The Transformers: The Movie (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The Autobots must stop a colossal planet consuming robot who goes after the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. At the same time, they must defend themselves against an all-out attack from the Decepticons.

  • This theatrical movie based on the television series (which was also based on a popular multiform robot toyline) did not go over very well at the box office. The movie takes place in 2005, twenty years after the television series, and chronicles the efforts of the heroic Autobots to defend their homeworld Cybertron from the evil Decepticons. Both factions are seething with anger, and that hatred has blinded them to a hideous menace headed their way. That hideous menace is the colossal planet known as Unicron, who has been ready to consume anything that stands in its way. The only thing that can stop Unicron is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which is possessed by the Autobots and which the Decepticons, through Unicron's orders, plan to take away from them.

  • It is the year 2005. The battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons has escalated through their homeworld Cybertron, which the Decepticons have conquered. Without Optimus Prime after a conflict on Earth takes his life, the Autobots must face a destiny which they know nothing about. Megatron and a group of forsaken Decepticons have been reformed by the ultimate transformer, a planet consuming demon known as Unicron into even deadlier warriors. Galvatron, Scourge and Cyclonus must destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership for Unicron's glory or suffer the horrific destruction of Cybertron. However, Optimus Prime has decreed that an Autobot will rise from his rank and use the power of the Matrix to light the darkest hour of the Autobots. With Hot Rod facing responsibility for Prime's death, he feels he may be able to use the power of the Matrix to turn the tide of the Cybertronian Wars and stop Unicron. Until all are one, the future of the Autobots and the Decepticons is uncertain.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Unicron, a mechanical planet that devours other worlds, approaches the planet Lithone. The mechanoid inhabitants on the planet watch helplessly in horror as their planet is destroyed and ingested by Unicron. Only one ship, with a sole passenger, Kranix, escapes the death of his world. Newly fueled thanks to the resources from Lithone, Unicron turns and heads towards its next prey: Cybertron.

    In the year 2005, the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons has culminated in the Decepticons conquering their homeworld Cybertron, while the Autobots operate from its two moons preparing a counter-offensive. Optimus Prime sends an Autobot shuttle on a fuel transport voyage to Autobot City on Earth. Thanks to recon data from Laserbeak, the Decepticons intercept the Autobot shuttle and kill most of the Autobots aboard. They sneak past the early warning systems that protect Earth and lead an attack on Autobot City. Many Autobots are killed during this battle. The Autobots inside Autobot City send a distress signal to the Autobot moon bases, hoping that reinforcements will arrive in time.

    Reinforcements arrive, led by Optimus Prime, who sends the Dinobots in first to stop the Constructicon giant, Devastator, while Optimus prepares to stop Megatron. Optimus Prime and Megatron square off against each other. Megatron is critically wounded in the fight. Optimus Prime dies, but not before passing the Matrix to city commander Ultra Magnus. The Decepticons flee Autobot City after Megatron and several other critical Decepticon warriors are injured or killed. As they travel back to Cybertron, Starscream takes this opportunity to throw Megatron and the wounded Decepticons into deep space to die. He then proceeds to take command of the Decepticons.

    As Megatron and his fallen minions helplessly drift through space, Unicron pulls them toward him. Unicron would rebuild Megatron and his troops, once Megatron would destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which has the power to destroy him. After haggling with Unicron, Megatron accepts and was reborn as Galvatron. Unicron places a pain inducing circuit in Megatron's brain, where it could not be removed to keep him under control. Skywarp, Thundercracker, and many Insecticon clones were formed into Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.

    Galvatron arrives on Cybertron just in time to see Starscream being crowned leader of the Decepticons. Galvatron quickly dispatches the usurper to his throne and gains the servitude of all Decepticons present. Soon afterward, Unicron arrives to Cybertron and devours two of its moons and everyone inhabiting them. Galvatron leads another attack on Autobot City. This forces Ultra Magnus and several other Autobots, namely Arcee, Springer, Blurr, Perceptor, Hot Rod, Kup and the Dinobots to lead the Decepticons away in two shuttles. Hot Rod, Kup and the Dinobots are shot down and crash on Quintessa. Ultra Magnus fools Galvatron into thinking that he had destroyed the Matrix, but Unicron knows better. Magnus and his crew crash-land on the Planet of Junk. Unicron informs Galvatron of Magnus and the Matrix's whereabouts, and Galvatron quickly pursues him.

    Meanwhile on Quintessa, Hot Rod and Kup, separated from the Dinobots, are captured and taken to be put on trial before the Quintesson imperial magistrate in a mock trial and real execution for the Quintesson's amusement. They watched as Kranix, the last survivor of Lithone is fed to the Quintesson's executioners, the Sharkticons. The castaway Autobot Wheelie witnesses Hot Rod's and Kup's capture and seeks out the Dinobots to rescue the imprisoned Autobots. Hot Rod and Kup fight valiantly against the hordes of voracious Sharkticons, but the sheer numbers soon overwhelm them. Just as they were being buried beneath the mob of Sharkticons, the Dinobots kick down the door and trample Quintesson and Sharkticon alike. Grimlock then turns the Sharkticons, who fear and revere his strength, against the Quintessons. Wheelie shows the Autobots where a Quintesson spacecraft can be found.

    Back on the Planet of Junk, Galvatron destroys the Autobot shuttle. The Sweeps blow up Ultra Magnus, and Galvatron takes the Matrix. He plans on using the Matrix to control Unicron. As the Decepticons leave, the remaining Autobots are attacked by the Junkions, mechanoids indigenous to the Planet of Junk. As the Junkions, who perceive the Autobots as thieves and trespassers, are closing in for the kill, the Quintesson ship with Hot Rod, Kup, Wheelie and the Dinobots arrives. Hot Rod greets the Junkions properly and they soon form an alliance. The Junkions rebuild Ultra Magnus, and inform them that Galvatron left for Unicron with the Matrix. The two groups, Autobot and Junkion both leave to battle Galvatron and his master Unicron and to regain the Matrix.

    Upon reaching Unicron, Galvatron confronts and threatens Unicron with the Matrix. Unfortunately for Galvatron, he cannot open the Matrix to use against Unicron. Unicron is furious with Galvatron for this treachery. Unicron transforms into a gigantic robot mode. Unicron attacks Cybertron to punish Galvatron. The Decepticons counter-attack without success. Unicron swallows Galvatron, after Galvatron fires upon him.

    The Autobots and Junkions arrive and join the battle. Hot Rod flies the Quintesson ship through one of Unicron's eyes. The Autobots bail out of the crashing ship. Hot Rod is separated from the group and stumbles upon Galvatron and the Matrix. Galvatron proposes a truce in ordered to fight Unicron, their common foe, but Unicron uses his torture implant to force Galvatron to destroy Hot Rod. As they fight, Galvatron prepares to crush Hot Rod with his bare hands. Hot Rod grasps the Matrix and divine light breaks forth. Optimus Prime's voice speaks from the Matrix "Arise, Rodimus Prime", and Hot Rod is transformed into the new leader of the Autobots, with increased size, wisdom and strength. Rodimus Prime easily defeats Galvatron and throws him through the walls of Unicron, sending the Decepticon tumbling through space. Rodimus then unleashes the power of the Matrix inside of Unicron. Rodimus evacuates the Autobots trapped within Unicron by bursting through Unicron's remaining eye, as the Matrix's power shreds the monster planet from the inside out. As his body explodes, Unicron's head is ejected into orbit around Cybertron, replacing the moons he devoured with an eyeless gaze and a shocked expression upon his face.

    The Decepticons fled Cybertron as their attacks on Unicron proved ineffective, leaving the empty planet for the Autobots to retake virtually without resistance. The new leader of the Autobots declares an end to the Great War and a new age of peace.

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