Short and Sweet 7: Transformers (1984)

I know it’s a classic, but the original Transformers (1984) cartoon is a mess. I’m watching it currently (before I’d only seen random episodes and the life-changing movie) and it’s almost insufferable. It may have laid the foundations for a gargantuan franchise, and I’m sure at the time it was entertaining — perhaps even revolutionary — but it doesn’t hold up.

It’s slow-paced, with little to no character development. In fact, it’s hard to tell which character is which much of the time as there’s a propensity to change colour schemes, names and whole rosters without any sort of warning. As a result of this, the continuity is all over the place; as is the quality of the animation. Random transformers turn up all the time, and one of my biggest overall problems is just trying to keep up with who the hell is who.

Transformers was (and is) of course just an advertising vehicle to sell more toys — so it makes sense that the show would change out characters to fit with new toy lines. But it does this at such great expense to any sort of coherence that it’s hard to find anything entertaining here beyond the wonderful and iconic voice acting work of Peter Cullen and co.

P.S. People often criticise Michael Bay’s Transformers movies for their annoying human protagonists, but my oh my does the original have insufferable ones too!

Don’t bother with the classic Transformers unless you grew up with the show and can look at it through nostalgic eyes.

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