new friend in the shape of Wheelie. In the films, oh god it’s such a waste. First introduced in Age of Extinction, they had a moment near the end. Expecting an expanded role in the fifth film, it was a massive disappointment to see they were in one scene and that was for comedy value. Utter waste of an opportunity.
Speaking of Devastator. Since when has the “Mightiest of all Deceptions” been a dog? A dog for fucks sake. Thankfully Transformers the movie had Devastator in all his glory. A massive all-powerful transformer made from the six Constructicons. Not on was it great to see him animated for the first time but the sound FX guys slowed down that famous transforming sound which gave Devastator even more presence. Such a great scene. However, I will concede that the scene when Devastator transforms in Revenge of the Fallen is pretty good until, he’s finished transforming.
8. The robots are more emotional
The thing about Transformers the comic or the cartoon series was that it was all about the Transformers, and their battle for Earth and Cyberton. Because of this you actually got to know the characters, and started to care for them, they had emotion which is something that’s sorely missing from the films. I mean the films are basically a story form the human perspective, which is fine but the Transformers are barley in it, the hardly speak or do anything that makes you give a shit. Plus you don’t really know who the Transformers are, the film just introduces new characters and tell you nothing about them. Transformers the movie done this, with Springer, RC, Cup, Hot Rod and so on. but they all had story, a background and emotion. The scenes with Cup and Hot Rod told a rich story, just from their personalities. Michael Bay could learn a lot from the cartoon characters.
9. Equal air time
One thing that worried me about the Avengers movie was how the director will manage to get equal air time for all the characters without one being more important than the others. Transformers the Movie had a similar problem with so many characters in the movie, director Nelson Shin had his work cut out. But he managed it, in spectacular fashion. Not only did he have to give all the Autobot equal billing, but also the Deceptions too. Especially as there was new Villain in the shape of Galvatron. Even characters that were met during the films adventure, like Junkion Wreck-Gar had some decent air time.
I’m not quite sure how Shin managed this feat but thankfully he did. The movies however, well the Transformers get no air time, especially when Mark Whalberg is in the film. I wonder what sort of magic a Transformers movie could have been had Joss Whedon and Nelson Shin teamed up.
10. No stereotypes
I hate to say this, but cast your mind back to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the hideous MudFlap and Skids, two ‘comedy’ characters that were criticized for their racial stereotype personalities. They were both awful in character and personality and the film was rightly blasted for it’s portrayal of black people. Transformers had no such bother. Although granted there were no black characters in the cartoon series, there was a female Transformer, the first by my recollection called Arcee, and she was a bad ass who kicked some Deceptichops big time. She wasn’t the stereotypical female character she had the smarts and the brawn and put a lot of the male characters to shame. I do believe Arcee appeared in one of the films, but I couldn’t tell you for sure as they never actually get any air time or recognition.
So there is my list of reasons why the cartoon is better than all five Transformers movies. I could have just said because all five films are shit, but that would be no fun. Transformers The Movie wasn’t perfect, I mean Bar Weep Gra Na Weep Ninnybong makes me cringe overtime I hear it but I can forgive a film that’s so fantastic in every way for that one small slip up.
Also lets not forget that the movie didn’t go down too well with critics either, but it’s found itself a nice cult status and rightly so too. I thoroughly enjoyed the film at my last watching, just as much now as a 40 year old as much as a I did as kid, that has to say a lot about this film.
I’m almost certain that none of the live action films will be remembered in 30 years time.