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Home Episode Summaries G.I.Joe: The Movie

Written by Buzz Dixon
Production Numbers: 600-87 to 600-91
Original Airdate: April 18, 1987
Summarized by Mike Marano

Hi, all. Dave's letting me share the limelight for a sec in order to review GI JOE: The Movie. Many hard-core military fans did not appreciate the quirky and decidedly more science fiction oriented plot, but I have to say that I liked it. The Movie was planned to be released in theaters in 1987, but in looking at the less than stellar box-office performance of My Little Pony and The Transformers, Hasbro balked at a third try and sent GI JOE: The Movie right to video cassette, and later to TV as a 5-parter on the animated series. It was re-released exclusively in Canada by MaloFilm in April 1997 to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Don Johnson is the voice of Falcon, and the late Burgess Merideth supplied the voice for Golobulus. And now, the plot:

Cobra is foiled once again, in a spectacularly animated opening sequence, by the Joes who stop them from blowing up the Statue of Liberty accompanied by a new extended version of the GI JOE main theme. Back on Cobra Island, Serpentor and Cobra Commander blame each other for the failure, but the argument is ended by an intruder infiltrating the Terrordrome in another impressive animated sequence. The intruder is Pythona of Cobra-La, demanding that Cobra steal a device called the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. The Joes are testing the machine in the Himalayas when Cobra attacks. Serpentor is captured by Duke, and Cobra Commander leads the rest of Cobra into the mountains where he thinks they will find refuge, in the lost civilization of Cobra-La, under its ruler Golobulus. A number of Joes are also captured, and Duke and Hawk decide to send Roadblock out with a rescue party, and speed up the training of new recruits, which includes Duke’s half brother, the gold-bricking Lt. Falcon, who dereliction of duty (he was trying to score with Jinx), results in Serpentor’s subsequent breakout by Nemesis Enforcer and the Drednoks, and the severe wounding of Gung-Ho, Alpine, and Bazooka. Falcon, almost court-martialed is sent to Sgt. Slaughter for training. Back in Cobra-La, Cobra Commander is put on trial for failure, and exposed to spores which devolve him into a snake. These same spores will be launched into space to destroy the human race. The BET is needed to ripen the spores in space. Serpentor leads an attack which captures the device and severely wounds Duke by impaling him through the heart with a spear. Falcon and Slaughter find the location of Cobra-La in the Terrordrome and blow it up. Roadblock and Cobra Commander, almost completely a snake, escape Cobra-La, and the Joes launch a final assault on its central ice dome. Falcon overloads the BET, Slaughter ices Nemesis Enforcer, Jinx takes care of Pythona, the ice dome explodes, Duke will reportedly recover, and the Joes win the day once again. By the way, Falcon gets Jinx in the end too.

It’s worthwhile to note that up until the last minute, Duke was going to die á lá Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie. Hasbro changed their minds at the last minute (the animation had been done already) and had some lines of dialogue changed and added, like Doc saying “has gone into a coma” instead of “is dead”, and Doc’s super imposed transmission at the end of the movie saying that Duke’s okay.

A decent sci-fi plot, good characterization, and fantastic animation round out G.I. Joe: The Movie, Marvel's last contribution to G.I. Joe in terms of animation. The origin of Cobra, the (near) death of Duke, the fall of Cobra Commander and THE best animated opening sequence ever made are all highlights in this tour-de-force of G.I. Joe action which perfectly captures the essence of the TV series. Yo Joe!

Jan 25: G.I.Joe Examined on Podcasts
Jan 25: Buzz Dixon Interview
Jan 25: Paulsen Annie Nomination & Dini on Batman Comic
Jan 12: Sgt. Slaughter Signing in Atlanta
Jan 11: G.I.Joe to Return on G4
Dec 30: Paramount Movie Reviewer Plugs
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