G.I. Joe: The Movie – Nostalgia Critic

The most over the top American kids movie is back. It’s crazy, it makes no sense, and it’s amazing! Nostalgia Critic looks at a real American hero!

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Golobulus gave me nightmares. So did Cobra Commander’s face.

  2. prime-10@hotmail.co.uk

    I read that the film wasn’t even released in theatres. It was pulled out when both the Transformers movie and My Little Pony movie did poorly at the box office.

    • Yanno, I honestly wonder how long until he does the My Little Pony movie (The old one) to cash in on that aging fad. I mean hell, there’s an actual movie coming out for the current one now. It would be timely.

      • Which MLP movie? Rescue from Midnight Castle, Escape from Catrina or “the Movie” movie? Also I’m not sure why? Yes, it is horrible from modern perspective but it was decent in its time. Only EfC is worst then usual TV show episode.

        Though I would be glad is he review it.. maybe Bronies acknowledge finally that Tirek, Smooze and Changelings aren’t new thing.

    • I can vouch for this. I can remember watching when it debuted on TV when I was a kid. Was never in the theaters.

    • And the only reason why the TF movie failed was because Optimus was killed off… I am NOT kidding you! Parents and fans were telling others to NOT see the film because of that! I just wish more people had THAT sort of conviction against the Bay films to begin with.

      As for the MLP movie… It targeted the wrong demographic. The first generation of MLP was meant for little girls and I mean REALLY little girls, but it tried to be a big fantasy adventure with a few horror elements… It tried to be G4 before G4.

      One DIED at the Box Office because of a dumbass decision, the other died because of wrong targeting… GI Joe would have actually worked if they stuck with their guns I think.

      • I’m not really sure about that.. making a toy tien movie itself was a dumb decision, because at that time kids didn’t go to cinemas outside Disney maybe. MLP was always “fantasy adventure with a few horror elements” and movie itself wasn’t in any way different then regular TV show. It was a G1 and G4 was designed as adaptation of G1 (G4 even is officially sequel-remake of Rescue from Midnight Castle) so nothing new.

  3. So American it was animated in Japan by Toei

  4. As some one who’s part of childhood GI Joe is thanks to Marvel’s GI Joe comic books that were far more serious than 80’s cartoon I find whole Cobra-la thing far too silly even for 80’s cartoon’s standards. Just so that Hasbro could sell brand new toys based on Cobra-la.

    You know I always have to laugh little when I hear some one act like Team America is some great American patriotic movie when it’s actually just parody and meant not to be taken seriously.

    • Agreed. Actually before this movie, the series ran for a few years and they had several “movies” that ran as five part weekly serials to kick of a new season of individual episodes.

      Many of those animated episodes were written by Marvel comics writers.

      This is actually where the animated Gi-Joe went from military Sci-fi action into supernatural weirdness.

    • Honore de Ballsack

      there are people naive enough to think Team America was SERIOUS? oh god….

  5. Wrestlers? What about Football Players? Seriously, they had a Refrigerator Perry figure with a Football Shaped Mace! Look it up!

    Serpentor got that two-headed snake thing from Thulsa Doom.

  6. Vidme is sucking extra hard today; it won’t play more than about 20 seconds before it starts lagging and stalling. Even pausing it and waiting a few minutes doesn’t seem to fix the problem.

  7. I haven’t grown up with much of G.I. Joe, but I remember seeing their toy commercials, and I know of the existence of the 80’s TV show. But years later, with the release of the movie “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” I decided to watch this whole film on YouTube, and I also think that the opening bit was goddamn genius.

    The actor who played the voice of Cobra Commander also played the voice of Starscream in Transformers.

    I’d like to see Sgt. Slaughter train Donald Trump for being a draft dodging pussy.

    Just be thankful that the live action movies don’t have the Cobra soldiers shouting “COBRALALALALALALAAAAA!”

    Thanks to the making of documentary for Transformers: The Movie, I first heard about the bit about them changing that Duke went into a coma instead of dying ala Optimus Prime. At least we see Duke OFFICIALLY die later on in “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

    • That voice actor of Cobra Commander and Starscream is actually one of the most well known voice actors of the 80s. Christopher Collins also did voices in the Inhumanoids and was the original voice of Mr Burns (only season one).

  8. Man, you’re on quite a roll with weekly reviews, even if every second one is a smaller-scale review than your standard ones.
    I reckon Duke’s (almost) death was dealt with better than Optimus Prime. From a narrative point of view, it makes more sense to have a dramatic moment like that near the climax of a story rather than the beginning. Plus, it would have more of an impact on people who only just got into the series.

    • Optimus’ death made sense narratively, the movie was about the search for a new leader and even though Hot Rod was the main character there were several candidates in the movie (Jazzimus Prime, Bumblemus Prime, etc).

      GI Joe was more about Falcon learning to be a soldier. So having the death of a mentor/teammate/brother happen at the climax makes more sense for that.

  9. Remember in the beginning when Cobra were just people who happened to have a snake theme about their organization, and now we’re down to their leaders being literal snake people. With the reveal of Cobra Commander’s face, I now wonder if Doctor Claw was a literal demon hellspawn.

  10. Duke in a coma b/c they didn’t wanna get backlash from the same parents who complained about Optimus Prime’s death? Oh c’mon! Show some backbone Hasbro, or whatever company behind this movie!

  11. Wait, there was a animated movie version, this is the first time I am just hearing about this. I was so used to the latter live-action one I didn’t realize it.

    *sits back with her bowl of chips*

    • There was a whole weekday afternoon animated series in this same style and voice actors, with several “movies” that ran both in feature length form sometimes on TV, and broken into five part daily episode adventures that ran with the dozens of other episodes. GI Joe was huge in the 80s.

  12. Thank you.
    I also loved that movie when i was a kid

  13. Uh, Critic? Not everyone can come out of a coma.
    For all matters, he could be considered as good as dead.

    On the movie’s side, I don’t care what they did there, it’s obvious Duke is supposed to be considered dead.
    The animation leans towards it.

  14. That ‘energy sauce’ was later sold at McDonalds under the name ‘Szechuan Sauce’. IT’S DELICIOUS. I NEED TO GET THAT MULAN DIPPING SAUCE.

  15. “He’s in a coma!”
    “Kobra LALALAALL!!!”

    80s at its best :Pp

  16. Hang on… Did I just see a guy spanking a girl? Like OBVIOUSLY spank her!? 😐 The things your child mind never understands or remembers.

    • First time seeing this clip as an adult, and I saw him swat her back, between her shoulder blades. Still annoying as fuck and his gob needed a smack in return, but I honestly didn’t see a butt slap.

  17. Now I’m never going to take REAL terrorists seriously. The next time I hear “Eyiyiyiyiyiyiyi” or “Lelelelelelele”, its gonna be followed by “Cobralalalalalalalalalalalalala”!

  18. Ah, yes. This was the first – and virtually only[1] – thing of the Action Force (as it was called over here in the UK) series I ever saw. I’m not entirely sure if there even ever was a UK TV showing of the main series; if there was, it was never on any of the terrestrial channels at the time (unlike iits contemporaries, like Transformers – and the (in my opinion) best of the rest, Centurions). I think maybe it was around on the early cable and satelite? Perhaps some other old fogies from this side of the pond could answer that. (We didn’t have cable until the early nineties.)

    Despite that, though, the Action Force theme has always stuck with me. I’ve heard the GI Joe theme, of course, but to me the Action Force theme is just snappier. (Not being American, of course, the patriotic-y-ness of it never did anything for me.) The lyrics aren’t that different, but the international version is a little but pacier and with a bit more of a beat to it. (Also, the UK version of the regaulr series intro had a CGI red-white-and-blue fist punching through the Cobra logo at the end!) The GI Joe theme is more… (having just listened to both again while making this post), I dunno, a bit more country and western, maybe? Verses the international techno-ish (I dunno, I can’t Music).

    Not sure it worked ever-so-well with the aforementioned movie intro; whiel I definitely prefer the theme, the GI Joe theme for the movie worked better for the animation is was accompaniying. (Think they might even have cut the UK version down a lot as well, more’s the pity.)

    [1]Aside from one episode that was on the video we rented. (Action force certainly didnt have a thetrical release over here.)

    • Good day to you from “across the pond” here in the USA.
      Ah yes, “Action Force” the “International Heroes”
      (so yes, Action Force did have a weekly series)
      the intro to the animated movie was (slightly) different as well;
      it was the same animation (more or less) but no people screaming “REAL AMERICAN HEROES” (yet Duke is still carrying the Star & Stripes at the end, well, they are protecting Lady Liberty, perhaps the “international heroes” are showing respect for “the Yanks”).

      So now that I have you here………..
      What was up with calling Princess Gwenevere………..
      Princess Starla??

      & why do you call Waldo ………. Wally???

      • First one – no idea, I’m not familiar with that series on either side of the pond, I’m afraid.

        As to Wally, you’ve got that one backwards. Wally was written by en Englush chap so “Wally” was the original name. “Waldo” was used for the American release. Wikipedia is silent at to why, so your guess is as good as mine.

        Odlaw being used both sides and not Yllaw for the UK presumably might have been because the former actually sounds like a name and the latter doesn’t. Though beyond that, you’d probably have to ask Martin Handford.

  19. Why is an officer(Lt.Falcon) calling a Non-Com(Duke is a Sargent), Sir?

    • There is a point in the movie in which Falcon dresses down Duke as “Sergeant” before walking off.
      I am guessing that made Duke regret turning down OCS so many times.

  20. I’m really disappointed you didn’t bring in Angry Joe’s Corporate Commander

  21. I remember this as a kid and feeling bad for Cobra Commander

  22. Does that mean next week you’re going to do the GI Joe Live Action movie?

  23. This was actually in the declining era of GI Joe as the major cultural phenom that existed alongside the Transformers when Hasbro first ruled the American toy market.

    There were always sci-fi elements in GI-Joe but they were mostly grounded in spy thriller gadgetry, or mad scientist tropes…this movie saw them move squarely into supernatural weirdness and it felt like a jumping of the shark.

    Besides, Ninja Turtles would make this all forgotten soon anyway.

    • After all no one know that G.I. Joe: Renegades was released only few years ago and what is even Transformers and MLP? Outside Bay trash there is also Prime, RiD and even Rescue Bots. Hasbro is still strong in TV.

      • No doubt they’ve had ups and downs.

        Back in the mid 80s they dominated afternoon TV when “animated toy commericals” ruled. What would change all that was the Disney Afternoon, WB animation (Tiny Toons Batman TAS), Ninja Turtles, and even Nickelodeon shown like Ren and Stimpy.

        Basically, the animation renaissance of the early 90s.

        • I don’t deny that, but it is hard to call those franchises forgotten. Yes, they weren’t only cartoon anymore due to animation boom, but still were released.

          In case of Transformers in 90’ties we have highly acclaimed by fans Beast Wars and Beast Machines. Also this franchise was still strong in the Japan with way more series including Japanese G1 and Beast Era, old RiD and Unicron Trilogy. And from also highly acclaimed by fans 2007 Animated series is produced regularly on the west again from at least decade.

          In case of GI Joe we have.. 90’ties G.I. Joe Extreme, 2006 Sigma 6, 2009 Resolute and 2010 Renegades. Plus several movies including but not only LA.

          In case of MLP we have 90’ties tales. And yes.. this franchise has huge hole until reboot in 2003, what included dozen OVA, four movies (one after semi-reboot of G3.5). And then finally FiM from 2010.

          And such it is hard to say that those franchises weren’t present in the media.

          • Ah…no I don’t mean they’re forgotten literally. I meant that soon other things would be what kids are into.

            Properties like GI Joe (and Ninja Turtles) are cyclical now. They come in and out of popularity once per decade or so.

  24. Really digging getting skitless reviews in between the big reviews!

  25. One of the best intros to a movie. Too bad the movie itself was crap.

  26. I didn’t know that there was an animated G.I. Joe movie. How have I never heard of this 80’s cheese before? Cobralalalalalalalalalala

  27. Holy crap, I actually got a little misty hearing that theme song again.

    This was probably the second most interesting thing to come out of the original G.I. Joe cartoon series. For me, I actually liked the two part episode centering on the Joe Shipwreck, when he…wait for it…goes into a coma and wakes up to discover that the conflict between Cobra and G.I. Joe has ended and he’s already got a new life with a former Cobra agent that he fell for in an earlier episode. It was one of the best mindfucks in a cartoon from that time period I ever experienced.

    • Was that the one with the [spoiler alert] – synthoids?

      That was pretty awesome, very Twilight Zone.
      Don’t forget “Cold Slither” the rock band created by Cobra featuring Zartan and the Dreadnaughts using subliminal messages to subvert the youth of America.

      I always thought Zartan’s design was based on Sabbath Era Ozzie Osborne mixed with Alice Cooper makeup.

      • Yeah, you had the right episode. The writing on that went way beyond what I would have expected from a “kids” cartoon back in that era of animation.

        • At the time, I remember my childhood self thinking “yeah right” they made this whole fake town with synthetic clones to extract information from one guy…that’s dumb.

          But later you realize it’s less silly than many other Cobra operations, and conceptually it’s very intriguing.

  28. Has the nostalgia Critic ever reviewed the 1986 transformers movie?

  29. The Real Silverstar

    During Duke’s death scene, when the producers inserted someone saying “He’s gone into a coma”, I half expected somebody to say, “I can see his parachute…he’s OK”.

  30. Today it would be TRUMP LALALALA!!!!

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