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The Transformers Moment That Still Traumatizes Fans After All These Years

It's easy to assume that, should the words "traumatizing" and "Transformers" be uttered in the same sentence, Michael Bay is probably involved — to blame, even. And that's a fair hypothesis, considering the sheer quantity of questionable decisions he allowed into his live-action version of this beloved childhood property. Despite Bay's notorious track record, though, he isn't the end-all-be-all of emotional "robots in disguise"-themed tragedy. Before Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox were ever a blip in the "Transformers" space, there was another film. A much older, much darker, animated film called "The Transformers: The Movie." 

Sure, the title wasn't all that creative, but it housed an epic plot that saw the Autobots in a dire war against the Decepticons. Unicron, the planet-sized robot in disguise with a proclivity for eating other planet-sized, planet-shaped, planet things, is there, too, just in case the stakes weren't high enough yet. More exciting still is how many fan favorite characters make an appearance! Hot Rod, Galvatron, the entire Constructicon squad, they're all there. 

The traumatizing issue with that, however, is just how many of them get killed. Dear reader, "The Transformers: The Movie" is an animated bloodbath, with even the leader of the Transformers getting killed off in tearjerking fashion. And one of those deaths is decidedly more disturbing than the others. Let's take a look. 

The Transformers: The Movie was brutal with the kill shots

In a subreddit dedicated to all things "Transformer," u/CaptainMole1 posted a gif from 1986 animated film "The Transformers: The Movie," along with a caption, which read, "still [traumatized] all these years later." The gif in question is short, but for those who have seen the old film, it depicts a moment from the production that's incredibly difficult to forget: In the first act, a space shuttle, piloted by a handful of Autobots, departs from one of Cybertron's two moons to acquire supplies from Autobot City, a robot haven on Earth. The spacecraft is intercepted by Decepticons, who have taken over the whole of Cybertron. Among the invasion force are Starscream and Megatron, the latter of which transforms into a lethal handgun that the former uses for robot murder. 

The incursion is fatal for all of the Autobots on board, including Ironhide, Ratchet, and Brawn, but none get it worse than Prowl, who audiences watch melt from the inside out after a single shot from Megatron's gun form strikes him in the chest. The moment plays out in horrific slowness and is centered so that Prowl's agonized, dissolving expression is unavoidable. That shot, Prowl's death, is still just as horrifying as it was in the 1980s. Yes, as Nerdist kindly reminds, this was a film directed towards children. The 1980s were a scary time. 

While this is perhaps the darkest death in "The Transformers: The Movie," it's certainly not the only one. As previously mentioned, a number of Autobots lost their lives alongside Prowl on that ship, and once again, don't forget that Optimus Prime, the big man himself, bites the bullet, too ... which, as CBR noted, was the final straw for an entire generation.