Hoist gets cast in a big Hollywood movie! Hi-jinks ensue.
Carly and Spike are on a drive through the countryside inside Hoist when they are overtaken by two speeding vehicles. They pursue and see one of the cars make an improbable crash off a cliff and land on top of the other. Before they can investigate, a man on the top of the cliff yells at them for ruining the shot. It turns out they’ve driven into the middle of a movie set. Hoist saves the imperiled drivers of the crashed cars, and the director is so impressed, he hires Hoist on the spot for his next movie. The director invites Spike and Carly along to visit the movie studio.
In the skies, Dirge is having trouble transporting a mysterious, heavy load. He crashes into the swamp set on the lot of Major Pictures. Megatron orders him to shut down, yells at Starscream for no good reason, then sends Astrotrain, Ramjet and Thrust to go after Dirge and retrieve the mysterious cargo.
Hoist arrives at Major Pictures for his big-screen debut, but gets the brush-off from the director. Before filming begins, Tracks, Warpath, Sunstreaker and Powerglide horn in on the set and ham it up for the director’s attention. Strangely, the director is impressed by their hi-jinks and decides to hire them all for the action picture.
Movie work doesn’t prove to be as glamorous as they had hoped. The bots wind up crashing into buildings and playing second fiddle to the human actors, Karen Fishook and Harold Edsel, while Hoist pulls them out of the smoldering wreckage after each take.
Disgruntled at their bit parts, the Autobots ask Hoist to lobby the director for better roles, but the director tells Hoist to get a bagel and sit tight. The Autobots take off just as Astrotrain and the other Coneheads show up to pull Dirge and the cargo out of the swamp set, all as the cameras roll.
Back at Decepticon HQ, Megatron looks over the strange device. He isn’t sure what it does; he only knows that Wheeljack built it, but he’s sure that it is some kind of potent, deadly weapon. (He doesn’t know Wheeljack very well, does he?) When switched on by Thrust, the device sparks and smokes, but does nothing else. Enraged, Megatron bashes Starscream. Astrotrain then reveals that he and the others were filmed by the humans when they retrieved the device. Megatron orders everyone to the studio to steal or destroy the footage so the device remains a secret.
At the studio, the director is viewing the robot footage and decides to revamp the script into a science fiction epic blockbuster called Attack of the Alien Robots, to the dismay of the human cast. He calls the Autobots to return with the promise of better parts. Once back, the director has the Autobots don googly-eyed, buck-toothed alien masks and stomp around after the female lead. For some reason, the Autobots still don’t like their parts as monsters from space.
Making their rounds, Spike and Carly find the room where the film negatives are stored and discover that someone has stolen scenes from the movie. That someone was Starscream, but Soundwave reports to Megatron that the original negative still exists. Megatron pounds on Starscream again, this time ripping wires out of his chest! He then orders the others to get the negative.
Meanwhile, the Autobots are filming another scene with pyrotechnics, which have been switched for actual explosives by Rumble. Spike and Carly are in a screening room watching a new print of the stolen footage of the Decepticons and the device. Midway through the screening, Soundwave rips through the screen and destroys the projector. Spike and Carly rush to the film vault to get the original before the Decepticons do, but are interrupted by Megatron. Carly fools him by giving him an empty film canister, and they race around the studio lot with the Decepticons close on their heels. They finally meet up with Hoist, who has a plan.
Megatron and the others finally catch up and find the Autobots on a movie set. Hoist threatens to drop the humans and the film into a vat of flesh-eating lava if the ‘Cons don’t withdraw. Megatron says he won’t do it, but Hoist drops them in. Content that the film is gone, the Decepticons retreat. Hoist then lifts Spike and Carly from the “lava”, which is just bubbly, muddy water mixed with special effects.
The Autobots show the film to Wheeljack in the screening room. The Autobot scientist laughs at Megatron because the device Megatron wanted so much is actually worthless. Impressed with Hoist's performance at the lava pit, the director offers him the leading part in a new film, but Hoist declines, saying that his duty as an Autobot comes first, no matter how unglamorous it is.
Original airdate: November 21, 1985
Written by: Earl Kress
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Can't Dirge carry out a simple mission?"
"I think the answer is obvious!"
- – Megatron and Starscream watching
tva high tech satellite viewing screen that shows Dirge struggeling with his load. Poor Dirge, that box actually looked pretty heavy.
"Ready for my big scene, Mr. Director."
"Huh? Oh, yeah, the robot. Er... okay, Moist, er... pick up a donut from the catering truck and relax until I call for ya."
- – Hoist gets the brush-off from the Major Pictures director.
"I feel like a fool!"
"Do you wanna quit?"
"No, but I still feel like a fool!"
- – Tracks and Sunstreaker aren't enjoying their movie careers.
"The star has arrived!"
- – Sunstreaker, humble as ever.
"Oh, no. The Autobots have gone movie-mad.”
- – Spike.
- – Hoist sounding rather confused when the director tells him to go get a bagel and coffee.
"Who would want to steal scenes from this picture?"
- – Spike Witwicky - movie critic.
"He is... no match for the alien robots... I-I mean, the evil alien robots."
- – Warpath shows his acting chops.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Warpath and Powerglide are missing their face plates after the explosion scene.
- Spike's hair is briefly coloured orange at the beginning of the episode.
- The "CLOSED" sign on the studio the Decepticons are in reads "CLLOSE".
- In the swamp, when Ramjet transforms and takes off, he is given Thrust's colors. He's also standing where Thrust had been a moment earlier.
- Karen Fishook's attempt to console her co-star is cut off in mid-sentence by the scene edit.
- After Megatron rips Starscream a new one, Soundwave is colored like Perceptor.
- When Spike and Carly are reviewing the film of the Decepticons, the device is yellow rather than grey.
- After Carly finds the negative and runs the stairs with Spike and stop (as they spot Megatron at the end of stairs) their lips move but no lines are heard. Based on the lips movement and time of movement, the best guess is that both were to say "Megatron".
- When Soundwave tells Carly and Spike to "Surrender the negative," he appears as if he's sliding forward in the next scene, even though he's walking towards them, as evidenced by the sound of his footsteps.
- Near the end of the episode, Warpath says "You tell him Hoist, yeah," but Hoist's mouthplate is moving in sync with the words, and his body language reflects the dialouge. Whoops.
- After this, Sunstreaker is standing behind the director, Spike, and Carly, but it appears as if he's hovering because you can see their legs.
- When the woman is searching for the stolen reels, the reels are roughly as big as her head. In the next scene the reel Megatron is holding is as big as his head. Later, when Carly throws an empty reel can to Megatron it lands at his feet and isn't even half the size of his foot, then in the next shot he picks it up and it's the size of his palm.
- Not an error per se, but we never do find out exactly why Megatron blames Starscream for Dirge's crash.
- Nor is it clear why Dirge struggles to carry the device, while Ramjet seems to have no trouble with it.
- The characters of Harold Edsel and Karen Fishhook are obvious parodies of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher from the Star Wars films. Karen Fishhook is voiced by Susan Blu, who would later voice another Princess Leia parody: Arcee.
- Upon Powerglide's entrance, he references the Academy Awards, saying "I'll show you some real Oscar-winning material." No Transformers movie has won an Oscar, though the 2007 film was nominated for three awards and its 2009 sequel was nominated for one.
- The role of "Dash Jordan" is an obvious reference to the character Flash Gordon.
- This is the third pre-movie episode which doesn't feature Optimus Prime.
- Megatron is incredibly abusive toward Starscream in this episode...well, more than usual. Starscream is absent for the next few episodes after his wires are pulled out; Megatron must have done some real damage. GO MEGATRON!
- We never find out what Wheeljack's device is supposed to do.
- Spike yells, "DUCK!" when Soundwave bursts through the theater screen, but he and Carly run away instead.
- When the Autobots are role-playing the aliens chasing the actress, Sunstreaker looks like he's...goose-stepping?
- When the Autobots are sitting in director's chairs with their names written on the backs, Tracks’s chair is spelled "Trucks". This could be an extension of the gag where the director constantly gets Hoist's name wrong. Then again, considering how common mangled English lettering is in the cartoon's backgrounds, it may be an outright error (presumably stemming from a misunderstanding on the part of Japanese animators, as the English short "a" and short "u" sounds are identical to the Japanese ear). The world may never know.
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