Peter Cullen (Transformers)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Charlie Adler (Aladdin)
Shuko Akune (Cruel Intentions 2)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jackson Beck (The Batman/Superman Hour)
Michael Bell (Tangled)
Gregg Berger (Inside Out)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Arthur Burghardt (Network)
Francois Chau (Lost)
Don Johnson (Machete)
Burgess Meredith (Batman 60s)
Rob Paulsen (The Mask:TAS)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
When both G.I. Joe and The Transformers proved to be massive after school hits for Hasbro when the animated series’ debuted in the eighties, it only made sense that each series would receive an animated theatrical release to cash in on the success of their respective TV series’. G.I. Joe: The Movie, directed by Don Jurwich, debuted on screens around the world in 1987 and while it wasn’t exactly considered a masterpiece of animated entertainment, it rightfully found its fan base.
The movie starts off with a bang, as the instantly recognizable opening theme song from the TV series blares at us and thrusts us head first into a battle between G.I. Joe and the evil forces of Cobra squaring off at the Statue of Liberty. The results of this battle wind up with Serpentor putting Cobra Commander on trial for screwing up and not doing his job all that well. Before the trial can really get moving, however, a bizarre woman named Pythona shows up, claiming to be from the land of Cobra-La and seeking the aid of Serpentor in her quest to retrieve the BET (Broadcast Energy Transmitter), an energy creating device that could allow Cobra to finally rule the world. Cobra-La, if you didn’t already know, was essentially a bizarre city-state under an ice dome full of evil bugs and was the birth place of Cobra Commander and Serpentor. The baddies at Cobra figure they can use the BET to send some spores into the Earth’s atmosphere that will destroy mankind as we know it.
Meanwhile, somewhere innocuous and snowy, the Joe team are testing the very same BET that Cobra so desperately wants to get their hands on. Cobra attacks, and in the ensuing battle, team leader Duke gets seriously injured and if that weren’t bad enough, the leader of Cobra-La, Golobulus (Burgess Meredith) has got a heavy hitter named Nemesis Enforcer on his side. Cobra is seriously bringing their A-game this time around, but thankfully for all of humanity, Duke and his brother, Falcon (Don Johnson), have got a whole bunch of brand new Joe’s on their side to help them stop Cobra before it’s too late. Some of the more notable newbies include a female Asian martial arts expert named Jinx, a tough guy who doesn’t talk named, an underground specialist guy named Tunnel Rat, a do-gooder named Law and his pet dog, a guy named Big Lob and last but not least, Sgt. Slaughter and his Renegades, made up of Mercer, Red Dog and Taurus.
The movie is also meant to tie together the second and third seasons of the show, but since the third season of the show never happened, that aspect of it doesn’t really work and so the movie just kind of stands alone, focusing on newer characters that we don’t really care about as much as the more established ones who are really just tooling around in the background. The movie does deserve credit for trying to branch out a bit from the formulaic TV series, however. This is G.I. Joe on a much larger scale than anything that had come before it, and it’s also a fair bit more violent and quite a bit darker than the animated series it was spun off of. Duke was originally supposed to die after what happens to him in the moviebut because of fan backlash to what happened to Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie this was changed and he instead simply falls into a coma.