Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Silver

(Typed in a brief moment)

So, today is the 25th Anniversary of Transformers: The Movie. Before Michael Bay, before CGI was. It's the one where Optimus dies and a giant planet eat things. Where there's lots of cheesy hair metal and shiny animation. I never saw it in theatres: I was too young, being only two at the time. But it's important to me.

Beast Wars was my introduction to Transformers, and my favourite of all their series, but it was Transformers: The Movie which triggered my interest in the 1980s Transformers, through a viewing originally meant to get some idea of context for the G1 references in Beast Wars. There was something about TF:TM that sucked me right in, so that I would watch it scads of times on the old Canadian Malofilm VHS, even sitting enraptured through the credits.

As I've noted before, it was the third season of the Transformers cartoon, following the movie and featuring its new cast, that become an iconic part of fandom. The characters and their dynamics captivated me, and remain compelling in some weird immovable way, even as I recognize the weaknesses in the cartoon. The Transformers: The Movie has even more weaknesses in that area, and doesn't establish much of the quirks that made the new Autobots and Decepticons fun. Instead, it's a cliched story that doesn't establish or explain much of anything at all, being a vague Hero's Journey with lots of explosions.

But I love it. Holy hell do I love it. From beginning to end, it's had this hypnotic effect on me. Not caring for Optimus Prime at all, I wasn't impacted by his death. In fact, though the movie does a poor job of establishing his death, I'm impatient for it to happen, so we can focus on the newer characters. That's how much I love TF:TM: I ignore basic rules of storytelling in favour of enjoying it.


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