Before Michael Bay dazzled audiences with three live-action Transformers movies (and a fourth one on its way), toy company Hasbro and Japanese animation studio Toei Animation made Transformers: The Movie in 1986. It was a darker take on the original animated series and served as a traumatic shock to young children across the country.
Recently, the good people at Transfomers fansite The SpaceBridge unearthed the original storyboards for another beloved Autobot’s vicious death scene. Ultra Magnus was trying to open the Matrix of Leadership to defeat his enemies, but it was also his undoing as Galvatron commanded the villainous Sweeps to execute him. While the movie version is still pretty brutal, the original storyboards suggest it was restrained by comparison. Watch the storyboard video below and see the difference.
The brutal death of Autobot leader Optimus Prime gave many children the first sense of death in the movies. While the body count was high, it was a calculated decision by Hasbro to kill off beloved characters to introduce new Transformers, including Rodimus Prime and Galvatron, thereby increasing toy sales across the board. Watch the movie version below:
Of course, it’s great to hear Leonard Nimoy voicing the new leader of the Decepticons, Galvatron, and Robert Stack as the voice of Ultra Magnus. The original death scene would have surely angered parents and traumatized kids for life. It’s also strange to think that the death scene was toned down for the movie, but the filmmakers felt it was okay for Ultra Magnus to swear. Apart from the movie’s brutality, this was probably the first time many children heard a lot of swearing in a movie.