Thirty Years of the Transformers – And the Cars That Make Them Believable

Up until this point, Franksaurus has been a one-dinosaur show, but all that changes today as we welcome our friend Chris to the space. We like nostalgia around here. If you were a kid growing up in the 80s, you will appreciate the Transformers nostalgia in Chris’ post. If you are a car enthusiast, you’ll like that aspect of the discussion. And if you think Michael Bay ruins everything good about your childhood, then please, read on. 

To those of us possessing a passing understanding of the term “trilogy” it came as a bit of a surprise when Michael Bay confirmed that he was on board with and beginning development on a fourth installment of the Transformers movie franchise (though it appears someone has apprised him of that error). The result will defile movie screens later this summer and, no doubt, rake in obscene amounts of money (and it is entirely fair to note that some of that money will be mine).

Lost in this somewhat dubious future, however, is a little bit of history: 2014 also marks 30 years since the debut of the original Transformers animated series here in the U.S. We already know how Bay will commemorate the occasion: an orgy of violence and explosions, accompanied by a healthy dose of not-so-subtle implication that most of those watching don’t understand the true meaning of self-sacrifice and inner strength (traits which, by the way, we can apparently learn through close observation of John Voight), and topped off with a light sprinkling of gratuitous boob bouncing and casual sex references (the just reward to those young men who do know the aforementioned virtues).

To some of us, though, this is not the Transformers we grew up with. Through the relentless violent pounding of modern movie-making, the old sense of simple imagination has gotten lost since ’84. I could spend hours detailing each affront, but I would rather take a moment and talk a little, not about what is wrong now, but rather what makes those early cartoons so great to me, even as an adult. Continue reading

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