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21 comments posted

My brother and I used to be obsessed with G.I. Joe: The Movie. Then I got older and went many years without watching it, and it was a shock to see how poorly the real movie compared to my memory of it. The designs and worldbuilding are very creative, and a few sequences feature stunning animation, but the characters and plot and general atmosphere are just really cheesy and cartoony, and the whole thing falls apart if you think about it.
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I'm still not convinced that kids would've been too fazed by Duke's death, mostly because I always perceived Flint as the real main character due to his more hands-on approach.

The GI Joe movie honestly also isn't very good. The more supernatural stuff in the animated series was always my least favourite (which is ironic because Gods Down Under was one of my favourite episodes), the movie is all about that and I didn't like how the rest of the Cobra just seem to be fine with Cobra-La's plan to destroy the rest of humanity and Cobra Commander is the only one who has a problem with that. You'd think at least some of them would've had an issue with losing all the perks of modern civilization.
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Mare hunter
Interesting. I saw both movies in the '80s and haven't seen them since, not in the theater though. I do remember the Transformers movie being more epic and I rewatched that one more times.
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3-3/4" Army Man Fan
Having met the voice actor in real life, it can easily imagine him having a Dash mug.


The story from what I hear is that Sunbow was producing both the Transformers and GI Joe movies at the same time, and it had been intended for Duke and possibly others to die. Hasbro got wind of this and figured "hey, let's apply that to the Transformers movie so we can have an in-universe explanation for dropping several of the figures in the future!" and told Sunbow to kill off Optimus and others.

Now, the problem is that what Hasbro didn't realize — and Sunbow did — is that the primary audience for the GI Joe series was much older than the primary audience for the Transformers series (think 9-12 year-olds vs 4-7 year-olds), so they would be able to handle a character death. But Sunbow had not planned on killing any of the Transformers characters, since they figured both those very young kids (and their parents) wouldn't be able to take such a scene.

So when the Transformers movie came out in 1986 and showed characters being violently killed in theaters full of 4,5, and 6 year-olds who are way too young to be exposed to scenes like that, what Sunbow feared would happen, happened — little kids were traumatized and terribly upset, and their parents were furious. They wrote angry letters to Hasbro, and in a panic Hasbro ordered Sunbow to not have Duke die in the GI Joe movie.
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