Note: These are inconsistencies and production errors found just in the movie,
disregarding any details from the TV series. (An entire book could be written about
all the inconsistencies and production errors on the TV series.)
Storyboard / Production Errors (other than painting errors:)
- There is a shot near the beginning of the film when Unicron is approaching Lithone where the rings of
Unicron appear in front of a Lithonian building which SHOULD be in the foreground.
When Hot Rod fires at the incoming shuttle with Decepticons on board,
there is a shot in which Kup says "What's that darn fool doing?" In this
shot (see photo on right) we see, from left to right:
Kup, Hound, Huffer, Bluestreak, and Sunstreaker. Later, when
Optimus flies in on another shuttle, we see Sunstreaker piloting the
shuttle. How could he be on the ground and with Prime at the same time?
(Same is true with Hound, who seems to have gotten off of the same shuttle
as Prime, though we do not actually see him on it.)
- In the real world, Daniel would have been blown out of the escaping
shuttle from the airflow while Arcee was being pulled in by Springer.
- During the battle at Autobot City, an Autobot's legs move past in the
foreground as we see Perceptor (and Grapple) firing in the background.
The legs appear to be those of Swoop's, although Swoop has yet to arrive
on Earth at this point.
When Cyclonus is created by Unicron, we see two of them being
created. Unicron introduces them as: "Cyclonus, and his armada." Where is
the armada? And where did this other Cyclonus figure go?
After that point, we only see one Cyclonus at a time, except for a few rare
instances (probable errors) in the post-movie TV series.
(Fans theorize that this other Cyclonus might be another character, named
"Armada," and some have actually written stories about this character.)
- When the fallen Decepticons are thrown out of Astrotrain, we see
Thundercracker (the blue jet) and Skywarp (the black jet) get thrown out
with Megatron and the Insecticons. We see them get turned into Cyclonus
and the Sweeps. But later, we see both of those warriors on Cybertron during
Starscream's coronation. We also see the Insecticons later, but fans just
say the ones thrown out of Astrotrain were just their "clones."
The appearance of Snarl within the movie may be an animation error.
There are five Dinobots total, but the movie only really features four
of them, leaving poor Snarl (the stegosaurus) behind.
However, when the Decepticons return to Autobot City, Ultra Magnus says, "to the shuttles,"
and we see an overhead shot of four Dinobots, EXCLUDING Swoop and INCLUDING Snarl.
We also see his dino-head a couple of shots earlier as the camera pans to the right during the "This new menace
is more dangerous than all the Decepticons together" speech. So when did Snarl arrive on Earth,
and where was Swoop in this scene?
Even stranger -- we also see Snarl in robot mode for a couple of frames as the Quintesson
ship flies by the planet of Junk, inside the cockpit along with Hot Rod and
Kup. So how did he end up on this ship, and where did he go afterwards?
- Hot Rod's transformation scheme changes, depending upon the animator
who drew him. In one scene, his upper torso rotates 180 degrees, but
in another it just flips up.
Unicron's head (specifically his forehead region) is drawn a bit
differently during the 'transformation sequence' than elsewhere in the movie.
This is likely due to the fact that this sequence was animated much earlier
than the rest of the film, and changes were made to the character designs at
this point. (See Trivia section, about the pre-release promotional reel.)
This might also explain the shift from Autobot City's colors from all white
(original version) to all orange (shots animated later).
- When Unicron attacks Cybertron, the Decepticons fight back, and we
see a jet that looks exactly like Starscream fly past us for a few
frames. But Starscream is already burnt toast at this point. One of his
- When the Autobots fly through Unicron's left eye inside of the Quintesson ship, and they all fall out (or did they jump?),
Hot Rod lands on a spike sticking out of the "wall". In the shot in which he falls, the layer of the character is out of registration with the background layer. (Watch this scene in slow motion...)
- When Daniel arrives at the digestion pool inside of Unicron (where his
father is about to be dropped from a conveyor belt), he appears at the
base of the pool before he even walks up to it.
Painting Errors: (or at least the most obvious ones)
- When Soundwave ejects his tapes to stop Blaster from sending a
signal to Prime, Rumble (or is it Frenzy?) is colored purple, and in the
next shot he is blue.
- When Blaster ejects Rewind and Eject, they both alternate between blue
and gray colors.
- Devastator's chestplate changes color from one shot to the next. When he first forms together, it is lime green, like
the rest of his body. In the very next shot, it is suddenly purple, as it is supposed to be.
The following are often listed as errors and/or plot holes, but can all be explained
in some way:
- At the beginning of the movie, Optimus asks Jazz for a 'security status'
over a comm link, indicating that they are far apart - but only a couple of
shots later, they are standing right next to each other. Perhaps more time
elapsed between these scenes? Maybe Optimus didn't feel like walking into
the next room?
- How could the Autobots in the shuttlecraft (Prowl, of all
guys) not detect the Decepticons until they were breaking through
the hull? What, no radar? In the comic adaptation, (as well as the early
draft of the script), the Decepticons attack while the Autobot shuttle
is passing through a dense asteroid field, rendering their radar useless.
- It is often pointed out that Astrotrain's request to "jettison some
weight" was a scientific error on the part of the writer. Since there is
no gravity, and therefore no weight in space, why would he need to lose
some? There are several explainations, however. Steve Stonebraker, in
the TF FAQ file, points out that while there is no weight in space,
there still is MASS. It could have been possible that Astrotrain needed
less mass to decelerate before approaching Cybertron.
My theory is that Astrotrain, in collaboration with Starscream, made up this story
to dispose of Megatron. (Remember Astrotrain's motto: "In confusion there is
opportunity." And just who was putting the crown on Starscream's head during his
- Devastator forming INSIDE of Astrotrain??? Astrotrain IS supposed to
have a lot of cargo space in shuttle mode, but does he really have that
- After Moon Base 2 (with Bumblebee and Spike) is eaten by Unicron, and
Galvatron gets mad that Cybertron's moons belong to him, you can see yet another
moon still orbiting Cybertron. While it is not explicitly stated exactly how many
moons of Cybertron there were in total, it is implied that there were only two.
This error was probably due to the fact that the scene where Unicron eats Moon Base 2
was supposed to come much later in the movie, as it does in the original script
and the comic adaptation. Thus the moon visible in that shot was supposed to be
Moon Base 2, but due to the change in editing of the film, this does not make sense.
I list this error in the "possibly not an error" section because it could just be
a third Cybertronian moon.
- How did Hot Rod and Kup know that Magnus and the other Autobots had
crashed on Junkion? The comic adaptation says that they traced the
path of the debris.
- Optimus takes a couple of shots to his ribcage, and dies. Ultra Magnus
is blown to bits (he is actually drawn and quartered by laser beams in the original
script), and he is repaired in little amount of time by the Junkions. Huh?
My explanation is that maybe Optimus's main energy core or some other vital organ,
er, component, was right there in his ribcage. Notice Megatron cut him wide open there
first, then he shot him in the same spot a few times. If this was in fact Prime's weakest
point, then Megatron did a good job of killing him.
Perhaps Ultra Magnus was not hurt in any vital areas. If he was "drawn and quartered"
then only his limbs were removed, and since he is a robot, bleeding to death is not a problem.
Or maybe the Junkions are JUST THAT SMART. :)
- Many people think that one of the robots who falls into the digestion
pool was Ironhide, who died at the beginning of the movie. I can not say
I agree with this belief - it looks like any miscellaneous robot to me.
- How did the Autobots, after smashing out of Unicron's right eye, make it safely to the planet's
surface? Maybe Springer landed them all to safety? Maybe the Dinobots, with their unexplained
ability to fly, rescued them all? Maybe they jumped on top of Unicron's left leg and rode it down?
My explanation: Wreck-Gar, Magnus, and Perceptor managed to rescue them in the VERY QUICKLY repaired
Junkion shuttle. In the original script, the Junkion shuttle was split in two by Unicron,
and they manage to get both halves working as independent ships.
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