Giant Philosophical Robots = Total Coolness

So I am about the last person on the Net, with the possible exception of http://www.nepaleseyakherders.org, to weigh in on Transformers: The Movie.

This is doubly odd because I was a massive fan of the original cartoon. I’ve written elsewhere in this journal of my receptiveness to sweet-hearted yet simplistic animated media, and after-school TV in the 80’s was its undisputed mecca. My typical weekday afternoon ran something like this:
3:30pm: Arrive home. Drop books, race past my mother grabbing the plate of snacks from her hand, flick on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

3:35pm: Take absentminded bite of broccoli spear and realise damnit she’s done it again. Briefly consider heading back into the kitchen to argue the point, but then Skeletor unveils his latest action fig – uh, evil henchperson, and frankly Chips Ahoy are of small moment compared to the fate of the universe.

4:00pm: Am not only being hugely entertained by She-Ra Princess of Power, but am having my consciousness raised. Seriously, I may not at that point have had the ability to define my sense that there was something, ah, special about her archer sidekick with the heart atop his pecs, but trust me, I was learning tolerance beyond anything the Educational Council ever dreamed of.

4:30pm: Slither down onto the floor, the better to follow the intricate plot of the hard-hitting political suspense thriller that is GI Joe. Ooh, this is that episode where they discover everybody’s a synthoid replica and they’re all melty and stuff when Flint and Scarlett zap them! Like, total bonus.

5:00pm: “Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice…” Clearly, the Superfriends were the good guys, because they had Deep-Voiced Narrator Guy on their side. I mean, had the Justice League ever been facing dire emergency and Superman turned to the camera and said ‘Quick, Narrator Guy! You must remonstrate with the villain! It’s our only chance!” I would’ve been right onboard.

5:30pm: Ignore maternal noises about homework before supper, because cannot risk missing the slightest minute iota of the Coolness Experience that is the Transformers theme song. After which…well, hey, giant philosophical robots that turned into cars. I mean, just take a moment to contemplate that concept. The entire freaking point of the Internet is contained in there somewhere.

Which brings me back around to the great and wondrous thing about the movie, which I watched on DVD with my small nephews this evening: They didn’t mess with the concept. This is a multi-gazillion-dollar F/X extravaganza about giant philosophical robots that turn into cars. They are named things like Optimus Prime and Starscream and they have the same exact voices they did on TV and they flip and spin through the air with uncanny grace considering they are, and I say it again, giant philosophical robots that turn into cars.
It’s one ginormous wad of Fanboy Plotz, is what it is. At one point during the climactic battle my sister, who is a soccer mom in her thirties and has never even seen an episode, was whooping “Yeah, Optimus is here! You going down, Megatron!!”

Oh, sure, if you’re going to insist on actual quality and stuff…I dunno, you might want to give it a try anyway. Haul out your Man-E-Faces action figure, pop in the DVD, and see what happens.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shing_
    Oct 23, 2007 @ 19:21:13

    I enjoyed the Transformers movie much more than I thought I would. I don’t have many memories of the show — I do remember that my brother had an Optimus Prime toy, though.

    I *love* the sound they use when they transform.

    Have vague memories of He-Man and She-Ra.

  2. anonymous
    Jan 05, 2008 @ 23:24:51

    Ah yes.. Transformers. Did you know they now have an Optimus Prime helmet that can transform a person’s voice into Optimus’ voice? (Or the voices from the clock radio if you put the helmet over top..) It makes the cool changing sounds, too.

    Haven’t seen the movie yet. Bought two copies for Christmas presents, but haven’t seen it myself yet.

    m2b

  3. shoebox2
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 21:57:23

    Hey, you!

    I did know about the helmet…I refuse however to admit how long I spent contemplating the purchase before snapping to. 🙂

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