Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Do You Remember 1985?

TransformersIf you were, like me, a boy of around 8 to 12 years old in 1985 then my guess is that around December time there was only one thing on the top of you Christmas list. That would have been a hideously expensive Optimus Prime Action Figure. Yes, in the world of children's animated television, Transformers ruled the roost and Optimus Prime was a hero.

For those of you reading this who have absolutely no idea what I'm writing about, The Transformers was an animated television series which began in 1984. It was targeted at children, and was very popular with students, and general weirdos aprt of course from children.

The basic precept was that a race of robotic beings travelled from their metal world of Cybertron to Earth in search of new sources of energy. The robots were split into two warring factions Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (evil baddies), who on their arrival on Earth carry out their war in a clandestine manner, shape shifting or transforming into normal everyday items like vehicles and cassette tapes remember those?, to avoid detection by humans. Over the years the plot took all sorts of twists and turns and there were a number of different incarnations of the series but the original leader of the Autobots was Optimus Prime (known in Japan as Convoy, Italy as Commander, France as Optimus Primo, and Brazil as LĂ­der Optimus) and and the leader of the Decepticons was Megatron.

Strangely enough the TV series and the comic book were developed in 1984 as a method of promoting the toys and not as a concequence of the success of the series, which was, and still is an unusual way of doing things.

Well 22 years later and Steven Spielberg & Michael Bay are hoping that all of those eight to twelve year olds, layabout students and other degenerates will by now have had some kids of their own and be willing to use them as an excuse to pay good money to go to the cinema to see a live action version of the excellent (for a ten year old) Transformers animated series.

Now I know that as an executive producer Steven Spielberg has chalked up some excellent films and television, but with Michael Bay directing, this has the potential to be a huge post 9/11, America is the last bastion of freedom, ride the wave of anti-terror bravado, made in the USA for residents of the USA, blatant propaganda, box office success. Which would be a shame, as whilst the original series was a typical good vs. evil, superheroes vs. supervillans plotline, it was targeting children as a method of selling toys [well it was the '80s!] and as such required the overly simplified plot to provide them with concepts that they could easily understand. I wonder if the movie, due to be released in 2007 will be a little bit more sophisticated than that and try to appeal to adults on one level and children on another. With a writing cast of Alex Kurtzman (writer of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"), John Rogers ("Catwoman") & Roberto Orci ("Xena: Warrior Princess"), I somehow doubt it.

With a cast without any major celebrity actors (which could be a good thing), the star of the show will certainly be Industrial Light & Magic's special effects, which less face it are usually excellent.

I will in all likelihood see this movie at some point. I may wait for it to be released on HD-DVD, Blu-Ray or whatever is the format of choice in 2008, but then again I may go an view it in the cinema. Who knows, no matter how bad the film is, it may hust help me to remember a little more of those childhood memories. I wonder if they'll keep the jingle "Transformers, more than meets the eye/Transformers, robots in diguise."? Anybody remember the full song that went along with it?

If you want to see the trailers etc. you can visit the official Transfomers movie website.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Alan Eagle said...

Google is my friend. The lyrics were,

"Transformers,
More than meets the eye!

Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

Transformers,
Robots in diguise.
Tranformers,
More than meets the eye.

Tranformers!"

Link here ----> http://www.retrojunk.com/details_theme/10/

11/8/06 16:25  
Blogger Jon said...

Thanks Alan :)

11/8/06 16:49  

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