Transformers – The Movie, The

Tagged: Film

Film (1986). Sunbow/Marvel. Directed by Nelson Shin. Voices by Orson Welles, Eric Idle et al. Written by Ron Friedman. Animation by Toei Animation. 86 minutes. Colour.

This US-produced, Japanese-animated film is a spin-off from the comic-book and television series of the same name, and all are part of a gigantic marketing operation to sell the Transformers Toys: model Robots (invented 1984) which, when twisted around a bit, change their shape from vaguely humanoid to (usually) cars or Spaceships. Most such films are pure exercises in commercial cynicism (see Masters of the Universe [1987]) but The Transformers – The Movie has a surreal vigour. In 2005 CE, Earth and other planets are largely populated by good transforming Robots or Mecha, the Autobots, who are perpetually at odds with bad transforming robots who look much the same, the Decepticons. Since names, voices and shapes are constantly changing, it is almost impossible to follow the story further. The aggressive animation – which unusually for a film is in the style of state-of-the-art Comic-book illustration (in this case Marvel-Comics-derived) – keeps the whole thing swirling along. Welles's last starring role is, appropriately, as a megalomaniac planet. [PN]

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