Director Ray Patterson
Country United States
|Release date March 21, 1986|
Tagline At the edge of the universe... The adventure of a lifetime begins.
GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords is a 1986 American animated film based on the Gobots toy franchise. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions (also responsible for the Challenge of the GoBots television series) and released to theaters in 1986 by Clubhouse Pictures, the last film the company released. It featured the first appearance of the Rock Lords, who were given their own toyline after the movie.
These new characters featured the guest voices of Margot Kidder, Telly Savalas and Roddy McDowall. The regulars from the cartoon series all reprised their roles (though Arthur Bughardt played Cop-Tur, as he had in several late television episodes, following the death of Bob Holt).
The Guardian Gobots are continuing their work on rebuilding their home planet of Gobotron when a mysterious ship crashes on the planet. Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter investigate, and find it to be occupied by a pair of transforming rocks - Solitaire and her valet Nugget. They have come seeking the Guardians' help to save their planet from the evil Rock Lord Magmar, who is killing the other Rock Lords in order to take their power sceptres. He places these in a machine designed to channel all their power into his own sceptre. The Guardians agree to help, but the conversation is spied upon by the Renegade Fitor. Gobotron is soon attacked by the Renegade fleet, and Cy-Kill and a team of Renegades capture Solitaire, Small Foot, Nick and A.J. With Nugget as their guide, Leader-1, Turbo and Matt set off on a rescue mission. Back on Quartex, the only obstacle facing Magmar is Boulder's group of Rock Lords, who set off to draw Magmar into battle.
Meanwhile, Cy-Kill attempts to get information out of Solitaire, and despite her best efforts manages to link up with Magmar and strike an alliance, turning the battle against Boulder. The good Rock Lords flee, and after their defeat at the hands of the Renegades are initially very skeptical about the Guardians' intentions when they land on Quartex. However, they too form an alliance, and march on Magmar's headquarters. However, when they get there Magmar is able to take Boulder's sceptre from him, and activate the machine. Cy-Kill betrays Magmar, taking the weapon for himself, but is defeated by Leader-1, and the power is dissipated. The Renegade prisoners are released, and the Gobots return to Gobotron.
Box office and critical response
The film performed poorly, pulling in about $US1.3 million domestically. When released in Australia (as Machine Men: Battle of the Rock Lords, to tie in with the line's name in that territory), only a few independent cinemas carried the film, rather than the major chains. Several critics (Leonard Maltin amongst them) have suggested that Transformers: The Movie was made to "cash in" on the release of the film. While Battle of the Rock Lords was released five months before Transformers, the latter film had been in production for the better part of two years, well before Battle of the Rock Lords began production.
Home Media releases
The film has been released on VHS in North America, the UK and Australia amongst others locales. It has been shown recently in 2010 on HDNet Movies.
ReferencesGoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords Wikipedia
GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords IMDb GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords themoviedb.org