I'm sitting here watching the Transformers movie and remembering how great a movie it really is. I would rank it up there as one of my favorite movies, right up with Seven Samurai and Forrest Gump. I don't care if it's a kids cartoon; the themes and emotions portrayed are incredible. I suspect that I, or someone else, could write a truly incredible paper about the various elements of this movie, but for now, I'm going to provide a running commentary.
The interpersonal (interrobot?) interactions are quite impressive. The relationship between Megatron and Optimus Prime is one of mutual respect and almost seems to have elements of friendship. The battle between the two of them portrays an interesting dynamic, Megatron's unwillingness to use a weapon at the outset and Primes unwillingness to finish off Megatron. It takes the intrusion of Hot Rod to snap them both back to reality and bring a conclusion of the conflict.
Unicron is an interesting figure, some sort of God figure or Devil figure. I am not sure what to make of him, but he sure is something, world eating power giver that he is. The bit about Megatron becoming Galvatron at Unicron's hands is a very Faustian soul selling kind of thing.
Megatron/Galvatron exemplifies self-centered greed and a lust for power. Also, Galvatron 0wnzes. Starscream on the other hand is just a dick.
They do a pretty darned good job of making the Autobots into stereotypical good and the Decepticons into stereotypical evil. This is all done without going over the top or seeming cliche.
I'm not sure what role the two humans play in the whole thing. Daniel and his father may only be there to add a human element to the movie, or they may serve some other role; it'll take some thinking.
The transformation of Hot Rod over the course of the movie is a coming of age thing. In fact, as I think about it, this movie really has every important story element, except for romance. I blame the lack of romance on the plurality of central characters and that the transformers are androgynous. Actually, I take it back, there are elements of romance between RC and Hot Rod, but just barely.
I should stop now, or this post will turn into an essay. Also, I want to sit back and enjoy the movie. Suffice it to say that Transformers: The Movie is great and it's one of very few movies that I can watch over and over again.