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Childhood

July 3, 2007

Growing up, I watched my share of cartoons.  But then, so did everyone else who grew up in the 80s, when good was good, evil was evil, and abominations like Barney the Dinosaur were but fleeting nuggets in some dillhole’s imagination.

I can’t say I watched them all – Thundercats never did much for me – but I watched a great deal of them.  He-Man, Voltron, Starblazers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K.  You name it (unless it’s Thundercats) and I probably watched it.  But there was always one cartoon that was head and shoulders above the rest.

Transformers.

I still remember the first time I saw a Transformers cartoon.  Waking up at what seems like three in the morning but was probably more like seven and turning on that massive, wood-encased television we used to have.  Somehow pushing the proper channel buttons and then…GIANT TRANSFORMING ROBOTS WHO FIGHT EACH OTHER!

I remember being torn apart when Optimus Prime died in the 1986 movie.  I’ve read some comments to the effect that many credit Optimus Prime for teaching them about mortality.  For me that was probably a smattering of Bambi, Old Yeller, and Top Gun (when Goose bites it), but Prime’s death hit hard nevertheless.

Hell, I remember being driven to Toys R Us in the throes of a concussion to get Ultra Magnus (pretty much just like Optimus Prime, but white instead of red), only to throw up all over the floorboard of my mom’s car instead.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that simple joy of my childhood, but watching Transformers last night, I swear it was like being six years old again.  In fact, I would venture that any boy between, oh, six and twelve is going to eat this movie up with a spoon and ask for seconds (and toys).  A lot of adults will, too.

You can read reviews pretty much anywhere…I won’t bore you with one other than to let you know that I loved it.  But…I wanted to share a few thoughts…

Bumblebee – I know I raised a stink when they announced that Bumblebee was going to be a Camaro instead of a VW Beetle.  After seeing the movie, yeah, what’s a Beetle?  This isn’t the Bumblebee from the cartoon, but to be honest, cartoon Bumblebee was always pretty week.  He was the Transformer no one ever wanted to play with.  New Bumblebee?  Way cooler than old Bumblebee.

Lips on Optimus – I had a big problem with this at first.  After all, it’s Prime.  He has a face plate.  He only has lips in those bizarre Japanese Transformers (which the Alamo Drafthouse treated us to during the preshow).  But…watching the movie…they worked.  And it’s not like it would make sense for every other robot to adopt vaguely human features, including mouths, and Prime to walk about with his faceplate.  Not his style.  Besides, it was still Peter Cullen’s voice coming out of the big truck.  Anybody who gets hung up on the lips on Optimus angle after seeing the movie is petty and stupid.

Shia LeBouf – This kid’s going places.  He did a fantastic job selling the notion that the robots really were there standing over him.

Sequels? – You bet your ass.  I don’t know how they’re going to pull it off, but I want to see me some Dinobots.

Overall, I’d give it a review of HOLY F*#**$* S#!% THAT WAS AWESOME!  And last night, the awesomeness was only piled high with more awesomeness, because, after the screening of Transformers, we were taken out to the parking lot of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar to take in a live performance by ROBO-FREAKING-SAURUS.  Yeah, that monster truck dinosaur thing that eats cars and breathes fire. 

How cool is that? 

And how better a way to follow Transformers?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 4, 2007 12:15 am

    I’m jealous! Austin and I are going to see it as soon as we can. PS – you are still his transformer collecting idol. He still remembers when you brought him over one for Christmas when we lived in Carrolton – he even remembers which one it was! (he told me but I forgot).

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