You had to know this was coming:
What I Think About the Upcoming Transformers Movie
An editorial by Kimli Lulubelle Wangzilla
In order to fully understand where I’m coming from as we fast approach July 3rd, you have to get into the mind of my 12-year-old self. It’s a pretty much universally known fact that Kimli + Transformers = TL4E – but since the same thing can be said about Diet Coke and the internet and black licorice jelly beans, I really feel that some more explanation is necessary.
I loved Transformers. It’s pretty safe to say my adoration bordered on obsession – I lived and breathed Transformers for much of my formative years. When other little girls were starting to notice boys and begging to be allowed to wear lip gloss and reading Teen Beat magazine, I was utterly fanatical about shape-changing space robots from beyond the stars. My parents, desperately wanting me to be like other little girls, tried to severely limit my toy collection – as far as the actual toys went, I didn’t have that many. Frankly, they weren’t important. For me, it was all about the cartoon – the characters, the plots, the non-toy merchandise, the deep resonating voice of Optimus Prime. I kept notebooks; recording every aspect of the series and various tie-ins. I clipped newspaper articles, kept movie receipts, counted the number of times I saw commercials. My obsession wasn’t limited to after school and weekends; my love of Transformers made its way into the rest of my life too. I wrote reports on Transformers, giving oral presentations on my favouritest thing of all. I’ve mentioned this before, but my mid-year grade 7 report card actually contains a note saying that I needed to branch out and write about things *other* than Transformers (I responded by handing in a paper on GI Joe) – I was that obsessed. I could tell you hours of trivia about the series, the voice actors behind the characters, animation mistakes, the history of every Autobot and Decepticon, and more. Other little girls started to avoid me – while they were vocalizing their burgeoning lust for various teen heart throbs, I was applying the same puppy love tactics to a fictional alien robot. Apparently, this is weird.
While I eventually outgrew my all-consuming robot fixation, it never truly went away. Proof of this can be found all over me – my Autobot tattoo, for one. I have two shelves dedicated to Optimus Prime on display in my living room, and one of my prize possessions is a poster for the original Transformers movie from 1986 – it’s tattered and worn from being moved from wall to wall for better than 21 years and now lives in a frame, but I still have it. I don’t want to sound like a queer or nuthin’, but last weekend while going through the Transformers things I thought were lost forever, I got a little misty-eyed – they meant that much to me.
Fast forward to the announcement of the new Transformers movie: my initial burst of “OMG!” quickly led way to shock and horror. I don’t WANT a new Transformers movie. There already is one – it came out in 1986, and it is awesome. Why try to bring real people into the mix? It’s not fair. Leave my childhood alone! Don’t ruin my campy fun with a bunch of shitty realism, you bastards! I hate you!
As details about the movie and characters came out, people were quick to send me links. I looked at pictures, read articles, viewed trailers, all with a sort of detached sense of outrage. As the date looms closer though, I find myself watching the commercials (but not counting them) with a mixture of anticipation and dread – my 12-year-old self should love this! It’s Transformers, brought to life! That is so cool!
And deep down, I guess it really is. I will probably see the movie, which in itself is a big deal – the last movie I saw in the theatre was quite possibly the Return of the King. I am almost morbidly curious about it all. I want to see what they’ve done with my childhood memories. I want to see the new Megatron and Starscream and watch the battles destroy the streets of LA. After all, while I loved Transformers, my obsession was definitely biased – I was all about the Autobots, and head over heels in love with Optimus Prime. The movie will make me cringe, and probably fill me with more outrage than my bladder can hold – but I will still go. I have to. It’s the Transformers, dude. I love them.
Things I can appreciate:
- The return of Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. I am not exaggerating when I say this is approximately 90% of the reason I will go see it – I whooped with joy when they announced Peter’s return. When I have naughty dreams, they’re narrated by Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. Sexiest. Robot. Ever.
- Keeping the spunky human sidekick’s last name of “Witwicky” – a throwback to the original series, and one I can wink at.
- The Burger King commercial featuring Optimus Prime trying to order in the drive-thru – hee!
- Movie theatre popcorn – yum, and a very rare treat since I never go to movies
Things that make me roll my eyes:
- Flames? Seriously? Why not just add Yosemite Sam mud flaps and a Playboy bunny air freshener while you’re at it?
- Bumblebee as a mute Camero – what a waste
- All the articles showing up online excitedly sharing the fact that Orson Welles’ last movie was in fact the original Transformers movie – he was Unicron – and that the 1986 feature-length cartoon was one of if not the very first movies to feature an all-star voice cast, all of which is so old school for me that I find it hard to stomach the amazement of it all
- The insidious GM product placement and the commercials inviting you to “transform your ride” with a new GM car that does not by the way transform
- That Frank Welker, at the ancient age of 61, was thought to be “too old” to reprise his role as the original voice of Megatron
- Lips, too – what’s with the lips?!
- The fact that it cost me $2.50 to see the original movie and will cost me at least 6 times that much this time ‘round
- The soundtrack doesn’t have Stan Bush, delightful hair metal, OR a version of the Transformers theme song that does not TOTALLY SUCK ALL THE ASS IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS PANSY TECHNO BULLSHIT
Anticipation and dread, man. About 20 times MORE dread after hearing that theme song – goddamn, that was some awful stuff.