The Transformers -- The Movie (1986)

PG | 86 mins | Science fiction, Children's works | 8 August 1986

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HISTORY

The following written and spoken prologue appears in opening credits: “There’s an evil new force in the universe. A monster planet that devours everything in his path…and it’s heading for the small planet of Cybertron where a unique race of transforming robots continue to fight a civil war…a war between good and evil that has raged for millions of years. The evil Decepticon Transformers, led by the maniacal Megatron have sworn to crush their enemies, the Autobots. To this end, they have relentlessly pursued them across the galaxy from planet Cybertron to planet Earth and back again. But the heroic Autobot Transformers and their courageous leader Optimus Prime are not easily defeated.”
       A 22 Feb 1985 DV news item reported that Marvel Productions would co-produce the $3 million-plus film with Sunbow Productions. To accommodate thirty additional staff members, Marvel leased an 18,000-square-foot space in Van Nuys, CA, to house film editors, music editors, and special-effects editors.
       According to briefs in the 28 Oct 1987 Var and 30 Oct 1987 HR, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court after Sunbow Productions failed to pay distribution costs for both The Transformers – The Movie and My Little Pony - The Movie (1986, see entry). Although DEG and Sunbow entered into a deal to “co-produce and co-distribute” the two pictures, the lawsuit alleged that Sunbow owed DEG $381,874 for The Transformers and $540,294 for My Little Pony. DEG also asked for ten percent interest on the monies due, “retroactive to 30 Apr 1985.” The outcome of the lawsuit has not been determined ...

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The following written and spoken prologue appears in opening credits: “There’s an evil new force in the universe. A monster planet that devours everything in his path…and it’s heading for the small planet of Cybertron where a unique race of transforming robots continue to fight a civil war…a war between good and evil that has raged for millions of years. The evil Decepticon Transformers, led by the maniacal Megatron have sworn to crush their enemies, the Autobots. To this end, they have relentlessly pursued them across the galaxy from planet Cybertron to planet Earth and back again. But the heroic Autobot Transformers and their courageous leader Optimus Prime are not easily defeated.”
       A 22 Feb 1985 DV news item reported that Marvel Productions would co-produce the $3 million-plus film with Sunbow Productions. To accommodate thirty additional staff members, Marvel leased an 18,000-square-foot space in Van Nuys, CA, to house film editors, music editors, and special-effects editors.
       According to briefs in the 28 Oct 1987 Var and 30 Oct 1987 HR, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court after Sunbow Productions failed to pay distribution costs for both The Transformers – The Movie and My Little Pony - The Movie (1986, see entry). Although DEG and Sunbow entered into a deal to “co-produce and co-distribute” the two pictures, the lawsuit alleged that Sunbow owed DEG $381,874 for The Transformers and $540,294 for My Little Pony. DEG also asked for ten percent interest on the monies due, “retroactive to 30 Apr 1985.” The outcome of the lawsuit has not been determined as of the writing of this note in Feb 2016.
       End credits include the following statement: "The Transformers® is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., Registered U.S. TM Office."

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1985
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 1986
p. 35
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 1987
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1986
Section I, p. 8
New York Times
9 Aug 1986
p. 9
Variety
13 Aug 1986
p. 11
Variety
28 Oct 1987
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Rank Film Distributors present
A Sunbow and Marvel Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Prod
Supv prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story consultant
ART DIRECTORS
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Asst supv post prod
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutting
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus supv
Score arr and prod
Score arr and prod/Mus ed
Mus score eng
Synthesizer programming
Supv mus ed
Mus ed
Mus ed
SOUND
Voice rec and processing by
Voice dir
Sd processing
Addl sd processing
Supv sd eff ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Dial ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec rec
Machine room op
Pre-dubb mixer
Pre-dubb mixer
Dubbing supv
Dolby consultant
Dolby consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opticals
Main title des
Main title des
Spec eff
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Talent coord
Tech adv
Exec in charge of prod
Sr mgr of prod
Exec prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Producer's representative
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Assoc story consultant
Assoc story consultant
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy
Translator
Translator
Account supv
Scr cont
Shipping coord
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
ANIMATION
Orig concept des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Char and background des
Supv anim dir
Anim dir
Anim dir
Margaret Nichols
Anim dir
Asst anim dir
Asst anim dir
Asst anim dir
Final checker, Chief anim
Asst anim checker
Asst anim checker
Asst anim checker
Asst anim checker
Asst anim checker
Asst anim checker
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Key anim
Inbetween anim checker
Inbetween anim checker
Inbetween anim checker
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Inbetween anim
Background art dir
Background art dir
Background art dir
Asst background des
Background painter
Background painter
Background dept mgr
Chief cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Model color key
Ink and paint supv
Ink and paint supv
Ink and paint supv
Ink and paint mgr
Ink and paint mgr
Inker
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Col checker
Col checker
Bill Hudson
Xerox
SOURCES
SONGS
“Instruments Of Destruction,” performed by NRG, written by Ernest Petrangelo, Robin Ward and Steven Serpa, produced by NRG; “Dare,” performed by Stan Bush, written by Vince DiCola and Scott Shelly, produced by Vince DiCola and Richie Wise; “The Touch,” performed by Stan Bush, written by Stan Bush and Lenny Macaluso, produced by Richie Wise; “Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way,” performed by Spectre General, written by Randy Bishop, produced by Randy Bishop with Spencer Proffer for Pasha, courtesy of Pasha/CBS Records; “Hunger,” performed by Spectre General, written by Larry Gillstron, Brian Gillstron, Victor Langen, George Christon, Ray Harvey and Spencer Proffer, produced by Spencer Proffer for Pasha, courtesy of Pasha/CBS Records; “Dare To Be Stupid,” performed by “Weird Al” Yankovic, written by “Weird Al” Yankovic, produced by Rick Derringer; “'The Transformers' ® (Theme)," performed by Lion, written by Ford Kinder, Anne Bryant, Norman Swan and Douglas Aldrich, produced by Richie Wise.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Transformers
Release Date:
8 August 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 8 Aug 1986
Production Date:

Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
86
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

As civil war rages between two factions of transforming robots in the year 2005, the evil Decepticons and their leader, Megatron, have conquered the planet Cybertron, formerly belonging to the Autobots led by Optimus Prime. At secret staging grounds on Cybertron’s moons, the Autobots strategize to reclaim their homeland. Autobot Ironhide is eager to attack the enemy. Instead, he is ordered to bring back more “Energion cubes” from Autobot City on Earth to power a full-scale attack. As Megatron watches surveillance tapes of Optimus Prime ordering the restocking of Energion cubes, he realizes a counterattack is brewing. He and his soldiers attack Ironhide’s shuttle, and seize it before the Autobot can return with his precious cargo. On Earth, a boy named Daniel and Autobot soldier, Hot Rod, fish in the lake when the boy’s wristwatch signals the arrival of the shuttle. Hot Rod transforms into a racecar and takes Daniel to meet the ship. When they see Decepticon soldiers flying in the damaged shuttle, Hot Rod shoots the craft. The Decepticons fire back and the ground where Daniel and Hot Rod are standing crumbles beneath them. As Daniel and Hot Rod fall onto a ledge, reinforcement Autobots appear and overpower the Decepticons, causing them to retreat. An older Autobot suggests that Daniel and Hot Rod return to the city for safety. Outside Autobot City limits, other Autobots mobilize when they realize the Decepticons will attack again. The city switches to lock-down mode, and Blaster radios a message to Optimus Prime for additional help. However, Decepticon soldiers destroy the radio center before Blaster can finish his transmission. As the Decepticons penetrate city walls, an Autobot ...

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As civil war rages between two factions of transforming robots in the year 2005, the evil Decepticons and their leader, Megatron, have conquered the planet Cybertron, formerly belonging to the Autobots led by Optimus Prime. At secret staging grounds on Cybertron’s moons, the Autobots strategize to reclaim their homeland. Autobot Ironhide is eager to attack the enemy. Instead, he is ordered to bring back more “Energion cubes” from Autobot City on Earth to power a full-scale attack. As Megatron watches surveillance tapes of Optimus Prime ordering the restocking of Energion cubes, he realizes a counterattack is brewing. He and his soldiers attack Ironhide’s shuttle, and seize it before the Autobot can return with his precious cargo. On Earth, a boy named Daniel and Autobot soldier, Hot Rod, fish in the lake when the boy’s wristwatch signals the arrival of the shuttle. Hot Rod transforms into a racecar and takes Daniel to meet the ship. When they see Decepticon soldiers flying in the damaged shuttle, Hot Rod shoots the craft. The Decepticons fire back and the ground where Daniel and Hot Rod are standing crumbles beneath them. As Daniel and Hot Rod fall onto a ledge, reinforcement Autobots appear and overpower the Decepticons, causing them to retreat. An older Autobot suggests that Daniel and Hot Rod return to the city for safety. Outside Autobot City limits, other Autobots mobilize when they realize the Decepticons will attack again. The city switches to lock-down mode, and Blaster radios a message to Optimus Prime for additional help. However, Decepticon soldiers destroy the radio center before Blaster can finish his transmission. As the Decepticons penetrate city walls, an Autobot ship appears and holds them off. Outside the city, Optimus Prime confronts Megatron. The fight lasts until Optimus Prime is wounded, and Megatron is thrown off a cliff. A Decepticon soldier carries Megatron’s wounded body back to their ship, and the Deceptions leave Earth. Inside the city, a doctor declares that Optimus Prime’s wounds are fatal. Optimus Prime announces that soldier, Ultra Magnus, will be the new leader of the Autobots. Ultra Magnus does not believe he is worthy, but Optimus Prime insists the torch must be passed. He opens his chest, removes a glowing crystal matrix, gives it to Ultra Magnus, and dies. Although Megatron is still conscious, Decepticon soldier, Starscream, jettisons his body into space. Soon, a fight breaks out between Decepticons and Constructacon over who will be the new leader. As Megatron floats in space, the powerful planet Unicron summons him. Unicron commands Megatron to overthrow the Autobots. Megatron assures Unicron that Optimus Prime is dead, and the future looks bright. Unicron knows that a new Autobot leader has been chosen, and commands Megatron to destroy the matrix, and Ultra Magnus. In return, Unicron will outfit Megatron with a new body, new ship, and more troops. Megatron is transformed into “Galvatron,” and several transformer soldiers – Scourge, Wreck-Gar, and Cyclonus - join his mission. Galvatron returns to Cybertron, and interrupts the coronation of Starscream. Galvatron shoots Starscream dead, and reclaims his title as chief of the Decepticons. Autobot Jazz radios Earth that his station, Moon Base 1, is being attacked and destroyed by Unicron. On Moon Base 2, astronaut Spike and Autobot Bumblebee observe the destruction of Moon Base 1, and alert Ultra Magnus and his soldiers that they need help. Spike and Bumblebee set Moon Station 2 to explode, and escape on a shuttle. Unicron swallows Moon Station 2, but the explosion does not affect him. When Galvatron is annoyed by Unicron’s interference, Unicron incapacitates Galvatron with a painful electrical shock. After Galvatron pledges his allegiance to Unicron, the shock is withdrawn. Galvatron then commands his soldiers to attack Earth. Ultra Magnus and his soldiers scatter to avoid Galvatron and his forces, then escape on shuttles, but are followed by the Decepticons. Soon, Ultra Magnus activates an emergency detachment, allowing part of the ship to separate and be destroyed by the Decepticons, while the remaining section of the ship delivers the Autobots to the safety of the Junk planet where they can repair their ship. Later, when Galvatron tells Unicron that Ultra Magnus and the matrix have been destroyed, Unicron retorts that Galvatron must finish his mission because Ultra Magnus still lives. The Decepticons attack Junk planet and destroy the Autobot shuttle. The Autobots run for their lives. Ultra Magnus is killed before he determines how to unleash the power of the matrix. With the matrix now in his possession, Galvatron schemes to make Unicron his slave. As the Autobots mourn the death of Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod and Kup land on Junk after narrowly escaping their own crash on another hostile planet. All the Autobots befriend the native Junkions, who are able to revive Ultra Magnus. The Junkion leader informs the group that Galvatron is headed for Unicron with the matrix. Ultra Magnus insists they find Galvatron before he reaches Unicron. Junkion ships take off in search of the Decepticon leader. Galvatron appears before Unicron with the matrix around his neck, and demands that Unicron submit to his bidding. Instead, Unicron retaliates by transforming into a giant robot soldier in order to annihilate the planet Cybertron. Decepticon ships bounce off Unicron as they try to defend their planet. When Galvatron transforms into a fighter jet, Unicron picks up the craft and swallows it. Autobot Hot Rod is also swallowed by Unicron, and meets up with Galvatron, who displays the matrix around his neck, and declares he and Hot Rod are allies. However, Unicron hears the conversation, and commands Galvatron to destroy Hot Rod. The enemies chase each other until Galvatron gets Hot Rod in a chokehold. Meanwhile, Unicron grabs a Junkion ship with his bare hands and crushes it. Hot Rod grabs the matrix from Galvatron, and invokes Optimus Prime’s spirit. Hot Rod seems to grow in strength, and throws Galvatron through Unicron’s metal skin into space. As he stands inside of Unicron’s body, Hot Rod commands the matrix to “light our darkest hour.” An electrical force field reverberates throughout Unicron’s body, and Hot Rod orders all the Autobots to transform and roll out. They escape through Unicron’s eye, as the force of the matrix destroys Unicron. Later, Hot Rod declares a new era of peace and an end to the Cybertronian wars.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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