In August of 1986, Transformers: the Movie was released. It took me around a solid week of begging and pleading to convince my mother to finally take me to see it; in her eyes I wasn’t old enough to sit in a movie theatre alone. That would be at least another three years. I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike outside of my neighborhood. So I was dependant upon her to get me there.
When I had heard that there was going to be a feature film featuring Transformers, I was ecstatic; what sort of story would I see? How heroic would Optimus Prime be? How much of Bumblebee would I see? I had so many questions and was so excited.
Then came the day I finally got to sit in a theatre seat and take it all in, if you will. It was an overcast August day and hot. I remember that much.
But I wasn’t fully prepared for what I was about to see.
There was a twenty year time skip, the Autobots had lost Cybertron, Spike had gotten married and had a child, among other things. But the biggest shock was yet to come.
There was death. Dear Primus, there was a lot of death.
In one particularly brutal scene, an attack on an Autobot shuttle led to the demise of several Autobots; one of which was Prowl, who was incinerated from the inside out.
It was the stuff of nightmares, honestly. The moment I saw the flames rising from Prowl’s throat, I knew he was dead. I felt utterly sick. But his death wasn’t as heartbreaking to me as one that came a little later.
Welcome to the moment where my childhood died. Even now, almost three and a half decades later, I can’t watch this. I shut my eyes and turn my head every single time. It’s too painful for me to see.
Seeing Ironhide murdered in such a manner was like watching a grandparent die. It was brutal.
But the Autobots on the shuttle weren’t the only fatalities: during the battle at Autobot City, the dead bodies of Windcharger and Wheeljack could be seen. Again, I felt sick; I had known these characters for the last two years. They were like friends to me. I began to get worried: if those Autobots could be killed so easily, what did that mean for Bumblebee? Was he going to make it out alive? There was also what I had heard about Optimus Prime; it couldn’t be true, could it?
I was about to find out, in the worst way possible.
~To be continued~
Since my folks wouldn’t let me see the movie on its debut or even on video, I would not see if until 1996. I was also not prepared for what I would witness 😦