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File:G I Joe The Movie 2314.jpg

Note: This is about the 1987 original animated film. For the new live-action film see G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) was the first film to come out of the G.I. Joe franchise. It is in the original animated series timeline taking place after its second season. Originally planned as a theatrical release, but after My Little Pony: The Movie and Transformers: The Movie bombed at the box office, it was released Direct to Video instead.

The film, much like its Transformers counterpart, expands on the story of the Joes-Cobra war, and the origin of Cobra is revealed to be tied in to a rather bizarre ancient civilization called "Cobra-La". Cobra-La's leader Golobulus has tired of Cobra Commander's constant failures and has decided to take matters into his own hands.

The film is rather (in)famous for taking what had previously being the most realistic cartoon (relatively. They did do an episode with the Ancient Egyptian Gods, after all) of the 1980s and making it into an outright science fiction film and for its potrayal of Cobra Commander... however the opening to the movie is considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome at is finest. It also tried to avert some of the tropes associated with the TV series such as Never Say "Die" and Nobody Can Die, but... things didn't go the way as planned due to a certain other film being released first and the negative backlash against a certain character's death...

G.I. Joe: The Movie contains examples of:

  • And This Is For: Sergeant Slaughter, while fighting Nemesis Enforcer during the final battle, gives him blows on behalf of Gung-Ho, Alpine, Bazooka, Falcon, himself, Duke and the U.S.A. in general (all of which he had helped to critically endanger in some way).
  • As Himself: Sergeant Slaughter, played by Sergeant Slaughter.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Cobra Commander transforms gradually until he finally becomes a mindless snake and slithers away. (he gets restored in the subsequent cartoons)
  • Big Bad: Golobulus.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to Cobra Commander.
  • Demoted to Extra: Happens to most of the Season 1 and 2 Joes. Heck, even most of the Cobras.
  • The Dragon: Nemesis Enforcer
  • Dream Weaver: In Season 2's "Arise, Serpentor, Arise," Mindbender had a dream that inspired him to create the Cobra Emperor. It turns out the dream was actually sent by Golobulus to further Cobra-La's agenda.
  • Enemy Mine: Cobra Commander
  • Executive Meddling: The name "Cobra-La" was intended as a placeholder name by the writers until they could think of a better name, but Hasbro loved the name and forced them to keep it. Comic writer Larry Hama, however, hated the concept and refused to write a single Cobra-La story for over twenty years, finally doing so for a commemorative Cobra-La figure release. The packaging even advertised it as "The first Cobra-La story written by Larry Hama!"
  • Eye Scream: Roadblock is blinded during his escape from Cobra-La. Fortunately, with Cobra Commander's help, he later manages to find Duke's squad and they're able to treat him.
  • Heel Face Turn: Part of the backstory for Mercer, one of the Renegades. He was a Cobra Viper that - as Slaughter said - "saw the light."
  • Merchandise-Driven
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Nemesis Enforcer.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Falcon really does screw up - allowing a pretty civilian (later revealed to be Zarana) access to the detention area and later blowing off his guard duty to see Jinx. As a result, the Dreadnoks and Nemesis Enforcer are able to break Serpentor free, as well as injure Alpine, Bazooka and Gung-Ho.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Duke, as explained via a voiceover, despite getting the flesh wound directly through the center of his torso.
  • Organic Technology: Cobra-La's specialty, referred to as "Hypergenetic Manipulation" at one point. They view technology that doesn't incorporate living materials to be an outright abomination, and this is one of the primary reasons for their hatred of the outside world.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Big Lob and Pythona, though the former finally got a toy in 2010.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Duke gets better from his "coma" at the end of the movie.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Long before his mutation, Cobra Commander goes through one of these when his lieutenants insult him and call him "Cobra's curse":