Theatrical Release Date: August 8, 1986
Written by Ron Friedman
Directed by Nelson Shin


"One day, an Autobot shall rise from our ranks and use the power of the Matrix to light our darkest hour.  Until the day 'till all are one."

Total Number of Bloopers:  273

Trivia Questions

  • After the Decepticons hijacked Ironhide's shuttle, which of the Autobot navigators were replaced, and which Decepticons replaced them?
  • How old is Spike Witwicky?
  • What is written on Kup's road sign?
  • What images are pictured on Wreck-Gar's miniature TV set?
  • Through which of Unicron's eyes did Hot Rod crash the Quintesson cruiser?
  • Which of these characters did not appear in the movie?  Bombshell, Gears, Grapple, Hoist, Huffer, Reflector, Snarl, or Powerglide?


In 2005, a monster planet known as Unicron is making its way through the galaxy, devouring any planets in its path.  It consumes the world of Lithone; only a single straggling survivor manages to escape.  It then turns toward Cybertron...

On Cybertron, the Decepticons are in control.  The Autobots, operating from Moon Base One and Two (orbiting Cybertron), are planning to retake their home world.  Optimus Prime sends Ironhide and a crew in a shuttle to Autobot City on Earth to gather enough energon to power their assault.  But the Decepticons get wind of this, and attack the shuttle, destroying Ironhide and his crew.  They use the ship as a cover to slip into Autobot City air space and attack.

Hot Rod and Daniel Witwicky, Spike's son, notice there is a hole in the shuttle when it arrives; Hot Rod fires upon it, forcing the Decepticons out.  Inside the city, Ultra Magnus leads the Autobot defenses.  As Springer and Arcee transform the city to battle station mode, Perceptor finds Blaster and orders him to send a distress signal to Optimus Prime.  Blurr helps Ultra Magnus alert the remaining Autobots, but Hot Rod and Kup, as well as Daniel, are trapped outside the city, until the Insecticons helpfully gnaw a hole through the defenses.

Devastator and the rest of Megatron's forces break through the Autobot defenses.  Just then Optimus arrives in a shuttle with the Dinobots, who keep Devastator busy.  Prime confronts Megatron in a decisive battle, but when Megatron tries to pull a hidden gun on Prime while feigning defeat, Hot Rod jumps him.  Megatron turns the tables and uses Hot Rod as a shield, blasting away at Optimus.  Prime can't fire for fear of hitting Hot Rod, and falls.  When Megatron approaches for the final blow, Prime responds with a mighty uppercut that sends Megatron flying. With Megatron defeated, the Decepticons scoop up their fallen leader and the rest of their wounded and retreat aboard Astrotrain.  

Optimus Prime's wounds are fatal; on his deathbed, he prepares to transfer the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus.  Weakening, he drops the Matrix; Hot Rod catches it and feels an affinity with it for a moment. Magnus stores the Matrix in his chest.  Unicron, meanwhile, watches events from afar...

Astrotrain heads for Cybertron, but needs to jettison some weight.  Starscream elects to toss the injured, including Megatron, into space; none of the wounded are in any condition to object.  Megatron and the others drift through space helplessly until Unicron summons them before him.  He proposes to give Megatron a new body and new troops, and in return Megatron must find and destroy the Matrix, the one thing capable of stopping Unicron.  At first Megatron refuses, but when faced with a choice between that or oblivion, Megatron agrees. Unicron transforms him into Galvatron, and works his magic on the other Decepticons as well, creating Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.

Back on Cybertron, Starscream's coronation ceremony is commencing.  Just as he is crowned, Galvatron arrives and transforms into his powerful cannon mode.  He fires on Starscream, disintegrating him.  The remaining Decepticon forces unite under his command.

Meanwhile, Unicron is approaching Moon Base One, manned by Jazz and Cliffjumper.  Outmatched, they attempt to escape while the moon is being devoured.  Their ship is swallowed up along with the moon. Bumblebee and Spike, stationed on Moon Base Two, set a detonator before they , too, blast off.  The Moon Base explodes, but Unicron is unaffected, and swallows up both the remains of the moon and the escape ship.

On Cybertron, Galvatron protests; Cybertron and its moons are, in his mind, rightfully his.  Unicron responds by torturing Galvatron remotely, forcing Galvatron into submission.  They head for Earth.

The Autobots, reacting to the loss of the Moon Bases and possibly the Autobots stationed there, are shaken our of their collective reverie by Galvatron's attack.  The Autobots split into two units and take separate shuttles. Once in space, Cyclonus attacks Hot Rod and Kup's ship, sending them, along with the Dinobots, hurtling down toward an alien planet.  Ultra Magnus and his crew are forced to detonate their ship, escaping aboard a life pod and making Galvatron believe he has destroyed them.

On Quintessa, Hot Rod finds himself separated from the others, battling underwater robotic beasts.  He finds Kup, scattered on the aquatic floor in pieces, and reassembles him.  Together they search for the Dinobots, but not before long, they encounter some indigenous robotic alligator creatures, who take them to a holding area. There they meet Kranix, having survived planet Lithone's destruction.  He explains that the Quintessons rule this world, who try and execute anyone whom they come across.  Kranix soon meets his fate in the courtroom's Sharkticon pool below.

Elsewhere, the Dinobots search for Hot Rod and Kup, but to no avail.  They meet up with Wheelie, a feisty little rhyming Autobot who has seen where the Autobots were taken.  He joins the Dinobots and leads them to the holding area...

Hot Rod and Kup are tried and sentenced to death in the Sharkticon pits.  They transform, creating a whirlpool high enough to escape the pool, and fight off the endless masses of Sharkticons.  Finally the Dinobots arrive and join the battle, finally turning the simple-minded Sharkticons against their Quintesson masters.  Wheelie finds them an escape ship and they leave Quintessa to rendezvous with the others.

Meanwhile, Ultra Magnus's crew crashes on the Planet of Junk.  They give Daniel a robotic exo-suit, and begin repairs to the life pod.  Galvatron tracked them down, however, and destroys the remainder of the ship.  While the rest of the Autobots flee, Magnus tries to unleash the powers of the Matrix upon the Decepticons.  He can't open it; the Sweeps blast him into pieces and Galvatron vows to use the Matrix against Unicron.

When the Autobots return to find Ultra Magnus destroyed, all hope seems lost.  Suddenly, out of the ground spring the Junkions, warriors made of junk themselves.  They attack the Autobots (they were, after all, using junk from the planet to try to repair their ship), who flee once again.  Just then Hot Rod's ship arrives, and Hot Rod befriends the Junkions.  Their leader, Wreck-Gar, has his Junkions reassemble Ultra Magnus, and using the Quintesson cruiser and a Junkion ship, they go after Unicron.

Near Cybertron, Galvatron threatens to turn the Matrix against Unicron, but he can't open it either.  Unicron responds by quaking and transforming to a gargantuan robot mode.  He attacks Cybertron, taking chunks out of the planet's surface and sending the Decepticons scrambling to safety.  Hot Rod flies the Quintesson ship right through one of Unicron's eyes, sending the Autobots tumbling down into Unicron's innards.

Daniel is swept away by a current and ends up in the chamber where Unicron's captured robots are melted down for fuel.  His dad, as well as the other Autobots from the Moon Bases, are about to be dropped into the smelting vat.  Using the exo-suit, he fires on the cover to the vat, shutting it just in time to save Spike and the Autobots.

Hot Rod, lost in Unicron's depths, seems to be guided by a mysterious force.  He makes his way to Galvatron, who wears the Matrix around his neck on a chain.  At first Galvatron tries to persuade Hot Rod to unite against Unicron, but Unicron tortures him again and turns Galvatron against Hot Rod.  They engage in battle, but Galvatron is the stronger of the two.  Galvatron wraps his hands around Hot Rod's neck, but just as the life seems squeezed out of him, the Matrix responds for Hot Rod.  It causes him to grow in size and strength, turning him into Rodimus Prime.  Rodimus throws Galvatron through Unicron's walls, sending him hurtling into space.  He then opens the Matrix and releases its power to destroy Unicron.  

The Autobots reclaim Cybertron, beginning a new age of peace under Rodimus Prime's leadership... "till all are one!"

Storyline Notes

The movie is a pivotal turning point in the Transformers cartoon universe.  Many of the characters whose Hasbro toys were sold in 1984-85 were killed off to make way for the new batch of toys.  To this end, almost all of the main characters up to this point were destroyed (or recreated), including familiar faces like Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Starscream.  The main characters introduced in the movie are a core group of Autobots who were specifically developed for the film, whose toys were based on their animated appearance.  It's also worth mentioning that the level of violence in the movie is considerably greater than that of the previous two television seasons.  For the first time, characters are killed in battle, never to appear again.  The movie established a darker tone that was followed up on, to some extent, in the subsequent third season.

Also, the movie continues to establish a much larger intergalactic neighborhood, building on ideas established in the second season.  Where early Transformers stories were limited largely to planets Earth and Cybertron, the movie is a galaxy-spanning tale that takes place on numerous worlds.  Furthermore, the movie completely changed the setting of the cartoon universe, jumping dramatically from the present-day 1985 to the distant future time of 2005.  This new setting would also be the basis of all subsequent cartoon episodes produced in America.  (Takara would later commission the creation of a single present-day episode called
Scramble City in an attempt to introduce movie characters like Ultra Magnus into a contemporary setting.)

It's also worth mentioning that the level of violence in the movie is considerably greater than that of the previous two television seasons.  For the first time, characters are killed in battle, never to appear again.  The movie established a darker tone that was followed up on, to some extent, in the subsequent third season.

Original Script Notes

The original script for the movie contains several scenes and lines of dialogue that were cut from the finished version of the movie.  (This script was also the basis for the TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE comic book adaptation by Marvel Comics, which explains why some of the scenes from the comic are different.)  It's interesting to note that some of these omissions create bloopers in and of themselves:

  • In the script, Hot Rod incorrectly reassembled Kup after they crashed on Quintessa. This later allowed Kup to escape from the Quintesson restraints because Hot Rod had left out a piece of Kup's shoulder, making him double-jointed.  In the finished film, the restraints simply disappear on their own as soon as the Autobots are dropped into the Sharkticon pit.

  • Another omitted scene was part of the Dinobots' search for Hot Rod and Kup.  Originally, a Quintesson gatekeeper deliberately misled them into the booby traps, and Wheelie (who had observed Hot Rod and Kup's capture) helped the Dinobots find their friends.  In the final version of the movie, this misdirection by the Quintessons is absent, so Wheelie's participation loses much of its original purpose.

  • Some other notable changes were the fact that the Lithone citizens Arblus and Kranix were originally designed to be able to transform into spaceship mode.  (This ability remains in evidence in their TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE profiles printed by Marvel Comics.)  Also, the Autobot cassettes were originally going to be a lion named Cubby; a tiger named Stripes; a scorpion named Stinger; and a humanoid robot called Bolts.  (The final versions of the Autobot cassettes were commissioned by Hasbro, who solicited the Japanese designer who had previously created the cassette toys for the Microman toy line, thus ensuring they shared a similar design philosophy.)

Character Design Notes

Almost all of the new characters who appeared in the movie were specifically designed for the film by Floro Dery.  The main exception to this was Ultra Magnus, who had previously existed in the Diaclone toy line (albeit in a different color scheme).  The remaining movie characters were retro-engineered into Hasbro toys, an unusual scenario since Hasbro usually creates the toys first, whose designs are later adapted for animation.  It's notable that after the movie characters were designed and the toys based on these designs went into production, their animation models were subsequently updated.  This resulted in the Hasbro toys matching the preliminary designs, but not the final animation designs in some cases.  These early character designs appear on the original theatrical movie poster.  Marvel Comics apparently never received the finished animation updates, since they used the early designs for the movie characters.  These early designs would also appear in some of the third-season episodes that were animated in Korea.  (Note that these are different from the concept art Floro Dery has made available on his web site, which was never involved in any stage of production.) 

The most notable changes from the early designs to the final designs are as follows.

  • Arcee: shoulder pads behind her arms instead of in front

  • Blurr: different, square-shaped leg armor; more pronounced chest canopy

  • Cyclonus: wings pointing out instead of folded behind his back; fins on forearms; more square-shaped legs; hexagonal shaped kneecaps added  

  • Galvatron: helmet crest more pronounced; round kneecaps replaced with hexagonal ones; chest is wider and more pronounced; dominant color may have been changed from grey to purple

  • Hot Rod: round shoulders changed to square-shaped ones; early design in Japanese movie trailer and U.S. toy commercials has Autobot symbol on "collar" instead of on chest

  • Kup: more square-shaped boots; belt design on pelvis modified; corrosion added

  • Rodimus Prime: pectoral muscles on chest eliminated

  • Scourge: vehicle mode changed from visible robot head to retracted robot head (which the animators apparently interpreted as an optional feature)

  • Sharkticon: no significant changes

  • Springer: body proportions redesigned; round-shaped vehicular thrusters replaced with square ones; rocket thrusters removed from legs

  • Ultra Magnus: vehicle-mode missiles launchers mounted on side of trailer instead of front (early test animation depicts him in orange and black Diaclone toy colors)

  • Unicron: no substantial changes (but in some early animated scenes he is missing his beard and his helmet is colored grey instead of orange; see Animation and Continuity below)

  • Wheelie: round wheel wells in arms replaced with square ones; round knees replaced with hexagonal ones

  • Wreck-Gar: helmet redesigned to cover entire head; tail pipes on legs eliminated

Additional Notes

The movie has been one of the most widely-discussed Transformers topics by fans on the Internet, due largely in part to the movie being one of the only commercially available Transformers adventures, before the advent of home DVD.  Many of the plot points have been discussed at great length by fans (whether Brawn really died; whether Megatron and Galvatron are the same character; which of the Decepticons were turned into Cyclonus and Scourge; etc.)  Many of these subjects have been discussed exhaustively, and while I have not addressed every possible facet of these topics, I believe I've at least touched on some of the more salient points.

The Transformers: the Movie on Television

  • In 1988, as part of the fifth televised season of the Transformers cartoon, the movie was split up and aired as five separate half-hour episodes.  The episodes were structured as a story that Powermaster Optimus Prime was telling to his human friend Tommy, with liberal use of recap footage serving as filler between episodes.  In this version of the movie, both incidents of rude language are edited out (so that when Ultra Magnus is struggling with the Matrix, he simply says, "Open... open!")  The final episode concluded with the Stan Bush music video for "The Touch," which had previously aired on MTV in conjunction with the theatrical release of the movie.

Video and DVD Releases

There are at least five distinct versions of the movie available for home theater, produced in America, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.  The differences between them, and their relationship to the original version of the film as seen in U.S. theaters, is as follows.

  • The first American home video release of The Transformers: the Movie was in February 1987 by Family Home Entertainment.  The movie was available on both Beta format and VHS.  It was nearly identical to the theatrical presentation, but Spike's use of the expression, "Oh, shit!" was removed from the audio track, so he simply says, "What are we gonna do now?"  Also, when the movie was being transferred from the original film, an audio glitch was created resulting in an odd warble in the music during the scene in which Unicron is digesting the remains of planet Lithone.  This glitch was also in the Malofilm version of the movie, but is not present in the Rhino version.

  • In the United Kingdom and Australia, the movie was released on September 1987 by Video Gems.  The front of the box features the UK movie poster, which showcases Optimus Prime and Megatron in battle.  (Here, Prime sports his Korean color model, with a grey backpack and mohawk.)  In place of the opening voice credits, a Star Wars-style text crawl was added, with narration by Victor Caroli that overlapped Lion's opening theme: "There's an evil new force in the Universe. A monster planet that devours everything in its path... and it's heading for the small planet of Cybertron where a unique race of transforming robots continues to fight a civil war... a war between good and evil that has raged for millions of years.  The evil Decepticon Transformers, led by the maniacal Megatron, have sworn to crush their enemies, the Autobots.  To this end, they have relentlessly pursued them across the galaxy from planet Cybertron to planet Earth and back again.  But the heroic Autobot Transformers and their courageous leader Optimus Prime, are not easily defeated." (This in itself is kind of misleading, given that Optimus dies in the first ten minutes of the movie.)  Victor Caroli's voice has been slowed down here, probably to make the narration last as long as the opening theme song.  This version of the movie also includes narration at the end of the film: "The battle is over.  But the galaxy-spanning adventures of the Transformers will continue--and the greatest Autobot of them all, Optimus Prime, will return."  This, of course, hints at events from the third season, and was added after those episodes were produced by Sunbow in the U.S..

  • In the United States, the movie was released by Avid Home Entertainment in 1991.  This version was essentially the same as the Family Home Entertainment release, but back of the box included the same information as the opening UK text crawl.  Once again, Spike's naughty language was removed.  This print of the movie has a slightly reddish tint, which is particularly noticeable during the scenes in Autobot City and the scenes on the Planet of Junk.  This cut also has an audio glitch that's audible during the battle for Autobot City.  When Hot Rod wants to go help Prime but Kup warns him to "Stay away, lad!" the background music cuts out for a split second.

  • In 1989, the movie was released to theaters in Japan, and was later made available on laserdisc format by Hillcrane.  This version includes the UK text crawl.  In the Japanese version of the movie, the names of the main characters would appear on the screen in katakana as they made their first screen appearances.  On the laserdisc, the digital channel contained the original American dialogue track while the analog channel included the Japanese dub.  The laserdisc was notable for its superior sound and picture quality compared to the video releases.  This version of the film also had the opening text crawl, but the narration is in Japanese for the analog channel and is completely absent on the digital channel.  Pioneer later released the movie to both laserdisc and video in 1998, but on this version the katakana characters are absent.

  • In Canada, the movie was released to video by Malofilm (it was made available in 1997, even though the copyright date on the packaging is 1995).  This was the first version of the movie that was completely unedited; it includes the original opening credits as well as Spike's infamous expletive.   Curiously, there is a musical fanfare during the opening Sunbow Productions/Marvel Productions logo, when in the theater this screen was silent.  It's worth mentioning that Malofilm appears to have done their own transfer from the original master, since on this version everything seems to have shifted over to the left slightly.  (This is particularly noticeable during the opening credits.)  As a result, there is more footage visible on the right-hand side of the screen than other releases.  (This means that this is the only version on video in which you can see the rare screen appearance of the Autobot named Bumper.  See Animation and Continuity below.)  With some copies of this version of the movie, there is a green line scrolling across the screen during the scene in which Daniel is first trying on his exo-suit.

  • In America, Rhino released the movie to video in October 1999, whose version is basically identical to the European video release, marking the first time that the UK text crawl was available to U.S. audiences.  This version includes an opening title card for Rank Film Distributors, instead of De Laurentis Entertainment Group, since RFD distributed the film in the UK.  The text on the back of the box contains several errors, claiming that Unicron uses the fallen Decepticon warriors to form a group called "the Unicrons," and fails to capitalize the word Matrix.  (The back of the package includes the UK movie poster with its miscolored Optimus Prime.)

  • In the UK, Maverick Entertainment released the movie to video in February, 2000.  The front cover includes a simplified modification of the original U.S. movie poster, and is identical to the previous UK release, except that Spike's potty mouth has once again been washed out with soap.

  • In Japan, CatCo produced the movie and made it available on VCD format.  Its content is identical to the Japanese laserdisc release, but it includes only one audio track this time, the Japanese dubbed version.

  • In Canada, the movie was released on DVD by Seville, formerly Malofilm.  While it was notable as the first version of the movie on DVD, its content is the same as the previous video release by Malofilm.

  • In America, Rhino released the movie again in November 2000, this time to both video and DVD.  Marketed as a Special Collector's Edition, this version of the movie was digitally remastered from the original film negatives, which means it lacks the "cigarette burn" at the end of each reel.  (One reel of the film was actually not remastered, consisting of the reel in which the Autobots being attacked by the Junkions, befriending them, and flying off in the Junkion ships.  In place of it is the original transfer, which is somewhat more blurry with faded color and a slight shaking of the camera which is common on VHS transfers.)  This version of the movie has only the Sunbow Productions/Marvel Productions title card, and includes the musical fanfare.  Two of the DVD chapter titles incorrectly capitalize Megatron's name as "MegaTron," and one of them is entitled "Swear Word," calling attention to the unedited dialogue track.  The special features include an interview with Vince DiCola, who composed the music for the film, as well as some of the storyboard artwork that had previously been presented at BotCon 2000.  This includes a deleted scene in which Ultra Magnus carries Red Alert, Tracks, Sideswipe, and Mirage into battle to attack Devastator inside Autobot City, but Red Alert is shot in the back and killed.  (None of these Autobots carried by Ultra Magnus appear anywhere in the finished film.  Red Alert never appeared after the movie, either, so his death could be considered pseudo-canon.)  This cut of the movie has much greater picture clarity and bolder colors than any of the videocassette releases, and a bit more footage is visible around the edges of the screen, but it suffers from significant color oversaturation.

  • In the UK, Maverick released the movie again on VHS in 2001.  The content is identical to previous UK releases of the film, but uses the 5.1 audio remix by Rhino (with Victor Caroli's narration edited back into the mix).  It includes the  English-language Singapore dub of the Japanese Headmasters cartoon episode "Four Warriors from the Sky."  Maverick also released the same print of the movie on DVD, but the individual frames have been interpolated, a film enhancing technique designed to reduce jerky motion in low frame rate motion pictures, resulting in each frame "blending" into the next.  The special features include the song "Instruments of Destruction" by N.R.G. accompanied by a series of screen shots from the movie.

  • In Australia, Madman Entertainment released the movie to DVD in 2003.  The movie itself is essentially the same as the Maverick 2001 VHS version.  Extras on the disc include character biographies (including how some of them met their end) and the music video for the song "The Touch" by Stan Bush.

  • The most current DVD release was the Transformers: the Movie  20th Anniversary Special Edition, put out by Rhino in September 2006.  The cover features a lenticular illustration that features Optimus Prime changing into Rodimus Prime, but these are off-model, Dreamwave-style interpretations of the characters.  A two-disc set, it is notable for having the first "widescreen" version of the movie available for home theater.  This is the first completely remastered version of the movie including the aforementioned scenes on the Planet of Junk.  The De Laurentis title card has been restored, but includes the sound of a gong being struck from the Rank Film Distribution title card.  The Sunbow/Marvel logo includes the musical fanfare.  Special features include alternate footage from the Japanese movie trailer (in which Kup tells stories to the Dinobots in robot mode, and Galvatron falls into Unicron's depths during his transformation to robot mode; this is also where Ultra Magnus appears in his Diaclone colors).  There's also a handful of alternate/deleted footage (mostly scenes in which the backlighting for weapons fire has yet to be added, but there is one scene after Astrotrain flies away from Autobot City in which the camera pans to the city precipice where the Autobots gather around the fallen Optimus Prime).  This edition of the movie has been remastered and color-corrected so that the highly oversaturated colors of the previous DVD release by Rhino have been mercifully toned down. (I had been hoping that the "color-corrected" part was referring to somebody digitally repainting the miscolored cels, but no such luck.)

  • On this version of the movie, there is a musical fanfare for the opening De Laurentis Entertainment Group logo, and again for the Marvel Productions logo, even though these cards were silent when shown in theaters.

Plot Oversights (38)

Ever wondered how far away the Planet of Junk is from Earth?  We've been broadcasting TV signals since the 1940's, but the Junkion culture seems to include a large number of 1960's-era catch phrases in their vocabulary.  (This is reasonably consistent with their dialogue in later episodes, too.)   So, let's say that by the year 2005, the transmissions they're receiving are 45 years old.  That places the Planet of Junk at least 45 light years away from Earth, well within our own galaxy (and therefore at 160,000 light years away from Cybertron's galaxy of origin!).

  • The opening narration makes a reference to "secret staging grounds on two of Cybertron's moons.  This is an interesting choice of wording, since most of the indications are that Cybertron only has two moons.  (This would be like saying that two of your eyes are bloodshot.  It implies you've got a third eyeball that's not suffering from this malady.)  Shouldn't this be "both of Cybertron's moons," then?  (For more on this, see Animation and Continuity below.)  I also need to mention here that this is something of a changed premise, since Cybertron was never shown to have moons in any episode that came previous to the movie.

  • Of course, there's also the little matter of these secret moon bases not really being a secret at all.  Laserbeak obviously knew exactly where they were.  Also, Starscream later recognizes them as a threat.  Who do the Autobots think they're fooling, anyway?

  • In the first scene with the Autobots, Optimus Prime tells Ironhide that they "don't have enough energon cubes to power a full-scale assault."  This is a major upheaval, since there are numerous episodes previous to the movie that indicate that Autobots don't use energon cubes.  In "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1, Hound identified them only as "some kind of cube," suggesting that the Autobots had never heard of them before Soundwave invented them in that episode.  Later in "Traitor," Cliffjumper reports that Mirage has been sighted carrying energon cubes, and Ratchet balks, "But where would Mirage get energon cubes?"  In fact, Autobots refuel by using their recharging chambers, as seen in "Attack of the Autobots."  (Yes, the movie does take place 20 years after these episodes, so it's possible the Autobots have begun using energon cubes in the interim.  It's still a whopper of a changed premise, though.)

  • In the next scene, Prime calls up Jazz on his monitor to have him check for Decepticon activity.  After Ironhide's shuttle launches, however, there's a scene with Jazz and Cliffjumper standing right next to Prime.  Why did Prime bother to bring up Jazz on the monitor when they were obviously in the same room?  Isn't this a bit like talking to someone on a car phone who's in the parking space right next to you?

  • The mightiest warriors in the Autobot ranks manage to somehow drop like flies in this movie.  Let's take Brawn, since he's a popular example.  Brawn, as we all know, is a Very Tough Autobot™.  He's taken hits from Megatron's weapons before ("Fire in the Sky"; "Fire on the Mountain") and he pulled through just fine.  Suddenly, though, one shot from gun-mode Megatron is all it takes to put Brawn permanently out of commission.  (There's also the fact that he's hit in the shoulder, and the laser blast makes a fairly clean exit.  It's not like his vital internal circuitry was completely demolished.  I guess it beats getting blasted clean in half, though, which is what happened in the original script.)

  • You've also got to question the Autobots' battle tactics during the shuttle attack.  When Brawn first realizes the shuttle is being boarded, he immediately leaps up, abandoning the cover of his navigation chair, brandishing no weapons, and stands there right out in the open and paints a big, red target on his chest.  Well, not really, but he may as well have.  At least Prowl, Ironhide, and Ratchet have the brains to whip out their guns, but they still all make the huge mistake of running right out into the middle of the control room.

  • After the Decepticons blow a hole in the side of the shuttle, all the air inside should have been forced out into space.  Of course, the Autobots are robots and don't need oxygen to breathe, so it's possible that there wasn't any air in the shuttle to begin with.  If that's the case, though, how can the characters hear each other when they're speaking in a vacuum?  Are the Autobots extending the courtesy of opening a radio transmission to the Decepticons while they're in the middle of a battle?  (Speaking of holes in the shuttle, the final shot Megatron delivered to Ironhide should have taken out the floor, too.)

  • Several key Autobots are mysteriously absent from the movie.  Obviously, it would have been impossible to include every character from the series, but their absence still bears scrutiny.  If Autobot City is being slammed that hard, why aren't warriors like the Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Omega Supreme being called to the forefront?  Likewise, if this battle means so much to Megatron, why didn't he bring Bruticus and Menasor to ensure his victory?  (Of course, the real reasons for these characters being absent was because they didn't exist yet when the movie was being written.  The newest characters available were the likes of Perceptor, Blaster, and the Triple Changers.  However, it wouldn't have been too hard for somebody in post-production to add a single throwaway line to reconcile why so many of these second-season characters appear to inexplicably vanish.  A simple line over the Autobot City intercom like, "All available Autobots, to your battle stations!" would have at least suggested that the others were on missions somewhere else.)

  • When Ultra Magnus first appears, he orders Blurr to help him alert the others.  Alert them to what?  The Decepticon attack?  Given the crippling of the Autobot shuttle overheard, the destruction of Lookout Mountain nearby, and at least five explosions within city limits, not to mention Starscream's aerial strafe over the city, you'd think the attack would be pretty hard to miss.

  • As Blaster begins broadcasting his distress call to Optimus Prime, Megatron gives Soundwave the order to jam the transmission.  This is a good call, since we've seen in episodes like "The Autobot Run" that Soundwave is capable of disruption communication signals.  Instead of doing this himself, though, Soundwave wastes valuable time ejecting four of his cassettes, who fly through the air and land on the crow's nest before finally uprooting the satellite transmitter.  (I guess it's possible the satellite dish amplifies the signal, making it too powerful for Soundwave to jam on his own.  If that's the case, though, why didn't Megatron just knock it out with his fusion cannon in the first place?)

  • When Optimus Prime's shuttle arrives at Autobot City, the Dinobots all leap out, flying through the air in robot mode before they transform to dinosaur mode and land.  In episodes like "War of the Dinobots" and "Dinobot Island" parts 1 and 2, though, none of them could fly without the aid of rocket packs.

  • Speaking of the Dinobots, Snarl is absent from the group for almost the entire movie.  (See Animation and Continuity below.)  What's interesting is that the movie script actually makes a reference to "the four Dinobots" at one point.  Could it be that the writer simply didn't realize there were five of these guys?

  • After the Dinobots land, Slag charges Devastator, crashing into his legs and pushing him into a city wall.  When the scene changes, though, Slag is suddenly head-butting Devastator in the stomach.  (I also think it's hysterical how Slag just walks off afterwards, as if he'd done his part and just didn't feel like fighting any longer.)

  • After Prime drives into the mob of attacking Decepticons, he returns to robot mode and flies through the air for several seconds before finally landing.  There are many episodes that make a big deal out of the fact that the Autobots can't fly, and yet here's Prime, doing his Superman impression.  (Upon closer inspection, Prime seems to use some kind of undercarriage booster rockets to get into the air, so maybe he's not really flying per se.  This is still a changed premise, though.)

  • When Starscream gets his foot caught during Autobot City's transformation, he has to shoot his own foot to get it free.  Only a few minutes later, after Megatron is defeated, Starscream walks over to him and kicks him with the same foot.  Shouldn't that have hurt?

  • I'd just like to throw in here that I'm surprised Rumble was able to locate Megatron's fusion cannon and carry it off during the Decepticon retreat, given that Megatron was knocked down two city levels from the point that he actually lost the cannon during his battle with Prime.

  • Suddenly, Optimus Prime carries this really important thingy called the Matrix of Leadership, something we've never heard about at any point previously.  Why haven't we heard of this Matrix at any point before?  Why didn't Huffer claim the Matrix when he assumed command in place of the ailing Prime in "Divide and Conquer"?  Why didn't the Matrix show up in Teletraan I's scan of Prime's chest during "A Prime Problem"?  For that matter, when Prime's evil clone showed up in that episode, why didn't the Autobots just check to see which Prime had the Matrix to confirm his true identity?  (It's worth mentioning here that the writers actually were going to mention the Matrix in an early draft of "Cosmic Rust," but the reference was deleted.  Also, I find it interesting that the Matrix of Leadership is very similar to the Creation Matrix, as previously seen in the Transformers stories from Marvel Comics.  The comic book and cartoon both started around the same time, each guided by Hasbro in their early stages.   My guess is that Hasbro wanted their Optimus Prime character to carry this powerful talisman, but Marvel Comics got around to introducing it in their stories much earlier than the cartoon writers did.)

  • Also, Megatron obviously knew of the existence of the Matrix, since he doesn't seem the least bit surprised when Unicron mentions it to him.  Why, then, did he never try to claim it in previous episodes?  He could have taken it when he had Optimus Prime's body in his possession in "City of Steel," for example.  It can't be that he knows a Decepticon wouldn't be able to use it, since Galvatron tries to use it against Unicron later in the movie.

  • After the duel with Megatron, when the Autobots are gathered around the wounded Prime, Springer is completely absent from this scene.  I guess he and Prime just weren't all that close.

  • During the Decepticon exodus back to Cybertron, Astrotrain asks to "jettison some weight, or we'll never make it to Cybertron!"  Everything is weightless in space, though, so Astrotrain would have continued at his current speed regardless of how many Decepticons were dumped.  (This should have been an issue back at Autobot City, when Astrotrain would have consumed less fuel for takeoff if there had been fewer Decepticons on board.)  Many fans have attempted to explain away this error by claiming that what Astrotrain really meant was that he wouldn't be able to decelerate safely once he entered Cybertron orbit, but that still meets the prerequisite of "making it to Cybertron," so that can't be right.

  • I have to question the choice of "wounded" Decepticons who were thrown overboard.  Dirge, Ramjet, and Soundwave were all gunned down by Optimus Prime during the Autobot City battle, and yet they were allowed to stay aboard.  Prime plowed into Thrust at full speed, sending him flying into the air uncontrollably, and yet he emerged unscathed.  Meanwhile, Bombshell doesn't even appear to have been present during the battle, and yet he was so banged up that the others chucked him into space.  (See Animation and Continuity below.)

  • Also, why is it that the ever-so-loyal Soundwave volunteers to carry the wounded Megatron on board Astrotrain, but then he votes to get rid of the wounded Decepticons?  Did he think that Megatron wasn't really that badly hurt, and that Megs just wanted a piggyback ride?

  • I'm kind of surprised that there's enough room for the Constructicons to combine into Devastator while they're inside Astrotrain.  (Compare this to episodes like "Cosmic Rust," in which Astrotrain's interior is shown to be only big enough for normal-sized Decepticons.)  Also, I'm surprised Astrotrain doesn't complain, or even seem to notice, when Rumble and Frenzy start using their pile driver arms on the deck floor of his shuttle mode!

  • There has been much debate over whether Galvatron and Megatron are "really" the same character.  One thing that seems inconsistent is that Galvatron is the only one of Unicron's creations who seems to be aware of his former existence.  Galvatron uses some of the same speech mannerisms ("I will crush you with my bare hands!") and memories ("I, Galvatron, will crush you just as Megatron crushed Prime!"), but neither Cyclonus or Scourge exhibit any characteristics of their former identities as Skywarp/Bombshell or Thundercracker.  If Unicron could simply wipe their minds clean, then why didn't he do the same with Megatron?  Wouldn't that have been a lot more effective than having to keep a constant eye on Galvatron and torture him until he agreed to obey every time he went against Unicron's wishes?

  • Jazz and Cliffjumper don't seem to notice Unicron approaching Moon Base One until he's right on top of them.  Jazz asks where "that thing" came from, and an instant later, Unicron is sinking his pincers into the surface of the moon base.  Don't they have early warning sensors for this sort of thing?  ("No sign of Decepticon shenanigans here, Prime!  Oh, wait.  Cliffjumper just got blown away.  Yeah, I guess they're here.")  Even if they didn't have sensors, wouldn't they be at least a little concerned at the sight of a large, alien planet with giant fangs looming over the horizon?

  • Speaking of the moon bases, are Spike and Bumblebee the only ones manning Moon Base Two?  If they were, that seems like a a major strategic flaw, since a flesh creature and a single puny Autobot could never defend the moon from a Decepticon attack.  If there were others on the moon base, though, they were killed when Unicron had the moon for lunch, since Spike and Bumblebee were the only ones to escape its destruction.

  • How is it that Autobot City got nearly demolished during Megatron's attack, but after Galvatron arrives, the Autobots just happen to have two perfectly good shuttles sitting right outside that are completely unscathed?  One of them could have been Prime's shuttle, perhaps, but where did the other one come from?  (In the original script, the Autobots were busy building these shuttles, which makes a little more sense.  That part made it into the comic book adaptation.)

  • Cyclonus asks Galvatron, "You want me to gut Ultra Magnus?" and Galvatron responds, "There are plenty of Autobots for you.  Ultra Magnus is mine!"  Why is Galvatron arguing with Cyclonus over who gets to attack whom, when Galvatron is piloting Cyclonus?  (For what it's worth, a lot of people seem to think this is actually Scourge he's speaking to.)  In any event, if Galvatron is so insistent about destroying Ultra Magnus himself, why is it that Galvatron proceeds to attack Hot Rod and Arcee, and then starts shooting at the Dinobots?

  • When Ultra Magnus' shuttle begins to take off and Arcee runs after it, why is the shuttle door still open?  If Magnus had left Arcee behind on purpose (i.e., she was going to stay with Blaster and continue repairs to the city), then the door would have been closed.  If he didn't know that she hadn't made it on board, though, then the door would still be closed.  The only possible explanation I can think of is that she was supposed to have boarded, but didn't, but Ultra Magnus decided to take off anyway.  (Optimus Prime he ain't, folks.)

  • The movie marks the first appearance of the Sharkticons, executioners for the Quintessons who transform into robotic piranhas.  There's nothing wrong with that, if the movie were a stand-alone story.  (And let's face it, everything transforms in the movie.  The Autobots, their city, their human friends, the fish-monsters they encounter, the giant planet that wants to eat them... even Kranix and Arblus of planet Lithone were designed to transform into spaceship modes until this facet of the characters was mercifully eliminated.)  The problem here is a retroactive one when "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4 explains that the Quintessons created the Autobots and Decepticons, who kicked the Quintessons off Cybertron and then went on to pioneer transforming technology on their own.  If that's the case, then why do the Sharkticons transform?  The Quintessons created the Sharkticons after their exile from Cybertron, before transforming was invented there.  Also, when the Quintessons created their robots, they called them consumer goods and military hardware, groups who later went on to adopt the names Autobots and Decepticons.  Why, then, did the Quintessons name their creations Sharkticons, as in Decepticons, a term not coined by the Quintessons?)

  • Another concept introduced in the movie is the universal greeting.  Apparently, every language-using species in the universe knows what "bah wheep graaagnah weep nini bong" means and is able to correctly deduce that anyone who uses this greeting is a friend.  Kind of makes you wonder why the Autobots never used it at any point during the many, many instances, both before and after the movie, during which they met an alien species for the first time.

  • Apparently, Daniel has inherited the Witwicky family trait of being completely indestructible.  When the life pod from Ultra Magnus' shuttle crash lands on the Planet of Junk, Arcee is carrying Daniel in her arm, and is thrown into a wall with enough force that she bounces off of it.  By all rights, this should have killed the boy, or at least cracked a few ribs, but he walks away from the crash remarkably unscathed.

  • The movie introduces the Junkions, who are described in the third season as a tribe of Autobots who dwell on the Planet of Junk.  (They may have been one of the lost Autobot colonies who fled Cybertron during the second and third war, like the Antillans from "Cosmic Rust.")  If Perceptor is aware of the existence of the Planet of Junk, though, then shouldn't he also know that there are Junkions living there?  Why doesn't he bother to pass this information along to Ultra Magnus?

  • How, exactly, did Hot Rod and Kup know that Ultra Magnus' shuttle had crashed on the Planet of Junk?  (The comic book adaptation explains that they followed the trail of debris left by the life pod, for whatever that's worth.)

  • After Hot Rod lands on the Planet of Junk, he steps forward and offers Wreck-Gar an energon goodie as a gesture of friendship.  Earlier, though, he said he had run out while feeding the creatures on Quintessa.

  • Kranix, the scientist from planet Lithone, knows that Unicron is a planet which has previously consumed other worlds, and passes this information along to Hot Rod and Kup.  How is it possible, then, that when Kup finally gets a glimpse of Unicron, he doesn't have the faintest clue what he's looking at?  (Even Wreck-Gar knew who Unicron was.  Kup obviously needs to get out of the house more often.)

  • Unicron obviously has his own center of gravity.  Galvatron tumbles into Unicron's insides after Unicron swallows him; the robots on the conveyor fall into the processing vat; the Autobots are able to transform and roll out while inside Unicron.  If this is the case, though, then considering how much Unicron is moving about during his assault on Cybertron, why aren't the Transformers inside of him experiencing the equivalent of a constant earthquake?

  • This is a retroactive blooper, but in the movie, Hot Rod transforms into Rodimus Prime after he opens the Matrix.  He remains in his new form even after Galvatron knocks the Matrix out of his hands and it rolls to the floor.  In the third season, however, Rodimus Prime instantly reverts back to Hot Rod any time the Matrix is removed from his chest.  (It's also worth mentioning here that the Matrix makes Hot Rod grow several feet in height when he changes to Rodimus Prime, and he also sponanteously generates a trailer. Where does all this physical matter actually come from?)

Dialogue and Sound Effects (25)

The robotic flanging effect applied to the voices of the actors in the movie is distinctly less pronounced than compared to the television series.  This is particularly noticeable with Megatron, Ultra Magnus, and Galvatron.  My guess is that the producers didn't want to heavily mask the voices of the celebrity actors to ensure they were still recognizable. Also, in the movie, the new Decepticon characters Galvatron, Cyclonus, and Scourge do not share the metallic resonance that is typical of most other Decepticon characters, but this effect will be applied to the voices of the characters in subsequent episodes.
Also, while Unicron never moves his mouth when he speaks, I don't consider this an error since the movie is consistent about this fact.  It suggests that he communicates by other means than through the vacuum of space.

  • During the attack on planet Lithone, it sounds like Kranix says to his buddy, "Orbulus, look!  It's Unicron!" The character Kranix is speaking to is actually named Arblus.

  • When Blitzwing arrives at Lookout Mountain and beckons Hot Rod to "come on down, Auto-brat!" he isn't moving his mouth when he speaks.

  • Likewise, Ultra Magnus isn't moving his mouth when he calls Springer's name following Perceptor's status report.

  • When Optimus Prime transforms into his truck mode, he takes an inordinately long time to complete the transformation.  He's still completing his transformation long after the transforming sound effect is heard.  (It's also worth mentioning here that the transforming sound effect was remixed for the movie.  The new sound also snuck its way into some late second-season episodes like "Kremzeek!")

  • When the Insecticons are gnawing on the door to Autobot City, it sounds like Kickback is saying to Shrapnel, "Delicious... eh, Shrap-nay?"

  • After Optimus Prime plows through the group of Decepticons in truck mode, there's no transforming sound effect when he changes back to robot mode.

  • During the voting process to keep the wounded on board Astrotrain or dump them into space, he voices of the Decepticons chanting "Aye!" and "Nay!" don't match any of the Decepticon characters present.  This is because it's actually one single generic voice that's been layered several times to create the illusion of more than one voice speaking.

  • Also, when the injured Decepticons are being pushed out of Astrotrain, the dialogue is difficult to distinguish because several Decepticons are speaking at once.  Ramjet can be clearly heard saying, "Get!  Make room for others!" and it sounds like one of the Decepticons responds, "No, don't!" or possibly "Brothers, don't!"  In any event, the voice of this poor soul doesn't match any of the Decepticons aboard the ship.  In fact, it's the same generic voice given to the Reflector component who was forced to pilot the experimental space bridge vehicle in "Divide and Conquer."

  • After Rumble and Frenzy shake Devastator apart, Devastator's components transform back into the Constructicons.  We don't hear any transforming sound effects when this happens, though, even though we see Devastator's shoulders fall and transform back into Hook, who pops up onto the screen an instant later.

  • Once the moon bases are consumed, and Unicron has tortured Galvatron for his impudence, Galvatron doesn't move his mouth when he gives the order, "Decepticons, to Earth!"

  • As Arcee is running alongside the shuttle and Springer is reaching his hand out to her through the open doorway, he yells "Jump!" without moving his mouth.

  • Scourge's voice fluctuates a bit during the course of the movie.  His first line of dialogue to Galvatron, when he reminds his leader, "But remember, we belong to him!" is delivered in a much higher pitch than his next line, when he reports, "The Autobots have been terminated."  (This second line is much closer to the sound of Scourge's voice throughout the third season.)

  • When Hot Rod suggests that Kup has better things to do than tell stories to the Dinobots, the Dinobots begin protesting.  One of them says, "Quiet!  We wanna hear story!"  It looks like Sludge's mouth is moving here, but this definitely isn't Sludge's voice.  It almost sounds like Michael Bell is doing a generic Dinobot voice, actually.

  • On planet Quintessa, after Hot Rod discovers Kup underwater, his mouth doesn't move when he yells out Kup's name.

  • After Ultra Magnus' shuttle crew disembarks on the Planet of Junk, Daniel lets out a low whistle.  His mouth isn't in the right shape to make a whistling sound, though.  His lips are slightly parted and his top teeth are visible.

  • The first time we see Wreck-Gar, his mouth doesn't move when he delivers the line, "Offer expires while you wait.  Operators are standing by."

  • After Hot Rod and Kup are thrown into the prison cell on Quintessa, Hot Rod asks, "What is this place?" but his mouth doesn't move when he delivers the last two words of dialogue.

  • As the Quintesson guards are dragging Kranix off to his trial, Kranix pleads, "No, please!  I'm the last survivor of Lipton!"  Well, that's what it sounds like, anyway.  (The actual name of his planet is Lithone.)

  • After the Decepticons land on the Planet of Junk and confront Daniel in his exo-suit, Daniel commands his suit to transform without moving his mouth.

  • It sounds like the Quintesson leader keeps asking, "Guilty, or invocent?"  How do you prove someone's invocence, exactly?

  • In the original version of the movie, Arcee's voice is very heavily flanged after they discover the remains of Ultra Magnus and she says, "First Prime, now Ultra Magnus.  What'll we do?"  It sounds like this was tweaked a little by Rhino for the 2006 DVD release.

  • As Wreck-Gar activates the Junkion ship, he begins a sing-song chant:  "Yes, friends, act now!  Destroy Unicron!  Kill the Grand Pooh-Bah!  Eliminate even the toughest stains!"  The other Junkions chime in as well and begin repeating the same chant.  What's strange about this is that the Junkions actually finish chanting before Wreck-Gar does.  How did they know what he was going to say?  Did they all get together beforehand and memorize a "Destroy Unicron" chant for just such an occasion?  (I'd also just like to add here that Wreck-Gar's dialogue suffers from being almost completely indecipherable because it's so heavily amplified.  If I didn't have a copy of the script as a guide, I would have no idea what this guy was saying most of the time.)

  • Unicron's transformation sequence borrows a sound effect from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  Specifically, it's the sound of the leg motors of the Imperial AT-AT Walkers.  Listen for it when one of the large orange structures retracts into Unicron's planetary surface.  It's a very distinctive sound.

  • Just as Hot Rod is preparing to crash the Quintesson cruiser into Unicron's eye, the background music switches to the instrumental sequence from the middle of the song "Dare."  It's not a very clean edit, though, and you can still hear the end of the line, "You can win if you dare!" from the lyrics that preceded the instrumental part.

  • As Unicron's internal defenses are trying to capture the Autobots, Arcee yells, "Quick!  This way!" and her voice isn't flanged.  Her voice is also missing the robotic flanging during the scene where Daniel is swept away by the torrent and Arcee yells out Daniel's name.

Animation and Continuity (204)

While most of the characters in the movie are depicted accurately in accordance with their animation models, the animators did take some creative liberties with the Dinobots.  As Devastator pounds Sludge on the back, Sludge's eyeballs actually go flying right off his head for an instant.    Later on the Planet of Junk, after one of the Junkions plants a big, wet kiss on Grimlock's nose, Grimlock protests, "Me, Grimlock, not kisser!  Me king!"  Grimlock's eyes are absolutely gigantic in this scene.  Even though both of these scenes depict characters that are technically off-model, it was done so deliberately, intended no doubt for comic effect, and is therefore not a blooper.

Also, the movie (and subsequent third-season episodes) establishes that Transformers lose their color and turn grey when they die.  While Optimus Prime is by far the most prominent example of this, close examination reveals he's not the only Autobot who exhibits this trait.  During the attack on the Autobot shuttle, Prowl seems to lose some of his color after he's shot.  (This is hard to tell since he's predominantly black and white to begin with, but the red crest on his helmet turns darker, and his normal bone white coloring changes to a more blue-ish white.)  Additionally, when Megatron walks past the fallen Ironhide, Ratchet's arm is visible on the other side of him, but instead of being white with a red fist, it's colored light grey with a black fist.)

The animation bloopers have been broken down into the chapters that correspond with the Rhino DVD chapters for easier reading (despite how arbitrary some of the chapter breaks are).

A Special Run/More Than Meets the Eye

  • When the inhabitants of planet Lithone first notice Unicron approaching in the distance, Unicron's planetary rings are actually overlapping the building on Lithone.  Instead of making Unicron look like he's off in the distance, this creates a new perspective in which Unicron looks to be the size of a particularly menacing beach ball.

  • On Moon Base one, the robots seen manning the factory are none other than the Dinobots: Sludge, Swoop, Slag, and Grimlock.  (Swoop is probably the most easily identifiable of these because of the wings on his back.)  Do the Dinobots strike anyone else as being about seventeen shades of smart enough to actually be working in an assembly line?  (Particularly the movie Dinobots, whose IQ scores are practically sliced in half compared to their second-season TV incarnations?)

  • When Laserbeak lands on Moon Base One and activates his head camera, it's a different design than the last time we saw it during "Dinobot Island" part 1.  (I realize that the animators tend to just make up this sort of thing on the spot, since it's not part of the character's model sheet.  It is possible to get these things right, though.  For instance, the inside of Blaster's cassette door looks the same in "Auto-Bop" as it does in a later episode, "The Key to Vector Sigma.")

  • When Ironhide says to nobody in particular, "Your days are numbered now, Decepti-creeps," the ring around the base of his neck is colored grey.  It's black in every other scene.

  • As Ironhide transforms to his vehicle mode, he's conveniently hiding behind a support beam for most of his transformation.  I suspect the reason for this was because the animators couldn't decide whether or not to use his official transformation sequence, in which his van mode splits into his robot form and a mobile battle platform.  (Ratchet's toy was identical to Ironhide's, and we do see Ratchet's ambulance mode split into his robot form and a mobile repair bay in "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1.  This is the only time we see one of them split into two components, though.)  Obviously, the animators elected to bypass the problem entirely.

Moon Base Two/Blast the City

  • When Jazz first appears on Optimus Prime's monitor, Jazz is missing the Autobot symbol that's usually on the square blue panel on his chest.  The symbol is missing again, when he contacts Moon Base Two, and again when Cliffjumper begins the countdown for the shuttle launch.

  • Doesn't it seem strange that Cliffjumper starts waving to the monitor when Ironhide appears on it, when in fact both Ironhide and Cliffjumper are on the same moon base together?

  • As Cliffjumper begins delivering the countdown for the shuttle launch, the top of his body is colored light blue, as though this were his rear windshield, when his body should be red. Also, Jazz is standing next to him and the front bumper on his chest is colored white instead of red.

  • As Prime, Jazz, and Cliffjumper are watching the shuttle depart and Prime comments, "Now, all we need is a little energon and a lot of luck," the inside of Cliffjumper's helmet is colored grey, like his face, instead of red.

  • As Laserbeak turns to fly away from the moon base, Jazz is visible in the background and the vehicle roof on his back is colored black, when it should be white with blue stripes.

  • Back on Cybertron, when Soundwave retrieves Laserbeak, he doesn't push the eject button on his shoulder to open or close his cassette door.  This is not only inconsistent with previous episodes, but also with scenes later in the movie.

  • As Laserbeak enters Soundwave's chest, the twin stripes on either side of his cassette door are colored blue instead of yellow.  They change to yellow as Soundwave leaps into the air and transforms.

  • Also, right before Soundwave transforms to tape deck mode to play back Laserbeak's recording, there's a computer monitor to the right of Soundwave which is rectangular with an indentation on the left side.  After Soundwave transforms and plugs into it, however, the viewscreen is perfectly rectangular with no indentation.

  • On Laserbeak's playback of the conversation between Prime and Ironhide, Prime is waving his arms about.  He wasn't doing this when he was actually speaking with Ironhide, though.  (Is Laserbeak taking some creative editing classes?)

  • Also, at one point, Laserbeak's recording features a shot with Optimus in the background and an extreme close-up of Ironhide's face in the foreground.  Ironhide's chest panel is black in this scene instead of red.  More important than this, though, is the fact that the only way for Laserbeak to have gotten a shot of Ironhide from this angle would be if he had been sitting on Ironhide's control panel.  (Ol' Rusty Pants must be really nearsighted.)

  • After Megatron finishing watching the recording and comments than Prime will need more luck than he imagines, the bottom triangles of Megatron's Decepticon insignia are connected to the rest of the symbol.  They're supposed to be separate pieces.

  • When we first see Ironhide's shuttle, the ship is overlapping an asteroid that's supposed to be in the foreground.  (The shuttle was much too far away for it to have passed by the asteroid by this point.)

  • In the first scene inside the shuttle, as Prowl and Ironhide man the controls, Prowl has a white stripe and a police badge on the inside of his left wing (which forms the door to his police car mode).  Compare this to a later scene when Prowl gets out of his chair to fire on the Decepticons, and the backs of his doors are black with no badges.)

  • As Megatron rips through the breach in the shuttle, we see Scavenger behind him, whose body and head are colored entirely purple.  Scavenger should have a green body and a black helmet with a grey face mask and red eyes.

  • After Megatron transforms to gun mode, when Starscream uses him to fire the first shot at the Autobots, the "forehead" on Megatron's Decepticon symbol is colored grey instead of purple.

  • After Brawn is hit, as Starscream looks on while he falls to the ground, Mixmaster is standing behind Starscream and his lower legs are colored purple instead of green.

  • When Prowl fires back at the Decepticons entering the shuttle, Scavenger's head briefly changes from purple to light grey. (Neither of these colors is correct; his helmet should be black.)  Also in this scene, when Scavenger dodges Prowl's laser bolts, Scavenger momentarily overlaps Starscream's wing, which should be in the foreground.  

  • When the Decepticons first attack the shuttle crew, Megatron transforms to gun mode and lands in the waiting hands of Starscream, who is standing on the deck of the shuttle with all the Constructicons behind him.  A moment later, when Ironhide and Ratchet open fire, Starscream is suddenly hiding behind the opening in the ship's hull, with several Constructicons behind him, and he's no longer carrying Megatron.  (Obviously, this was supposed to have been Thundercracker or Skywarp, but was given Starscream's color scheme instead.  Even "Starscream" isn't colored right, though, because his wing is entirely red and the center of his chest is orange.  He should have a grey wing with a red stripe, and only the canopy on his chest should be orange.)  

  • As Brawn is shot down, Scavenger can be seen in the background and he's carrying his gun in his right hand.  When Scavenger fires on Prowl, though, his gun is suddenly in his left hand.  Then, after Prowl is gunned down and Ironhide and Ratchet return fire, however, Scavenger's gun is  in his right hand again.  (Seems like there are a lot of left-handed characters in this scene.  Scavenger, Starscream, Prowl... all lefties.)

  • In the scene in which Starscream is firing repeatedly at Ironhide and Ratchet, the gun-mode Megatron in his hands is colored entirely grey.  Megatron should have a black stock, barrel, and scope.

  • When Ironhide is shot down, he lands on his chest; Prowl and Ratchet end up on their backs.  When the Decepticons take their positions in the navigation chairs, however, all three of these Autobots are now flipped over.  (Was Rumble frisking them for pocket change?)

  • Also, Ratchet is missing the red cross on his shoulder as he falls to the floor.

  • When Megatron walks past the bodies of Ironhide and Ratchet on his way to the forward section of the shuttle, we see that Ironhide's chest windshield has been shattered and that there are components protruding from the broken glass. All of these components are colored light blue, like his windshield, when they should (probably) be a grey color.

  • Additionally, when Ironhide and Ratchet are gunned down near the forward section of the shuttle, Ironhide is on Megatron's left (after he faces the front of the shuttle).  When Ironhide makes his last ditch effort and grabs Megatron's boot, however, he's suddenly on Megatron's right.  (Sure, it's possible that he crawled around behind Megatron, but why would he go to the trouble, and wouldn't one of the Decepticons have noticed?)

  • One more note about the shuttle scene:  Where are the other Decepticons who are later present during the battle for Autobot City?  There's no evidence of Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Shrapnel, Bombshell, or Reflector as the Decepticons take control of the shuttle, even though all of these characters appear later inside Autobot City.  (Maybe the plan was for Astrotrain to rendezvous with the shuttle en route to Earth?)

  • On Earth, during the first scene with Hot Rod and Daniel fishing, the reflection of Hot Rod in the lake is at the wrong angle.  It should be upside-down, but instead the reflection is tilted.  The only way this could happen is if the surface of the water were tilted at about a 30º angle, which is of course just plain silly.  Because of this incorrect angle, Hot Rod's fishing pole and line are missing from the reflection.  

  • When Daniel is riding on his skate-rocket and hits the rock protruding from the ground, his board's engines cut out, and it flies backwards behind him.  In the next scene, though, the board's engines are firing and it's suddenly flying forward again.

  • The animation of Hot Rod's transformation sequence is inconsistent.  When he changes to vehicle mode and takes Daniel to Lookout Mountain, his arms swing back at the shoulder joint and his lower torso and legs appear to rotate 180 degrees.  After they arrive and he changes back to robot mode, though, his arms revolve on an axis and his legs no longer rotate.  (This problem continues throughout the movie, actually.)  

  • Near the city, Kup's crew that's working on the road block consists of Huffer, Hound, Sunstreaker, and Prowl colored like Bluestreak.  (Even though Prowl and Bluestreak are of similar design, Bluestreak has a differently-shaped helmet crest and upper arms than the robot shown here, who also has police badges on his doors.)    Meanwhile, the appearance of Hound and Sunstreaker is also erroneous, since they are later shown disembarking from Optimus Prime's shuttle.

  • When Blitzwing lands outside the city and targets Hot Rod, we see some random numerical readouts from his point-of-view.  These are probably supposed to be targeting coordinates, but the numbers continue to fluctuate after he locks onto his target.  (Compare this to later when Perceptor is tracking the Decepticons in microscope mode, and his targeting readouts do stop once he locks onto them.)

  • As Blitzwing is aiming his turret cannon, the piece of his plane cockpit that's still visible in tank mode is colored purple, like the rest of his nosecone, when the canopy glass should be blue.  (Oddly enough, the cel painters still recognized that it was a glass cockpit, since they gave it a glossy reflection.)

  • When Kup leaps onto Blitzwing and grabs his tank barrel, part of the front of Blitzwing's tank mode is colored blue instead of tan.

  • Then, as Kup is still holding the turret cannon,  Blitzwing fires a purple colored laser bolt, and both Kup and Blitzwing's tank barrel are washed in purple.  This would have been a really cool lighting effect, were it not for the fact that only Blitzwing's tank barrel changes color; the turret it's connected to remains its normal tan color.  This discrepancy makes this scene look like a coloring mistake, even though it's not one.  

  • Finally, when Shrapnel collides with Blitzwing, the underside of Blitzwing's tank mode is tan and featureless.  Compare this to earlier, when he transformed into his tank mode and his purple robot-mode chest was still visible on the bottom of the tank after he finished transforming.

We're Outnumbered/Must Stop Megatron

  • After Ultra Magnus gives his orders and Springer leaps off the staircase to transform the city into battle station mode, the Autobot symbol on Springer's chest disappears for an instant.

  • As Springer and Arcee flee from the attacking Starscream, there's a spot of battle damage on the floor, on the lower left side of the screen, that isn't moving with the rest of the floor.  This damaged area even overlaps the subsequent explosion.

  • After Starscream's foot is trapped in one of the collapsing floor panels during Autobot City's transformation, he has to shoot himself in the foot to escape.  What's strange about this is that, even though he screams, "Aaaah!  My foot!" if you carefully watch the scene of Starscream rocketing off into the sky, it's actually the side of his leg that shows to be damaged.    Also, this is the only scene in which this damage is visible; in all subsequent scenes, the damage has disappeared.

  • In a high angle shot of the battle above Autobot City, Shockwave can be spotted among the participants of the aerial melee.  Shouldn't he be on Cybertron?     Dirge is also colored like Ramjet in this scene.  Not only that, but Rumble can be spotted flying away to the left, but he's colored like Shockwave.

  • Also in this same scene, Reflector appears, but he's colored like Ironhide.    This is particularly interesting, since Reflector was phased out of the cartoon early in the second season.  In fact, Reflector appears three more times in the movie, all erroneous appearances.  

  • In the communications tower, when Blaster's control chair begins to swivel, the plate on his forehead is colored red when it should be grey.

  • After Perceptor pops up from the access tunnel in the floor of the communications tower, Blaster immediately addresses Perceptor by name without even turning around to see who he's talking to.

  • Also in this scene, one of the first-season Decepticon jets flies past the window.  It's impossible to tell whether this was intended to be Starscream, Thundercracker, or Skywarp, but the jet in question is colored like Dirge.

  • As Blaster begins sending his distress signal to Optimus Prime, in the group shot of the Decepticons firing on the city, Soundwave's head is miscolored.  The panels on the sides of his head are colored blue, like the rest of his helmet, when they should be grey.

  • When Soundwave ejects his cassettes to jam the transmission smash the broadcasting dish, Frenzy is colored like Rumble.  Then, Frenzy actually disappears for a split second before finally appearing in the correct colors.  Both characters are colored like Frenzy when they transform to robot mode.

  • As the Decepticon cassettes are destroying the broadcast dish, the circles on Ratbat's chest are colored gold instead of black.  (While it's true that the gold weapons on the Hasbro toy do protrude through these holes, this is inconsistent with Ratbat's animation model.)

  • When Rumble and Frenzy land on the roof of the communications tower, right before they smash through the glass, both of them have grey eyes instead of red.

  • After the cassettes smash through the skylight, there's no evidence of broken glass anywhere on the floor of the communications room.

  • When Blaster ejects his cassettes, both Rewind and Eject change from blue to black as they transform.  Rewind should be black; Eject is blue.

  • During the fight between the Autobot and Decepticon cassettes, Eject tapes a flying leap from the left side of the screen to the right, but a second later, he appears on the left side of the screen again, firing at Ravage.  Obviously, one of these guys was supposed to be Rewind, but was colored wrong.

  • Kickback's head is utterly crushed by Kup when he gets run over, but later on as the Decepticons enter the city limits, Kickback is among the group and his head appears perfectly intact.

  • As Springer and Arcee enter the room with the launcher, they discover the deactivated bodies of Wheeljack and Windcharger.  Just before the scene in which Arcee starts dragging Windcharger's body, there's a red and blue robot laying on the left side of the screen, which seems to suggest that there was a third Autobot who had been manning the launcher.  A number of people noticed this character during the theatrical presentation of the movie at BotCon 2000, but they weren't sure who he was.  It turns out that this is actually Wheeljack, more or less colored like Sideswipe.  

  • Why are the Autobots straining with all their might to move that catapult launcher into the proper position?  Didn't anybody notice that the thing has got treads?

  • After Megatron gives the order for the Constructicons to combine, Scrapper and Mixmaster begin to transform... and Mixmaster starts transforming upside-down!  (He seems to think that he's supposed to end up on his head, the same way Scrapper does.)

  • As the Constructicons complete their transformation, in the first scene with Devastator, his chest armor and left forearm are colored green; they should both be purple.

  • Then, when Devastator crushes one of Autobot City's rotating gun turrets, he's missing the Decepticon symbol on his chest.

  • After Devastator smashes the turret gun and starts pounding on the walls of the city, Shrapnel is among the Decepticons looking on, and his head and lower legs are both colored light grey when they should be black.

  • In one scene during the Autobot City battle, Perceptor is in a foxhole, firing at the Decepticons, and Swoop runs by.  (He's in the extreme foreground, so you can only see his legs, but it's definitely Swoop.)  This is a mistake, since Swoop should be on Prime's shuttle with the other Dinobots at this point.  (This scene also features the only appearance of Grapple in the movie.)  

  • Aboard Prime's shuttle, when Prime orders the Dinobots to attack, Sunstreaker is manning the navigation controls and his forearm is colored yellow instead of black.

  • Even though Snarl is mysteriously absent for almost the entire movie, he does appear in three separate scenes.  He can be seen when Ultra Magnus is preparing the Autobots for the journey to find Unicron, and again a moment later when Galvatron first attacks the city.  He's also inside the Quintesson cruiser when it arrives on the Planet of Junk (see below).  These appearances can probably be considered animation mistakes, since Snarl is missing for so many other scenes.

You Got the Power/Passing the Matrix

  • Optimus Prime is missing the Autobot symbol on the side of his trailer when he transforms into his truck mode.

  • As the Decepticons charge the city and the truck-mode Prime approaches them from behind, Soundwave's upper legs change from grey to blue, and Blitzwing's head changes from yellow to purple for a moment.  Dirge is also colored like Ramjet in this scene.

  • When Prime chases after Blitzwing, we see a passenger's-eye-view of the inside of Prime's truck cabin.  In this scene, Prime has a different dashboard than the last time we saw in, in "Triple Takeover."  (He even has a cute little Autobot symbol on his steering wheel now!)

  • Blitzwing is missing his gun when he jumps into the air to avoid getting turned into metallic road pizza by Prime.  He was still carrying it in the above scene.

  • After Megatron asks the telling question, "Why throw away your life so recklessly?" Prime responds, "That's a question you should ask yourself, Megatron," and he appears to be hunched over and returning to a standing position, even though he was standing fully upright a moment ago.  In the script, there was a scene here where Dirge tries to tackle Prime from behind, and Prime grabs him and slams him to the ground.  I'm guessing this scene was animated, or at least planned to be, which explains Dirge appearing in the voice credits.  Prime standing back up does make a lot more sense if he had just finished throwing Dirge into the ground.

  • After Megatron throws that shard of metal into Prime's gut, as Prime is clutching his wound, we see the little triangle on Prime's forearm on the outside of his wrist (facing front).  In the next scene, when Prime back away, the triangle is now on the top of his wrist (facing up).

  • Once Prime throws Megatron to the ground in what should have been the end of the fight, the cannon on Megatron's back is colored black.  It should be grey.

  • Megatron is facing away from Prime when Prime first approaches him.  When the camera angle changes to behind Prime, though, Megatron has suddenly rotated about 120 degrees towards him.  By the very next shot, Megatron is facing Prime head-on, even though Megatron  still hasn't begun to crawl towards the gun that's out of Prime's sight.

  • After Megatron has grabbed Hot Rod and Prime is trying to get a good shot at Megatron, Prime is missing the square panel on the side of his hip.

  • The stray gun that Megatron finds on the ground is purple colored.  In the close-up of Megatron chanting, "Fall... fall!" the gun is colored entirely black.  (I guess one of the cel painters thought it was his fusion cannon or something.)

  • Careful examination of the scene in which Prime is gunned down reveals that he's being hit by two different weapons.  One of them fires purple blasts, but there's another set of laser bolts hitting Prime that are orange in color.  Purple laser bolts are consistent with Decepticon weaponry, but orange laser beams usually indicate Autobot technology.    The only two characters who are in the correct position to be shooting at Prime from this angle are Megatron and Hot Rod.  (For the sake of all the die-hard Hot Rod fans out there, I will allow for the very small possibility that Megatron is simultaneously firing at Prime using his built-in back-mounted cannon and the handheld Autobot gun he found on the ground.).

  • After Prime delivers his final blow to Megatron and collapses to his knee, the antenna on either side of his helmet are colored grey instead of blue.

  • When Starscream kicks the defeated Megatron, the entire middle section of his chest is orange.  Only the canopy glass should be orange; the rest should be grey.

  • When Megatron urges Soundwave not to leave him behind, the eject button on Soundwave's shoulder os colored blue instead of grey.

  • After Starscream summons Astrotrain, he transforms to train mode and drives off, but doesn't appear to increase in size.  Normally, the only time that size-changing Transformers become larger or smaller is during their transformation sequence.  Later, however, as the Decepticons are boarding Astrotrain, we see that he has grown significantly.  The only way this would be possible is if Astrotrain spontaneously expanded to the size of his space shuttle mode at some point after he transformed and drove off in train mode.

  • Some of the Decepticons are too badly damaged to make it to Astrotrain themselves,  like Megatron and Kickback, and so they have to be carried by others.  Presumably, the Decepticons too badly wounded to make it to their escape ship are the same ones who are too weak to offer resistance when they are ejected from the ship, right?  However, both Thundercracker and Skywarp can both be spotted making a mad dash for Astrotrain.  If they're both in good enough shape to run, then why don't they put up a fight when they get booted into space?

  • I should also mention that when Astrotrain changes to shuttle mode and blasts off, he rotates a full 180º, since the top of his train mode forms the bottom of his space shuttle mode).  That's got to make for a pretty bumpy ride for the passengers inside of him.

  • When Perceptor is examining the wounded Optimus Prime, it looks like Prime has an Autobot symbol on his right shoulder.  He should only have one on his left shoulder.  

  • Also, in the first scene in which the Autobots gather around the dying Optimus Prime, Arcee is missing the Autobot symbol on her chest.

  • As Prime tells Ultra Magnus that he's going to pass on the Matrix of Leadership to him, the top of Magnus' body is colored blue when it should be red.

  • When Magnus responds to this decision and balks, "I'm not worthy," the components on either side of his head are colored grey, like the antenna attached to them.  They should be blue, like the rest of his helmet.

  • When Optimus Prime removes the Matrix from his chest, we can see that there's a second Matrix, entirely grey, still within his chest cavity.  (I guess if you go by the Beast Wars episodes in which Optimus Prime appears, this is the "spark holder" that contains his life force.)  

  • Also, Prime drops the Matrix after he takes it out of his chest, presumably because he is weakening, and his arm drops to the side.  A moment later, though, both his arms are at his sides again.  (What, did Blurr rush in and prop his arm back up when nobody was looking?)

  • After Hot Rod catches the Matrix and Ultra Magnus is about to take it back from him, part of the left side of the shield on Magnus' chest flashes from blue to red for an instant.

  • Many fans have observed that when Ultra Magnus inserts the Matrix into his chest, there is an apparent animation glitch during which he inserts the Matrix, pulls it out for a second, and then places it inside his chest again.  I'm of the belief that this wasn't a problem with the animation, but rather that Magnus was simply adjusting the Matrix to ensure a proper fit.  I've included this here as a point of interest for the sake of completeness.

  • A moment later, when Kup walks into view, the scratch on his chest is on his right side. It should be on the left side of his chest.

  • As noted earlier, Optimus Prime's body changes to a sickly grey color when he passes away.  It does add to the emotion of the scene, but I have to question why this happens.  If Transformers are coated with paint (which Sunstreaker has mentioned on numerous occasions throughout the first and second season), then why would the color of this paint suddenly fade when a robot is deactivated?  The movie isn't consistent about this phenomenon, either.  Windcharger and Wheeljack were both dead when Arcee found them, but both of their bodies were still in full color. Also, when Ultra Magnus is blown to pieces, his body parts remain the same color and do not turn grey.

Megatron Transformed/A Hungry Planet

  • As we see Unicron's internal monitors as he remotely observes the passing of the Matrix, Hot Rod is missing the Autobot symbol on his chest when he hands the Matrix to Ultra Magnus.  Also, the scene as depicted on Unicron's monitors isn't consistent with the scene as it actually transpired.  On the monitors, Magnus appears to be holding the Matrix in his palms and showing it to the other Autobots, which he never actually did.

  • On board Astrotrain, as the healthy Decepticons converge on the injured warriors to toss them into space, the panel in the center of Bombshell's chest is colored grey when it should be yellow.  Also in this scene, the red stripes on Soundwave's forearms are missing, and Dirge is once again colored like Ramjet.

  • When Starscream hoists Megatron over to the air lock, Soundwave can be seen in the background and his eyes are colored grey instead of red.

  • When Astrotrain is in space shuttle mode, he has red panels with yellow borders on either side.  These would seem to be the same air locks from which Starscream dumps Megatron.  In several exterior shots of Astrotrain, though, these panels are colored grey, like the rest of the shuttle exterior, in the scene when the Insecticons are dumped, and again after Megatron is jettisoned.

  • After Starscream tosses Megatron out of Astrotrain, Megatron dips below Astrotrain's wing. If Megatron really is weightless in space, shouldn't he have floated off at the same point at which Starscream released him?

  • As Starscream is dusting off his hands, part of his chest armor is colored grey when it should be red.  Then, when Starscream is nominating himself to be the new Decepticon leader, the entire middle section of his chest is colored orange again.

  • When Scrapper makes a play for Decepticon leadership, the panel on the side of his foot changes several times from a dark green color (shaded) to a light green color (unshaded).

  • When Bonecrusher balks, "Who are you calling inferior?" his chin guard is colored grey when it should be black.  Also, the "eyes" on Hook's Decepticon symbol are missing at the beginning of this scene.

  • When the cassettes eject themselves to defend Soundwave's play for leadership, Soundwave is missing the red stripes around his wrists, and the border around his cassette door is light blue when it should be yellow.

  • As Megatron is discussing future plans with Unicron, part of his Decepticon symbol is colored grey.  I don't think this was a mistake; Megatron is badly damaged, and part of the symbol could have been knocked off during his battle with Prime.  However, the symbol is purple in its entirety again during the scene where Megatron proclaims, "You have nothing to fear!"

  • Also, when Unicron begins to consume Megatron, the symbol on his chest has disappeared altogether, but when Megatron recants, "I accept your terms!  I accept!" it has rematerialized.

  • As noted above, Galvatron is mostly purple (with some grey), but his Hasbro toy is mostly grey (with some purple).  The toy was probably based on an early incarnation of the character before the final color scheme was decided upon.  What's interesting is that when Galvatron transforms to his cannon mode, his upper body changes from purple to grey.  I suspect that while his robot mode design was updated, the design for his cannon mode was not.  This means, of course, that Galvatron inexplicably changes color every time he transforms.

  • Unicron really isn't a very creative guy, is he?  He uses the same new robot body design for both Bombshell and Skywarp, turning them both into the form of Cyclonus.  Wouldn't that make things awfully confusing?  How do you tell the two apart?  (Oddly enough, the second Cyclonus more or less disappears after the movie.)  And for that matter, how can anyone tell Scourge apart from the Sweeps, who are all identical to him?  (Maybe it's not lack of creativity; maybe Unicron's just got a perverse sense of humor.)

  • Let's go over the character manifest after Galvatron and his troops are created.  The only Decepticons tossed from the shuttle were Megatron, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Bombshell, Kickback, and Shrapnel.  Megatron, of course, became Galvatron; Bombshell became Cyclonus; Skywarp became another Cyclonus; Thundercracker became Scourge; and Kickback and Shrapnel became Sweeps.  In the scene right after Cyclonus transforms, though, in addition to the second Cyclonus, there are four other Sweeps present, plus Scourge. Somehow, two new Sweeps materialized out of nowhere!  (Did two of the Reflector components get turned into Sweeps at some point, and we just didn't see it happen?)

  • On Cybertron, during Starscream's coronation, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and all three Insecticons all present for the ceremony, even though they were all tossed off of Astrotrain and turned into new Decepticons just a few moments earlier.  Also, in the opening coronation scene, instead of being colored green and purple, the Constructicons are all colored purple with grey legs.

  • How in the heck do the Constructicons all manage to play trumpets during the ceremony when three of them (Scavenger, Long Haul, and Scrapper) have face masks instead of mouths?

  • Starscream has undergone a complete body structure modification during his coronation scene.  At first I had thought he was just wearing a cape and some really big shoulder pads, but if you look closely, he's also got larger chest armor and bigger forearms.    When did he have time to make these modifications?  (One wonders if the cape doesn't get in the way when he transforms, too.)

  • After Galvatron shows up on Cybertron and takes command, Soundwave is drawn significantly off-model as he cheers the arrival of the new leader.  The cassette door in his chest is incredibly small in this scene; it's not much bigger than his head.

  • After Unicron approaches Moon Base One, the panel on the top of Jazz's vehicle hood is colored white instead of blue.  It's the same way when Jazz makes his way to the shuttle.

  • Back in Autobot City, Blaster is missing the speakers on the front of his legs when he first detects the distress signal from Spike and Bumblebee.

  • There seems to be something wrong with the timer on the explosives that Spike and Bumblebee use to try to destroy Unicron.  The readout on the timer doesn't correspond to real-time seconds; it's much faster.  (Maybe the timer counts in astro-seconds?)

Swear Word/Down for Repairs

  • As Spike and Bumblebee celebrate Unicron's apparent destruction, the symbol on Bumblebee's chest is missing.

  • After Unicron has eaten both of the moon bases, there is a scene where Galvatron is on Cybertron, screaming at Unicron.  Up above, one of the moons is still clearly there, and Unicron is busy consuming the remains of the other one.    Apparently, there was a Moon Base Three that nobody ever bothered to mention before, and which Unicron never bothered to eat.  This is, incidentally, the only time we see an additional moon base in the movie, and the only such scene that may validate the narrator's claim that the Autobots are stationed on "two of Cybertron's moons."  (Despite this, Cybertron is shown to have moon bases in the episodes "Five Faces of Darkness" that directly follow the movie, though it should be noted that these episodes are riddled with animation mistakes.)  It's worth mentioning here that according to the script, this scene was originally slated to come later in the movie, so perhaps these really are Moon Base One and Two and the scene was edited out of sequence.

  • In the scene where Galvatron screams at Unicron, who responds by torturing him, there is a gigantic Decepticon symbol behind the throne in the Hall of Heroes.  In the cartoon, the Decepticon insignia is usually drawn with three spikes on its forehead crest.  In the backdrop painting of the giant symbol, however, the symbol only has two spikes.  (This is how Hasbro originally designed the Decepticon symbol to look, but is inconsistent with the way it's traditionally depicted in the cartoon.)

  • Also in this scene, one of the statues in the Hall of Heroes is missing.  Facing the throne, it's the statue on the left that's closest to the throne.  It's there in previous scenes.

  • When Ultra Magnus is rallying the Autobots against Unicron, somebody must have accidentally moved one of the animation cels.  In this scene, his chest shifts slightly to one side, while his head and arms remain still.

  • After Spike and Bumblebee's transmission is cut off, Magnus turns around to address the group of Autobots behind him, and the monitor behind him shows nothing but garbled transmissions.  When the Decepticons show up, though, the monitor has shut itself off.  (And yes, this is extremely nitpicky, even by my own standards.)

  • As noted previously, Snarl shows up in the scene where Galvatron attacks Autobot City.  In this scene, Swoop has disappeared.

  • Watch for the scene when Springer scoops up Daniel while the Autobots are making a break for the shuttles.  Daniel doesn't actually jump up into Springer's arms... it's more like he levitates.

  • After the shuttle begins to taxi and Arcee starts running after it, at one point she actually reaches the ramp, and it even looks like she grabs onto it.  In the next scene, though, she's several feet behind the ramp again.

  • As Springer pulls Arcee aboard the shuttle, the bottom panels on her helmet that cover her forehead are colored pink, like her face, instead of grey, like the rest of her helmet.

  • The two Autobot shuttles are different color schemes.  They're both predominantly orange, but Ultra Magnus' shuttle has red trim, while Hot Rod and Kup's shuttle has grey.  (This may have been done so the animators and/or viewers could keep track of which shuttle is which, even though it's a pretty subtle distinction.)  When Magnus' shuttle takes off, though, it's got grey trim instead of red.

  • After the Autobots successfully escape into space, during the first scene inside the shuttle in which Kup is telling stories to the Dinobots, Slag is missing the Autobot symbol on his triceratops head.

  • Also in this scene, Swoop's pteranodon neck changes color from blue to gold when he pleads, "Good part, Kup!  Tell Swoop good part!"

  • When Hot Rod is sparring with the auto-combatant aboard the shuttle, right before the auto-combatant hits him, the wheels on the backs Hot Rod's upper arms are colored light grey.  They're actually supposed to be magenta, like the rest of his arms (this in itself could be considered a blooper of sorts, but it's part of his color key model so at least the animators consistently get it wrong most of the time).

  • Following the crash of Hot Rod's shuttle, as Galvatron sets his sights on Magnus' shuttle, the ship has got grey trim once again instead of red.

  • After Ultra Magnus orders the separation of the ship, as Perceptor swivels around and proclaims, "That's too dangerous!" the entire front panel on his forehead is yellow.  Only the rectangular box inside this panel should be yellow.

  • When Perceptor is babbling about the difficulties of trying to find a planet to land on, this same panel on his forehead changes from black to yellow when he leans back.

  • Hot Rod's transformation sequence has changed again.  On the planet Quintessa, when Hot Rod spots Kup underwater and transforms to rescue him, as he changes back to robot mode, his vehicle-mode wheels sort of melt into the surface of his arms.

  • When Hot Rod is trying to save Kup from the giant robot squid, Hot Rod retracts his fist and replaces it with a buzzsaw blade.  After he uses the blade on the squid for the second time, his hand suddenly reappears.  A moment later, the buzzsaw blade is back again; then Hot Rod finally retracts the buzzsaw blade and replaces it with his hand.

  • After Hot Rod defeats the squid and recover's Kup's body, Kup appears to be immersed halfway in the surface of the ocean floor.  The problem is, the ocean floor looks like it's made of solid metal.

  • When Kup was attacked by this squid, he lost his lower right leg and left forearm.  When Hot Rod is repairing Kup later, though, Hot Rod is working on an open panel in Kup's left leg.  Also, when Kup gets up and starts walking around, he's limping and favoring the left leg, as though it were stiff.

Universal Greeting/Planet of Junk

  • After Hot Rod completes the repairs to Kup, after Kup stands up, the little slot just above his Autobot symbol is colored red, like his symbol. It should be grey.

  • Hot Rod's transformation sequence has changed yet again.  When he and Kup switch to vehicle mode so they can search for the Dinobots, Hot Rod's arms rotate on an axis when he transforms, so that his left arm in robot mode ends up on his right side in car mode, and vice versa.  He didn't do this the first four times he transformed in the movie, though.  (It's worth noting that the Hasbro toy doesn't do this, either.  The idea was probably way too complicated to engineer on such a comparatively small scale.)

  • After Ultra Magnus' shuttle crashes on the Planet of Junk, when Magnus goes, "Say something!  Anybody!" his upper leg is colored blue when it should be white.

  • A moment later, in the shot of the Autobots scattered around the cabin of the shuttle, Blurr's entire head is grey.  It should be colored light blue with a light grey component on the back of his helmet.

  • Shrapnel makes an appearance when the Decepticons arrive on the Planet of Junk.  Didn't he just get turned into a Sweep?  What's more, in the comic book adaptation of this scene, he's identified as Shrapnel in dialogue, so this can't just be a mistake on the part of the movie animators.  (The possibility exists that it wasn't the original Shrapnel who was recreated by Unicron, but one of the mindless Insecticon clones.  Maybe the one who appears on the Planet of Junk is the original Shrapnel, who's been cloning the Sweeps off-camera.  This might explain why so many Sweeps begin popping up during the third season.)  Shrapnel is miscolored in this scene, too, with grey lower legs instead of black.  

  • The five-faced Quintesson Judge perpetually hovers on a beam of energy.  Kind of makes you wonder, then, why his court is equipped with a throne.

  • As Swoop is circling over Quintessa and searching for Hot Rod and Kup, the Autobot symbols on Swoop's wings disappear.

  • As the Dinobots proceed through Quintessa, Slag nearly walks into a trap door, and Grimlock whacks Slag out of the way with his tail.  In this scene, Slag's lower jaw is round in shape.  When Slag gets to his feet, he growls at Grimlock and bares his teeth.  In the scene after this, though, Slag's jaw is back to its normal square shape, and he once again has no teeth.

  • As Wheelie first approaches the Dinobots, Slag has a yellow square on his forehead instead of his Autobot symbol.  Later, when Wheelie climbs onto Sludge's back, Slag has a yellow circle on his head instead of the Autobot symbol.

  • When Wheelie jumps up onto Sludge's head, the top section of Sludge's neck is colored grey.  It should be gold.

  • In the scene where Hot Rod and Kup are fighting the Sharkticons, right before Hot Rod punches the Sharkticon in the mouth, the entire top sections of Hot Rod's shoulders are colored grey.  Only the panels inside his shoulders should be grey.

  • After the Dinobots burst into the court room, as they proceed to move in on the Sharkticons, the Autobot symbols disappear from Grimlock's chest and the top of Slag's head.

  • All of the Junkions have red eyes, a trait shared with most of the Decepticons.  The first stand-alone third season episode, "The Killing Jar," establishes that the Junkions are, in fact, Autobots. If this is true, then the Junkions should have blue eyes, like most of the other Autobots.  (I suspect the true reason they were given red eyes is because they were regarded as villains for the first half of the movie.  In the Hasbro toy commercial for Wreck-Gar, the voice of Optimus Prime could be heard introducing Springer and the Triple Changer toys, while the voice of Megatron introduced Wreck-Gar!)

Release the Power/Rally the Troops

  • As the Decepticons arrive on the Planet of Junk, there are 31 vehicles approaching over the horizon.  Even if we assume that every single Decepticon seen in the movie so far is present during the attack, and that all of Soundwave's cassettes are flying separately instead of in his chest, that's still only a maximum of 27 characters.

  • There's a special effect missing after the Decepticons launch the attack on the Planet of Junk.  Normally, a backlighting effect is applied to laser bolts to make them glow, but as Springer transforms to robot mode and flies off, there are two laser bolts fired by the Sweeps that are colored completely black.

  • When Arcee transforms to vehicle mode, the Autobot symbol on her hood is missing.

  • Also, when Blurr transforms, his waist doesn't rotate 180 degrees like it did when he transformed during the attack on Autobot City.  (The toy isn't designed this way, of course, but this is how his animation model was designed.  The hood of his vehicle mode actually ends up on his butt.)

  • At one point we're treated to a Cyclonus-eye-view of the fleeing Autobots.  Since we're looking at the Autobots from inside Cyclonus' cockpit, though, shouldn't the windows be orange?

  • The original script called for Ultra Magnus to be drawn and quartered by the Sweeps (as depicted in the comic book adaptation), but apparently the film censors found this to be too gruesome, so the scene was reanimated so that he's simply blown into pieces.  Several artifacts of the original idea remain in the film, however.  First, each of the four Sweeps are shown emitting a solid beam of energy (one for each of Ultra Magnus' limbs).  Second, the scream made by Ultra Magnus is tortured and prolonged, and is more consistent with an ongoing pain (like being pulled apart) than simply being shot at.  Finally, how would being shot at by the Sweeps cause Ultra Magnus to double over and make all his limbs pop off?  It just doesn't add up.

  • The scene in which the Junkions pop out of the refuse, right before they attack the Autobots, is actually recycled footage from earlier in the movie, shortly after the Autobots began digging through the junk and Wreck-Gar's warriors took notice.

  • After the Junkions begin chasing down the Autobots, all of the Autobots transform to their vehicle modes except for Perceptor, who runs away from the Junkions in robot mode.  We know that Perceptor has mobility in microscope mode, since he transforms and rolls out with the other Autobots in the second-season episode "Child's Play," so why doesn't he do the same thing here?  (Of course, the real answer to this question is that the movie was produced before that episode was written.  At this point in production, it's likely that nobody knew that Perceptor could roll out.)

They're Everywhere/Battle Unicron

  • At one point during the battle on the Planet of Junk, Wreck-Gar throws his axe at the helicopter-mode Springer, and it goes tumbling off into the distance.  A moment later, though, Wreck-Gar engages Springer in robot mode, and his axe has miraculously returned.

  • When Springer transforms to car mode and backs away from Wreck-Gar, he's missing the Autobot symbol on his hood.  (I'd also like to mention that Springer looks pretty ticked off after Wreck-Gar manages to break his sword.  I wonder if this is because the sword that comes with the Springer toy splits apart to form the blades for his helicopter mode?)

  • As the Quintesson cruiser lands on the Planet of Junk, there's a moment where the combatants on the planet stop and stare at the new arrivals.  They have no idea who's in the ship, but actually it's being piloted by Hot Rod and the Dinobots.  The Dinobots are all in robot mode as the ship lands, even though they've spent almost the whole movie in dinosaur mode.  They're even in dinosaur mode as they exit the ship.  The only possible reason I can think of why they would be in robot mode would be to make it harder to identify who's piloting the ship.

  • There are also several continuity errors during this scene.  As the ship lands, we see a very brief glimpse of the ship's cockpit from the outside, after which we cut to a scene from the inside of the cockpit, looking outside the windows of the ship.  In the scene from inside the ship, Grimlock is standing in a different place; the window divider has moved; and Wheelie is sitting instead of standing.  Also, Snarl can be spotted (also in robot mode) in the exterior shot of the cockpit.  (Slag seems to be missing from the group, too, but he's there when the Autobots disembark.)

  • When Hot Rod emerges from the Quintesson ship, the ship is colored silver in the matte painting behind him, but in the animated shots before and after this scene, the ship is its normal green color.  Also, the symbol on Grimlock's dinosaur mode chest is missing as he exits the ship.

  • When the Junkions start to reassemble Ultra Magnus, they begin by putting his legs on backwards!  They try to fit his left leg into the right socket, and vice versa.  (I hope they offer an extended warrantee on assembly.)  

  • There's more recycled animation in the scene where Wreck-Gar summons the Junkion ship from the surface of the planet.  The footage of the Junkion troops running towards the ship is looped several times.

  • As Hot Rod and Kup are looking on and nod to each other, the left part of the spoiler on Hot Rod's back moves with his head as though the spoiler were attached to his head.

  • After Unicron transforms to robot mode and begins his attack on Cybertron, there is more recycled footage as the Decepticons on Cybertron run for safety.  We see the same guys fleeing in succession about three times over as the animation is looped.

  • As mentioned above, the design of Unicron's robot head alternates between his two different designs a couple of times in the movie.  One of them appears to be from an earlier model in which he has no moustache and goatee.  This appears to coincide with the test footage that appears in the Japanese movie trailer, which was animated before the rest of the film.

  • During Unicron's attack on Cybertron, among the Decepticons who respond to the attack are Thundercracker, Starscream, and two Skywarps, all characters who no longer exist by this point.  (It's worth mentioning that the one resembling Starscream is actually of a slightly different design.  Perhaps this is meant to be a Cybertronic jet mode, but it's more like a minor variation on the existing Earth design.  It isn't even close to the triangular prism shaped jets we saw in "More Than Meets the Eye.")    Also in this scene, Unicron swallows up Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge and appears to destroy them after they fly into his mouth.  The problem is that all three of these characters are drawn with Ramjet's wings.  (Well, the real problem is that they all show up again during the third season, but we'll get to that later.)

  • When Galvatron transforms to cannon mode and fires at Unicron, both his Decepticon insignia, as well as the Matrix (which he was wearing on a chain around his neck) are missing.  The Matrix doesn't show up again until after Galvatron transforms back to robot mode and Unicron swallows him up.  (The design of the Matrix had not been finalized when this scene was animated, so the Matrix was added with an overlay in post-production.  Obviously, the animators missed a handful of scenes.)

  • In the long shot of Unicron standing on Cybertron, battling the Decepticon fleet, he suddenly seems a lot smaller than he did when he first approached Cybertron and raked its surface with his hand.

  • Also in this scene, Unicron is shooting pink-colored beams from his functional eye.  In the close-up, however, the beams he's firing are green in color.

  • As the Dinobots engage Unicron, Grimlock is firing bursts of energy from his fists.  This is the first and last time we see Grimlock demonstrating this ability.  (If you ask me, he's been watching too many episodes of Challenge of the GoBots.))

  • During the Dinobot attack on Unicron, when the camera pans up to Unicron's head, his damaged eye is inexplicably intact.

  • Also in this scene, when Swoop is attacking Unicron, he's missing the Autobot symbols on his wings.

  • When Unicron reaches for the Dinobots and tries to close his first on them, the square panels on his knuckles are light grey when they should be colored orange.  (There's also a pretty huge size discrepancy in this scene.  When the Dinobots first start attacking Unicron, they're much larger than they are a few seconds later when Unicron tries to grab them.)

Satisfaction Guaranteed/Light the Matrix

  • When Hot Rod crashes the Quintesson ship through Unicron's eye, it makes a hole that extends from the top of his eye to the bottom. When we cut to the inside of Unicron's head and see the ship traveling into his head, though, the hole has changed size and is now considerably smaller.

  • After the Quintesson ship breaks apart, all of the Autobots fall into Unicron's depths except for Hot Rod, who falls onto the side of a gigantic spike jutting out of the side of the tunnel and is knocked out.  When Hot Rod regains consciousness and falls off of the spike, the animation isn't lined up with the background, so it looks like Hot Rod's legs disappear when he slips off.  

  • Inside Unicron, two generic robots are dropped into a processing vat.  As the blue robot in the back begins to turn red as he melts, his head changes back to blue for an instant.

  • Daniel in his exo-suit is visible in the high angle of the robots being carried away to the cauldron, even though he hasn't actually arrived on the scene by this point.

  • Also in this scene, one of the robots being carried off looks suspiciously like the Autobot named Beachcomber.  He can only be clearly seen on the DVD, and even then he's drawn very tiny, but it's unmistakably Beachcomber's color scheme.    Given that this robot did not escape from Unicron with the other Autobots at the end of the movie, we must conclude that he died.  Beachcomber does appear briefly during the third season in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 5, so one of these appearances is an error.  (I have no idea which one, though.)

  • When Daniel is trying to activate the laser on his exo-suit to save Spike, the panel on the arm of his exo-suit is already open.  In the next scene, the panel is closed; then Daniel fiddles with some controls and the panel pops open.

  • As Jazz is released by the conveyor claw into the processing vat, his front bumper is colored white when it should be red, and the panel on the top of his hood is white when it should be blue.

  • There is an unidentified Autobot on the conveyor claw behind our heroes who is only visible on the Malofilm VHS version of the movie or the DVD.  Spike, Bumblebee, Jazz, and Cliffjumper are being carried along, but just behind them is a robot of similar design to Cliffjumper, only he's yellow and has a different head design.  He's definitely an Autobot, and not just some generic robot, since he's got a red symbol on his chest.    Both Bumblebee and Cliffjumper are visible on the screen at the same time as this guy, so it can't be either of them.  (I like to pretend that this is Bumper, the Mini Autobot who was sold by Hasbro in 1984 but who never got an identity of his own.)

  • As Hot Rod is trekking through Unicron's innards, his Autobot symbol is missing when he climbs up onto the ledge.

  • In the scene where Hot Rod successfully opens the Matrix, he is able to fit his fingers into these perfect little ergonomically-shaped square holes in the handles.  These finger holes do appear in a couple of other scenes (when Galvatron claims the Matrix from Magnus, and when Galvatron tries to claw it open to use against Unicron), but they seem to be an afterthought.  The finger holes are missing throughout most of the movie, including the scene in which Optimus Prime first takes the Matrix out of his chest.

  • When Spike and the others from the processing vat run into the room and Spike asks what's going on, Bumblebee is missing the Autobot symbol on his chest.

  • When the Autobots all transform to vehicle mode to escape from Unicron, the panel on Jazz's hood that has his Autobot symbol is colored white again, when it should be blue.  (I'd also like to say here that Jazz's transformation sequence is depicted differently in the movie than in the cartoon series.  Usually, he does this distinctive leap into the air as he converts to car mode, but when the Autobots all transform to escape from Unicron, the leap is absent.)

  • In the final camera pan of the victorious Autobots on Cybertron, both Blurr and Perceptor are missing their Autobot symbols, and Jazz's front bumper and top chest panel are both colored white again.

  • Then, in the next shot of Rodimus Prime thrusting his fist into the air and proclaiming, "Till all are one!" the nose on his Autobot symbol disappears.

Closing Credits

  • The voice actor credits include listings for the characters Inferno, Gears, Prowl, and Dirge, even though none of them had speaking lines in the movie.  (It's most likely that Don Messick was mistakenly credited for performing Gears instead of Scavenger, another of his characters who did speak in the movie.  Also, Dirge and Prowl both had lines in the movie script, so these were lines that were probably recorded but later cut from the finished movie.  It's possible the same applies to Inferno, even though he doesn't have any dialogue in the script.)
  • Also, Jack Angel does not receive a credit for the character of Ramjet, even though Ramjet's voice can clearly be heard during the scene when the injured Decepticons are pushed off of Astrotrain and he commands, "Get!  Make room for others!"  (For that matter, Frank Welker doesn't get a credit for his portrayal of the auto-combatant that Hot Rod is sparring with.)
  • The cast list is supposed to be alphabetical, but Peter Cullen's name is listed before that of Scatman Crothers.


The movie has been compared to the original Star Wars trilogy because both stories share a number of plot concepts and thematic elements.  Both films are similar because they both follow the same basic pattern of the heroic myth, in which the lead character (usually a young male) leaves his home on a quest, acquires new skills and a magic talisman, and returns home to help others.  This same story archetype serves as the basis for the legend of King Arthur as well as the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Another animated film that closely follows this pattern is G.I. Joe: the Movie, also written by Ron Friedman.

There are, of course, specific elements from
Star Wars that were lifted directly for use in The Transformers: the Movie.  Among them are:

  • the design of Arcee's helmet, which was inspired by Princess Leia's "cinnamon bun" hairdo  

  • the character of Springer, whose sardonic manner seems to be modeled after Han Solo

  • the scene in which Hot Rod is combat training aboard the Autobot shuttle, which is markedly similar to Luke's early Jedi training aboard the Millennium Falcon

  • the concept of Unicron as an intergalactic juggernaut that can destroy planets, making him very similar to the Death Star

  • the disembodied voice of Optimus Prime speaking to Hot Rod is reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi beckoning Luke Skywalker to use the Force

    The movie also borrows at least one element from the 1978 film
    Grease.  Arcee's ability to extend a spike from her hubcaps to disable opponents driving alongside of her seems to be inspired by the earlier film.

    Also, while there are numerous pop culture references in the Transformers cartoons, there are perhaps none quite so blatant as those uttered by Wreck-Gar and his tribe of television-loving Junkions.  Note that the TV dialogue is more generic in the movie than the specific films and programs that are referenced in the third season, but there are still several references worth noting here.

  • "Don't look behind door number two, Monty!"--This is a reference to the 1960's game show, Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Monty Hall.  Prizes were hidden behind closed doors and contestants won the prize behind the door they chose to open.

  • "Geroni-roni-doo-ron-ron-i-mo!"--Wreck-Gar's battle cry is an amalgam of the word "Geronimo!" mixed with lyrics from the 1962 song "Da Doo Ron Ron" by the Ronettes.

  • "Please close cover before striking, friends!"--These are the instructions found on some matchbooks, intended to prevent people from igniting the entire book of matches.  I am given to understand that there used to be public service announcements on television in which Smokey the Bear said this, so it's still a TV quote.

  • "Breep drit, aw rootie!  So say the Junkions!"--The hit song "Tooti Fruity" by songwriter Little Richard includes the phrase "aw rootie," which was 1955 slang for "all right."  I freely admit that I have no idea what "breep drit" means.

Trivia Answers

  • Shrapnel took Brawn's seat; Skywarp took Ironhide's place; Soundwave replaced Prowl; and Dirge sat in Ratchet's chair.  (Kickback and Ramjet also assumed navigational controls, but they did not replace any Autobot positions.)
  • Spike is about 36.  In "A Plague of Insecticons," Spike said he wasn't old enough to drive, so that makes him 15 at most.  That was in 1984, and 21 years have passed between that episode and the movie.  (You get points if you said he was 35, since that was the age given for him in the original movie script.)
  • Kup's roadblock sign read STOP -- THIS AREA OFF LIMITS.
  • Wreck-Gar's tiny little TV pictured a ninja swordsman; a girl in a witch's hat; and a female rock singer.
  • Hot Rod crashed the Quintesson ship through Unicron's left eye.
  • Hoist and Powerglide are the only two characters from the above list who do not appear in the movie.  Everybody else is in there somewhere, if only for a brief moment.


Over the years, many Internet fans have contributed submissions, comments, and feedback about the bloopers in The Transformers: the Movie, and I am immensely grateful for their contributions to this page.  Thanks go to Rikard Bakke, Jack Caligari, Cicadacon, David Cousens, Delserik, Dragonclaw, Matthew French, Frank Gerratana, Liam Kavanaugh, Maximus Prime, Mighty Megatron, Parallax, Andrew Rowe, Shadowfell, Urac Daria "Ratbat" Sigma, Thylacine 2000, Jim Ware, Benson Yee, and everyone else who contributed.  Special thanks go to Swoop and Vicken A., who both went well above and beyond the call of duty.

Unicron overlaps the Lithonian building in the foreground.

A tiny little beach ball sized Unicron approaches planet Lithone.

Gears, in what will be his last cartoon appearance ever.

The only scene in the movie in which Gears makes an appearance (but this isn't why he gets a mention in the voice actor credits).


Scavenger momentarily overlaps Starscream's wing, making him look the size of an action figure.

Starscream in two places at once, and colored wrong to boot.

While Starscream is standing on the deck of the Autobot shuttle wielding gun-mode Megatron, his apparent stunt double stands nearby.

Hot Rod, whose reflection in the lake is at an impossible angle.

Hot Rod's reflection in the lake would make perfect sense... if he were on his knees catching fish with his teeth.

Prowl in Bluestreak Colors

Kup's construction crew is comprised of the unlikely trio of Prowl, Hound and Sunstreaker.  Prowl, miscolored here as Bluestreak, is most assuredly dead, while the others will appear shortly aboard Optimus Prime's shuttle.

Blitzwing fires, and is washed in color... well, part of him is.

As Blitzwing fires, the blast washes Kup in purple light... and extremely selective parts of Blitzwing.

Arcee, boldly pioneering a hairstyle from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Arcee and Princess Leia, both sporting the same "cinnamon bun" hairdo.

Ahhh, my foot!  Well, actually it`s my leg, but close enough.

Although Starscream's leg has taken significant damage, he's far more concerned about the imaginary damage to his foot.

Not Ironhide, actually, but a miscolored Reflector.

Reflector appears during the aerial battle above Autobot City, but he's colored like Ironhide.  (That black box on his back forms the viewfinder for his camera mode.)

Shockwave realizes he needs eggs and milk and makes an emergency shopping trip on Earth.

In the same scene as above, only a moment later, Shockwave makes a surprise appearance on Earth.

Three of Reflector`s four appearances in the movie.

Reflector appears three additional times throughout the movie--twice more inside Autobot City, and a final time during Starscream's brief but memorable coronation.

Frenzy, Ravage, Ratbat, and... another Frenzy.

In a clever attempt to confuse the Autobots, Rumble repaints himself to more closely resemble his Hasbro toy colors.

Wheeljack, sort of.

Wheeljack was manning the catapult launcher before an inexplicable accident not only took his life, but drastically altered his color scheme.

Swoop appears in Autobot City a little too early.

Swoop appears on Earth before the shuttle containing the Dinobots ever arrives.  This scene also marks Grapple's only appearance in the film.

Sludge has wacky eyeballs.

Devastator delivers a blow to Sludge with such force that it literally knocks the eyeballs off his head, if only for a moment.

If Megatron is shooting purple laser blasts, then who is shooting the orange laser bolts?

Megatron fires purple laser bolts at Optimus Prime, typical of Decepticon weaponry, but someone else is shooting orange laser bolts at Prime... which usually indicates Autobot technology.

Prime has a regular Matrix of Leadership and a little-known Emergency Back-Up Matrix.

If Prime is removing the Matrix of Leadership from his chest cavity, then what's that orange thing with handles directly underneath it?

Starscream, shown here wearing the new Really Big Armor™.

Starscream receives a complete structural makeover in the short time between his coronation and the end of his role as leader.

Snarl, making three uncredited appearances in the movie.

Snarl, while largely absent for almost the entire movie, does make three brief appearances.  Two of them are immediately prior to Galvatron's arrival in Autobot City, and the third is onboard the Quintesson cruiser as it arrives on the Planet of Junk.

After Moon Base One and Two are consumed, Galvatron looks on as Unicron approaches, uh, Moon Base Two.

Moon Base Two stubbornly refuses to stay eaten, in this scene following Unicron's consumption of both moon bases.

Shrapnel is... more or less correctly colored as he attacks Daniel on the Planet of Junk.

Shrapnel not only manages to appear after his body has been redesigned by Unicron, but he's also having a color scheme malfunction.

Ultra Magnus is... more or less correctly put back together.

The Junkions may be able to quote episodes of I Love Lucy backwards and forwards, but don't trust them to reassemble your City Commander with any degree of accuracy.

Cybertronic Decepticon jet, or just a big goof-up?

An unidentified Decepticon jet, possibly Cybertronic in origin, that bears a suspicious resemblance to Starscream.

The many transformations of Hot Rod.  Sometimes his arms rotate on an axis; sometimes his waist swivels; sometimes, none of these.

The inconsistent evolution of Hot Rod's multiple transformation sequences.

Beachcomber, or an impostor?

Beachcomber (or a robot with his color scheme) makes a surprising appearance in the movie, during this scene above Unicron's processing vat.

Bumper... or Bumblejumper, if you prefer.

An unidentified robot appears on the claw conveyor  just behind our heroes, who may or may not be the 1984 Mini Autobot named Bumper.

Hot Rod gets a leg up.

Hot Rod takes a not-so-graceful fall into Unicron's depths, but his legs don't appear to have gotten the memo.

Arcee Character Design

Arcee's original design with "backwards" arms (left), and the updated animation model (right).

Blurr Animation Design

Blurr was originally conceived as being more "long and lean" than most of the other Autobots, a concept that lost something in the translation to his final animation model.

Cyclonus Animation Design

The original design for Cyclonus was the basis for the Hasbro toy.  This rejected design would mistakenly appear later episodes following the movie like "Starscream's Ghost" and "The Rebirth."

Galvatron Animation Design

Though drawn in a more dynamic pose, the final animation model for Galvatron shares most of its features with the early design.

Hot Rod Animation Design

Marvel Comics was given the original animation designs, but not the updated versions.  The early Hot Rod design on the left has the Marvel Comics color scheme, which differed from the colors used in animation.

Kup Animation Design

The bags under Kup's eyes and the tarnish that covers his body are two details that were added to his finished animation model (right), shown here with the Marvel Comics design and color scheme (left).

Scourge Animation Design

Scourge's vehicle mode was designed with a visible robot-mode head, which was later eliminated in the design update.  This is the only early design that appears in the movie, as Scourge and the Sweeps are shown to have retractable heads in vehicle mode.

Springer Animation Design

Springer was originally conceived as having the physique of a massive bodybuilder, a concept that was toned down considerably for his final animation design.

Ultra Magnus Animation Design

Ultra Magnus was the only movie character whose toy had previously been designed by Takara.  When his animation model was updated, the placement of his missile launchers changed from the front of his trailer to either side, but the toy's design was not changed to reflect this new function.

Wheelie Animation Design

Wheelie's design did not change significantly from the original concept to the final animation design.  Neither version particularly resembles the simplified design of the Hasbro toy, whose face was in the center of the toy's chest.

Wreck-Gar Animation Design

Wreck-Gar lost something in translation from animated form to Hasbro toy design.  The toy version lacked the spikes on his wheels and did not wear the beard and moustache of its animated counterpart.

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This Page Created September 1998
Last Update: 1/6/2007
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