Parent reviews for The Transformers: The Movie (1986)

The Transformers: The Movie (1986) Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 7+

Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 21 reviews

age 3+

Best Transformers Movie

I watch this a lot with my brother. We had to get it on YouTube because we didn't want to pay for it, but it is still good. My little brother (4) loves the songs and so do I. There is one use of "sh*t", but some kids won't even understand it. It is a bit violent (i.e. Prowl's death scene, where you get a close up of his face with fire and smoke coming out of his eyes and mouth and Starscream crumbling into dust), but if your kids watch Star Wars or other shows like that, they should be able to handle it. The role models are okay, it is the usual good vs evil plot. It might be a bit scary for younger kids, with a planet-eating Transformer being the main antagonist. I highly recommend this to everyone.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 7+

From a kid: Best transformers movie ever

My son says: Don’t listen to the one star review. Listen to all the reviews from kids who say that it’s a good movie for kids who are 7 and up. The movie was really fun and I love the soundtrack.
age 4+

25 Years Later and Still Awesome!

I normally don't leave reviews but, when I saw the 1 star expert review on CSM (it's 7.5/10 to 4.5/5 literally everywhere else), I decided to weigh in. To be plain, I think the expert who reviewed this doesn't like robots, cartoons, or 80's rock which is unfortunate given this movie is a cartoon about robots that is filled with 80's rock. I, on the other hand, like robots, cartoons, and 80's rock so I'll give an opinion from that perspective. The robots are cool, the designs are neat, the action great, and the music is spot on. I'm always impressed when a non-Disney company gets the music right. Here it is from me category by category: Educational value - "Meant to entertain rather than educate." Agreed. And it succeeds in being entertaining! Yeah! Positive messages - "Simplistic ideas of good and evil, and promotes that fighting and warring are the inevitable route to peace." Rather than overly simplistic views of good and evil, I think what we have here is an absolutely refreshing view of good and evil. Good is good. Evil is evil. No nonsense in the middle trying to blend the oil into the water so to speak. I have to wonder, also, what path of peace there can generally be with others who are generally unreasonably antagonistic? Peace requires both parties working towards the goal and, in reality, that doesn't always happen. Then what? War is bad and so, instead of transforming into warrior robots, we should transform into doormats or something less militaristic, I guess? Maybe stuffed animals. Perhaps I'll review the Care Bears next (which I also enjoy and watch with my kids). The good guys (the Autobots) are virtuous, courageous, honorable, merciful, and unafraid of standing strong in the face of defeat and in the face of clear evil. They embody the kinds of virtues that parents ought to want to instill in their children. The kinds of virtues that are obviously and indisputably good. So 5 stars from me for great role models. Role models ought to contain the qualities that we want to extol before and engender in our children and they nailed it here in the Autobots. The bad guys (the Decepticons) are quite the opposite. They're cowardly, dishonest, merciless, and tyrannical. The embody the qualities that we all frown upon; the ones that are obviously and indisputably bad. There is no confusion presented here as the Decepticons consistently behave mercilessly, with cowardice, and repeatedly betray each other. This is what I was raised with and I find it incredibly refreshing. My values still fall into alignment with this dichotomy; even more so as an adult and a parent. Everything that I see these days sends unclear messages of good and evil. The good guys are only kind of good because they have critical flaws as they stumble about trying to do what's right (?) and the bad guys are only kind of bad because they have good qualities on display as they commit their atrocities and because their tough upbringing makes them sympathetic. Right is never right and wrong is never wrong. These dyas, we're all stuck in the morass of moral relativism where everyone's truth is correct even when we can't agree on what that is. Somehow, we all manage to be right and no one is ever wrong even when there is no consensus. What a mess. Even the song lyrics contain ideas like being bold in pursuing your dreams, fighting hard for what's right, etc. It's filled with good messages albeit not-so-much modern, uh, values. Positive Role Models & Representations - "Though they all look alike physically, the Tranformers have different, uh, ethnicities, so to speak, via voiceover actors of different races and backgrounds. Only one (maybe) female robot." There is one (obviously) female robot and, oddly enough, the robot people are just, uh, robots and so they don't really have, uh, ethnicities (obviously). There are only two humans in the entire movie and the rest are robots of various colors and with various voice actors so I guess take that for what it's worth in terms of whether or not you think that robots have been properly been represented. Anyhow, again, the Autobots are excellent role models and we've already been through that. Violence & Scariness - "Much sci-fi mass destruction of machine and machine-life forms. Even sympathetic and heroic characters die." It shouldn't surprise anyone that there is cartoonish robot violence. I didn't tick too much violence because I assume anyone watching this knows it's primarily about giant robots fighting each other. The review here specifically mentions that even sympathetic and heroic characters die which is true but I think short sighted. Without spoiling the plot, there is one notable sympathetic and heroic death where one of the Autobots puts it all on the line to protect Earth. He fights heroically to the very end, ultimately is successful in driving off the Decepticons, and lays down his life fighting for what is right. It is portrayed as an honorable and noble sacrifice; not as a scary and overly violent affair. My son (age 4) enjoyed the movie and wasn't upset by any of it. I asked if this was scary and he said that Unicron was a little scary because he was mean. Sexy Stuff - Not present. Agreed and, again, a very much welcome change of pace. No overly sexualized art, innuendo, etc. No trash TV here - just family friendly entertainment! Language - "One use of "s--t." And also one "D----t." Could have done without both of those. I tagged too much swearing because I draw the line at zero. Consumerism - "This movie is basically a toy commercial." This is inaccurate and uninsightful. It also has nothing to do with the content of the movie. It's a transformers movie based off of the transformers catoons based off of the transformers comics. By point of fact, this movie doesn't portray any consumerism or concept of wealth in general. There is literally zero buying and selling in play at all; rather, things are salvaged, reused, and repaired which is another value I love to see represented in light of our throw-it-away and buy-it-again society. So... reduce, reuse, recycle instead of consumerism. Again, positive messages and also not consumerism. It should be altogether unsurprising that children enjoy owning toys based off of the shows they like to watch and that parents enjoy furnishing them with the same. It's just not reasonable to say that this is a plug for children's toys just because toys are also sold especially when messages of consumerism are not present in the plotline of the movie at all. Drinking, Drugs & Smoking - "Not Present" Agreed. Conclusion - This movie is as old as I am and I just watched this with my four year old son. In his words, he wanted to go "get his plastic sword and defeat Galvatron and put him back to Megatron." What can I say? He's four and he's a boy. What an excellent response. The movie is action packed and held everyone's attention well. It was a ton of fun and everyone here loved it. I still love the 80's rock and we all know that the 80's were the golden age of rock. The sound track is a ton of fun and I still remember these songs from when I was a boy. Nostalgia so often disappoints but not today. I enjoyed watching this with my son as much as I enjoyed watching it on repeat as a boy. I wholeheartedly recommend this one for anyone with boys! My son loved it but my girls thought it was boring. There were no ponies and rainbows so that is to be expected. :-)

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
age 8+

The best transformers movie

The most entertainment for your dollar for a transformer film. You have to watch the animated series first in order to fully enjoy it. The best thing is there are actual transformers and likeable ones at that (Micheal bay I am looking at you). The opening twenty minutes are the best but the most scarring. Soundtrack is good ol 80s rock. Great cast.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 13+

Not bad....but two bad words

This was fun and our sons (8 and 12) really liked it. There’s nothing like cartoons from the 1980s! Don’t expect nuance or a fancy plot.....it’s an action movie with lots of action. Some funny dialogue. Our kids loved the old-fashioned way of showing the Transformers and got a real kick out of it. When Optimus “dies”, it’s kind of sad. I helped our kids to navigate that....no biggies. This would be at least four stars, but two bad words pop up out of the blue ([email protected] and sh#t). I guess this was originally meant for older teens? But here’s the catch: Kids 13 and older can handle those words, while some kids 8 and under won’t even catch or know those words. The problem is that kids between 8 and 13 shouldn’t be hearing that kind of language in a movie. (So it’s actually okay for most kids between 6 and 8, along with teens).

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 7+

Good anime hybrid movie

This movie was partially animated by the same anime company that puts out the Dragon Ball animes and provided animation for Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and CatNoir known as Toei. As such, this movie is kinda on the violent side and had multiple robot deaths and some minor swear words such as "shi*t" and I think d*mn and h*ll" were used. It's PG so what do you expect? Also the film is technically "dark" in nature so it's not for very young audiences. It's definitely better than the Bay films from a story and casting perspective. The film does seem compressed but it rewards people who actually watched the G1 Transformers. It's not a perfect film but for what it is and when it was made it is actually pretty good. Also worth noting that this was the final role for Orson Wells before his death.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 10+
age 8+

The best Transformers movie made

For fans of the 80s Transformers cartoon this is the definitive movie, forget the Michael Bay movies. Also, this is just fine for kids though there is a sad death scene that might draw a tear. Also the movie has a good message about not giving up and believing in yourself.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 7+

Classic for Transformers fans

All toy tie ins are commercial!!!! Bet you didn't say that about Toy story... Terrible review! Great movie for right age (7-8)

This title has:

Great role models
age 5+

1980s Arena Rock Animated Film

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, every children’s movie or show exists to sell merchandise. However, a few of these shows outdid the others with some very good storytelling at times. There are quite a few episodes of the series’ run that are bonafide well written stories and arcs. Most occur in the shows inaugural season. With this theatrical release they wanted a transition to a new line of Transformers for the shows last two seasons. Move on old characters and bring in new ones. It was produced whilst the series was going on and so couldn’t include many characters from it or vice versa. It is darker in tone than the series and much less aimed at small children. The animation is slick and at times artistically beautiful. The soundtrack is powerhouse 80s rock and still resonates to this day. It explores loss, self esteem, being yourself and embracing all of them. Just as the director intended. Yes, unlike the show’s seasons prior, characters are killed - robots bellow smoke, melt or disintegrate - whereas they all got away with scratches in the preceding seasons of the show. Anyone can be cynical and dismiss it as a toy commercial, but just as LEGO Movie proved that doesn’t stand in the way of a good narrative and fun time, so does this. It’s really a chase and discovery movie. After a victorious battle, the Decepticons are led by a newly appointed and possessed leader to wipe out the good Autobots and their sacred Matrix of Leadership once and for all. That’s it, the good guys, broken and in dissaray, are on the run with the enemy hot on their heels. They visit different planets and have adventures with new characters on their journey as well as discovering things about themselves. It’s what I call a gateway film from childish fare into a more grown up fare. It explores war and loss without being Private Ryan, explores finding yourself without being Breakfast Club, etc. The energy and pomp is infectious and many adults around when my son watches it end up glued as well. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it and maybe with a different point of view presented to you, revisit it.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models