The Transformers – Robots in Disguise

transformers autobots

Most people remember the Transformers from their classic 80s cartoon and the toys that everyone wanted. The Transformers started off as a comic book and evolved into cartoons and later film. The Transformers are giant robots that run on energon and were able to transform from a robot to another form such as a car or helicopter. The show was originally created around the Japanese robot toys that were made by the toy manufacturer Takura and later by the American toy manufacturer Hasbro.

Optimus Prime

The Transformers are split into two sides, the evil Decepticons and the heroic Autobots. They both came from a planet known as Cybertron where a battle had broken out between the two and ravaged the planet they lived on. The Autobots are led by Optimus Prime ( his alternate form is traditionally a lorry cab) and the Decepticons are led by Megatron (his alternate form is a Walther P38). During the Transformers civil war the energon began to run out. Both sides departed in spaceships, the Autobots departed in a spaceship known as the “Ark” with the Decepticons following behind in their ship known as “Nemesis.” They were both forced to land on Earth and lay dormant for millions of years. Both sides awoke in the present time finding the energon they needed to survive. Their battle continued but this time the Autobots joined forces with the earth’s forces to stop the Decepticons.

Over 500 episodes of The Transformers cartoons have been created over 20 years. They have used a variety of methods to make the cartoons, from 2-D animation and cel shading to progressing to CGI graphics and at times, combinations of all three. The original series began in 1984 and lasted for four seasons, leading to an animated film in 1986. The series evolved into Beast Wars in 1996 adjusting the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons into the battle between the Maximals and the Predicons. The cartoon was totally CGI and the characters took a more primal dinosaur appearance. The show got so popular that there were Transformer sheets and pillow cases, pants, socks, pyjamas, lunchboxes, pencil cases, curtains, shoes, and video games. The two phrases “Robots in disguise” and “More than meets the eye” were used in commercials for the products. The toy line even became the UK Toy of the Year for two years in 1985 and 1986.

Transformers - Decepticons and Autobots

Most recently the Transformers became a live-action movie in 2007. Steven Spielberg was the executive producer and Michael Bay was the director. The movie starred Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight and John Turturro. The storyline didn’t exactly follow the past storylines, but it continued the idea of the Transformers interacting with humans and the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. The movie was so popular that a sequel is in the works.

The Transformers have captured the imagination of a generation of children. The idea that robots can emerge from your car is mind-blowing, even for an adult. The Transformers have created a mythology concerning the battle spanning millions of years between the Autobots and Decepticons, which will continue for years to come.


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