Challenge of the Gobots - Another huge disappointment from the past.
Jul 24, 2011
On the planet of Gobotron exist two warring robotic factions; the heroic Guardians who are lead by Leader-1, and the evil Renegades who are lead by Cy-Kill. The Guardians are planning one huge offensive on their headquarters to take them down permanently. However, Cy-Kill has a plan of his own to invade the Earth with two of his warriors, and turning it into his new base. Leader-1 with two of his own warriors follows his ship to Earth continuing their war. -summary
For those who may not remember the Gobots, and don't feel bad if you don't. The cartoon was released in 1984 under the Hanna-Barbera name, and is said to be the cartoon that jump started the Transformers. Rabid fans, and yes, there are some out there, claim that the Transformers wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the Gobots. Unless there's something out there hidden I don't know; I believe the Transformers comic was out a few weeks before the Gobots TV series. But that's completely irrelevant anyway.
On to the real subject at hand, similar to the Transformers, Gobots features two robotic armies with the ability to change into vehicles, from fighter jets to race cars. Challenge of the Gobots presents the first five episodes of the series that actually did go on to enjoy a short run, and even a feature film. Now in all honesty, after re-watching these episodes after so many years, there's a really good chance that I'm stopping here should the latter episodes ever be released. Many cartoons from the 80's haven't really aged well at all, and Gobots is definitely one of them. It's truly among the worst cartoons I revisited.
I hate everything about this show. I definitely cannot stand the character designs at all. Almost all of the robots look terrible, in both robot and vehicle form. They are so bland and close to featureless with some of the ugliest faces. There's a character named Scooter, who has these traces of blond bangs on the front of his head with the stupidest looking face. Then you have some who change into cars and trucks, with their heads as the actual windshields of the car. Here's a detailed example, take a look at Optimus Prime's chest where the truck cock-pit and windshield is his actual chest, and he actually has a head and face at the top of his body. There's a character who's entire head and face resembles Prime's chest. It looks so ugly, terrible, and lacking complete imagination. There's others like this too.
Now, I understand that this is a 1984 cartoon, but still, the animation is bad especially during the transformations, and some of the vehicle modes are just horrible. In the case of Cy-Kill, he turns into this motorcycle with his ugly head at the front. In fact, his entire cycle mode looks as if he's in doggy-style just waiting to take it. It's so bad it's funny. The robots do not have any cool weaponry either, they shoot through their hands and it's just so unimaginative when looking back. The only good thing I can think of happens to be the voice acting with Cy-Kill who is voiced by the late Bernard Erhard. Out of all these robots, he was the only one who didn't make me cringe while he was talking. The lack of creativity in the robots is unreal; you have Scooter, who well, changes into a scooter. Another one named Cop -Tur who turns into a helicopter. So take a guess what Tank changes into. I guarantee you will never figure it out.
The plot really isn't all that bad; there are two things going on here. On Earth, Cy-Kill has a couple of objectives to complete with the assistance of a mad scientist, to help him win the war. While on their home planet, the Guardians are attacking the Renegades. The focus is mainly on Earth which was a bad thing for me, since I didn't care for any of the characters on it, robot or human. So a few straight action scenes on their home planet would have helped out. Unfortunately, the great battle gets little to no focus at all. The action scenes consist of lots of laser fire, but I was bored the entire time, and there were just no battles to take place that I would say are the least bit noteworthy.
I tell you, I'm dangerously close to never again revisiting any of those old childhood cartoons. Almost each and every last one of them have left a very bad taste in my mouth. There's no way I could ever watch these episodes again, I was very close to quitting many times. I only recommend this to that large group out there, who swears on their lives that 80's cartoons are hands down the best; and nothing is, and nothing can, ever be better then them. The set has a 110 minute run time.