The best "Transformers" movie is still the first one.

No, not Michael Bay's excessive ode to explosions and plot holes. We're talking "Transformers: The Movie," released this week 30 years ago (time to feel old, everyone!).

Optimus Prime took his fight against the Decepticons to the big screen for the first time in the summer of '86, resulting in new toys kids forced their parents to buy. It also spawned legions of fans worshipping this animated favorite that introduced us to the sweet, sweet stadium rock that is Stan Bush's "The Touch."

In honor of this nostalgia-soaked, feature-length toy commercial celebrating its 30th anniversary, here are some facts straight from Autobot City (reference!) that you need to know.1. For an animated movie aimed at kids, "Transformers" has a crazy-high body count. This is because Hasbro wanted to clean house and introduce a new toy line to coincide with the launch of Season Three. (The movie served as a bridge between the second and third seasons.)

2. Early drafts of the script featured even more deaths. The biggest on-screen RIP that still rocks kids' souls? Optimus Prime. The Autobot leader was killed battling his nemesis, Megatron, and that sparked a backlash among fans -- one so loud that it influenced changes in Hasbro's other big animated movie being made, "G.I. Joe: The Movie." The Joes' first big-screen outing featured the death of their leader, Duke, but Hasbro forced the filmmakers to change Duke's fate, instead having him enter a coma after getting a snake spear to the heart. Because the '80s.
3. The debate over whether or not to kill Prime caused "steaming arguments" among the filmmakers, according to screenwriter Ron Friedman -- who was violently against killing this "father figure" and "icon."

"To remove Optimus Prime, to physically remove Daddy from the family, that wasn't going to work," Friedman said. "I told Hasbro and their lieutenants they would have to bring him back but they said 'no' and had 'great things planned.' In other words they were going to create new more expensive toys." Those lieutenants belonged to Hasbro's ad agency, who graduated to having great power overseeing the production of various projects. So blame the suits for your childhood trauma!

4. There was an alternate script at one point for the movie, entitled "The Secret of Cybertron," written by "Transformers" story editor and writer Flint Dille, that very few people have seen. 5. Two things that writer Friedman had to fight to get into the movie: Arcee (above), the first female Autobot, and having the Transformers interact with humans Spike and his son, Daniel.

6. The only rewrite that Friedman object to was including the word "sh**." But the powers-at-be insisted it be added so the movie could secure a PG rating instead of a G, as films rated with the latter didn't play as often in theaters.
7. The Autobots' Matrix of leadership, the shiny thing Prime passes on to rookie Hot Rod (pictured), was inspired (naturally) by the Petrean Touch in Catholicism.

8. "Transformers: The Movie" was Orson Welles' last film. He voiced the transforming, planet-sized threat, Unicron. How did the production secure the Hollywood legend? "He was available," said Friedman. "He was looking for work all the time. He would've opened a supermarket. He was eminently available."9. Welles' is rumored to have died five days after completing his final voice session for the film. Due to the actor's breathing difficulties, his voice heavily synthesized.

10. An early version of the story featured the Decepticons taking over Autobot City on Earth, with Blaster leading a group of guerilla-like fighters to retake the city. According to Friedman, it was cut simply because the suits wanted to cut it in an attempt to exert some creative control.
11. Leonard Nimoy provided the voice for new villain Galvatron (above). The late actor would return to the world of Transformers, this time voicing Sentinel Prime in 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

12. Friedman's favorite characters to write for? Autobot veteran Kup, Starscream and, of course, Optimus Prime.
13. Friedman's least favorite? "Wheelie was a pain in the ass."

14. Marvel published an adaptation of the movie. The three-part comic was based on an early version of the script, and as a result the comics featured an different design of the Matrix and a different death for Autobot Ultra Magnus. 15. The movie'smost iconic song is Stan Bush's "The Touch," which -- you might wanna sit down -- was originally created by Bush and 'co-writer Lenny Macaluso for Sylvester Stallone's "Cobra" in 1986.

16. Like the soundtrack's other memorable songs, like "Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way" and "Hunger?" They're from the band, Kick Axe, who appeared listed on the soundtrack as Spectre General because the powers-at-be thought the band's real name sounded, um, too threatening. Worse? The band wasn't even notified about the change.
17. For the film's 20th anniversary in 2006, IDW published its own adaptation. It includes extra scenes, such as a battle between the missing combiners and Omega Supreme at the Ark, as well as Shockwave and Reflector being destroyed by Unicron.

18. Whenever Megatron would transform into gun mode during the first two seasons of the animated series, his first shot would always miss the target. Because reasons. In the movie, when Starscream uses his leader to execute Brawn, this marks the first time the Decepticon leader's first shot hit the target.
19. The movie takes place 20 years after the events of the series' Season 2.

20. Unicron's original name? Ingestor. He would have been a mysterious being in control of Unicron's planet form. The filmmakers combined the two into a single character, with the planet still transforming into a human-like figure.
21. Unicorn in robot form originally featured more organic features. He would have rocked some serious '80s long hair in addition to a goatee and mustache. (Please let it have been a mullet!)

Transformers: The Movie
PG1986
In Theaters on August 8th, 1986

Ultra Magnus and the Transformers fight planet Unicron and the Decepticons in 2005. Read More

categories Movies, Trivia