March 13, 2008

Animated Manhattan: G.I. Joe: The Movie

Part 20 in an ongoing series looking at New York City in animation.

Okay, so most of G.I. Joe: The Movie takes place outside of New York. But the ridiculous opening battle takes place at the Statue of Liberty, so that’s what I’m going to concentrate on. I debated whether or not one location is enough to qualify for the “Animated Manhattan” series, but the waves of nostalgia I had watching this convinced me to include it.

It all starts on a pleasant night at the Statue of Liberty.

Balloons are sent up in celebration of some sort.

Oh, no! The evil forces of Cobra are parachuting down to ruin everything!

But wait. Who is that watching from the torch? [Note: This movie came out in 1987 but still depicts the statue’s original torch, which had been replaced the year before]

Yo, Joe! G.I. Joe is there!

They’ll surely save the day. If they can stop Cobra from planting a bomb, there’s no way any harm could come to the statue.


The damage doesn’t look so bad from here.

Cobra has been defeated!

A lot of the movies and TV shows in the “Animated Manhattan” series have scenes at the Statue of Liberty. In general, they tend to get the details right, especially in close-ups. This sequence doesn’t really fare much better or worse than the others, but it’s nice to have a scene where Lady Liberty plays such a prominent role. Unfortunately, this all has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, which is about Golobulus, the leader of a reptilian race who is trying to steal a Broadcast Energy Transmitter so he can mutate everyone on Earth by ripening space spores.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

Bonus: An edited version of the sequence is on YouTube.


Just ran across your blog. It’s pretty lame.

Was that a Star Wars reference?

That’s not quite the original torch, but it is definitely the one from before restoration.

One other notable thing about this sequence is how it portrays the Statue of Liberty as much larger than reality. Check out the sixth and last pics especially, her head is really only about 17 feet tall. There are some decent photos on the the Statue of Liberty article on Wikipedia showing people near and in her head for comparison.

This is a really common offense, though, even in non-animated films. The Ghostbusters notably rode around in a statue two or three times actual size.

I guess it could be argued that the celebration is the Statue’s centennial.

It’s amusing to note the inaccuracies… for instance it looks like the flame on the torch is orientated at tht wrong angle in the fifth picture.

That said, it’s something I’m gonna remember foldly from when I was younger even if the film itself wasn’t that great overall, it’s a fantastic sequence.

Where is your numerical ranking of this movie? I know that it doesn’t do a lot of Manhattan, but, hey, we scientific types need numbers.