Transformers the Movie Cartoon - 1986

Transformers Movie - The Original Humble Beginnings

Quite possibly the most successful advertisement for a toy line of all time, Transformers: The Movie burst onto the scene halfway through the 1980s and into the hearts of countless kids, where it would remain into their 30s and well beyond. It purported to be the end-all, be-all battle between the warring factions from the cartoon series – the Autobots and the Decepticons, with an added wrench of monstrous power (the planet-sized planet-eater, Unicron) thrown in for good measure. Despite the amazing box-office successors two decades later, those who remember 1986 swear the movies of 2007-2011 have absolutely nothing on the original.

Transformers the Movie doesn’t even open with the cartoon-worn battles between the Autobots and Decepticons, but with an entirely alien threat that dwarfs their little conflict. The planet-god Unicron devours an inhabited planet by way of introduction; which is, presumably, an unabashedly evil act given the plenitude of uninhabited planets in the cosmos. Only then do we come across the familiar, with the Decepticons eavesdropping on the Autobots’ plan to retake the home planet Cybertron back from their mortal enemies. This Intel would have catastrophic effects, as the Decepticons are able to engage the depleted Autobot forces in a shockingly brutal war, where both fan favorites Optimus Prime and Megatron are seriously wounded. The mighty Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, would eventually die, leaving the Autobots in disarray without a leader to activate their ultimate emblem, the Autobot Matrix of Leadership – which also happens to be the only thing that can harm the evil god Unicron.

Things don’t go so rosy for the Decepticons either, however; Megatron is also badly hurt. Unfortunately for him, his disloyal second-in-command, Starscream, takes this opportunity to finally rid himself of his only barrier to power and leadership, and jettisons Megatron and the other wounded Decepticons out of the spaceship, even as it chased the fleeing Autobots across the Galaxy for the Matrix. This would later prove to be a mistake that would cost Starscream his life, as he should have killed Megatron instead of chancing it to Fate, who takes no sides.

Unicron comes across Megatron’s nearly lifeless body and transforms him into a more powerful Decepticon under his (partial) control, dubbing him Galvatron. Galvatron follows – albeit reluctantly – his new master’s directive, and embarks on a mission to Cybertron to claim the Matrix for Unicron. He surprises Starscream, and repays the earlier favor by easily destroying his former lieutenant. Ultimately, after a few side-quests, the Autobots, Unicron and Galvatron all convene for the Last Battle, in which a new Autobot Leader is christened just in time in Rhodimus Prime – formerly cartoon favorite Hot Shot – who taps into the energies of the Matrix and kills everything not on the side of the Autobots. Although many fell, including all of the major Transformers from the cartoon series, a new day was born with the good guys ushering in the light.

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