Transformers: The Movie at 30 - a video retrospective

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Aug 15, 2016, 12:02 PM EDT (Updated)

It's hard to explain the impact that 1986's Transformers: The Movie had on a generation of young fans when it hit theaters a whopping 30 years ago. This was a time when every action beat in toy-based cartoons was immediately followed by reassurance that all parties involved were OK (count the parachutes popping out of exploding planes in G.I. Joe), and yet, we had here a film that took these characters we'd known and loved for years and put them in a story with actual stakes, in which survival was uncertain. Sure, a lot of the motivation for wiping out some of the tried and true members of the Transformers tribe was a clearing of the slate to sell new toys, but for the young and impressionable mind, seeing Optimus Prime -- OPTIMUS PRIME -- die was like the Red Wedding on overdrive. 

Of course, the movie wouldn't do gangbusters at the box office, but it would cement itself as a cult classic and hold a place in the hearts of its fanbase so secure that some of them would go on to use elements of it in Oscar-nominated films. It's safe to say it's still -- wait for it -- got the touch. In light of that, we wanted to celebrate this seminal moment in transforming robot cinema by taking a look back at all the things that made Transformers: The Movie endure. Check it out below, and let us know your recollections of the film, the soundtrack, and whatever else strikes you in the comments!

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