For millions of years, a race of military like robots have been locked in a brutal war. The two opposing factions are the heroic Autobots lead by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons lead by Megatron. After years of fighting, both sides are facing extinction due to low energy reserves. Seeking a new power source, the Autobots plan a recon mission, but their ship is invaded by the Decepticon force, which causes their ship to crash into a volcano on Earth. 4 million years later, they awaken from their dormant state to continue the war, with earth's resources being the ultimate prize and deciding factor of the war.-summary
Hands down my favorite American cartoon of the 80s. The Transformers was the only show that I cared to see and I never missed a single episode. When the show was taken off the air for many years. I often wondered would my feelings for it still be the same. Fortunately they are, because I still enjoy the show immensely. However, as all things I view for entertainment purposes. I still watch the show from a neutral stand point, and not from the view of a drooling, foaming at the mouth fan boy. I simply cannot ignore the flaws in anything. No matter how much I may like or even love it.
TheTransformers is an American cartoon that debut in 1984. The origin of the show must be driven home, because there's a very small number who wants to believe that the show is Japanese anime. I don't know why some actually think this. I believe in giving credit where it's due. Especially, when it comes down to American animation, which some consider to be far inferior and this is a huge misunderstanding. Batman: The Animated Series along with Superman: The Animated Series, trumps about 70% of Japanese anime, while this series does very well on its own. In any case, the idea was based on a Japanese toy line, and the robots had no background or alliance. This is explained in great detail during the interview segment located in the extras.
TheTransformers, like the other 80s classic G. I. Joe is a very easy show to get into that is also good for kids. There's animated violence delivered in hand to hand battles and shootouts, where individuals are shot and injured, but the violence isn't very graphic, since no one is killed during this chapter of the series. Violence against humans never results in death either and there is no blood at all. The episodes are very fun and easy to understand, to include, they're all action packed.
What separated Transformers from every show out there, and immediately grabbed my attention forever was the robots abilities to change into vehicles, for both disguise and combat. I really didn't realize how clever the show was until I got older. It's very interesting to see some of the more covert robots utilizing their transforming abilities for spy missions. However, Transformers was not the first to do it. To the best of my knowledge, it may have been either Robotics, some say GoBots, that began the warring robot race from another planet, who can morph into vehicles. I don't remember GoBots being too interesting, but I do remember Robotics being very, very, brutal.
Transformersalso possesses another attribute. The show is packed with many interesting and charismatic personalities. The characters interactions are very interesting at times, but the standout for me always has been the constant internal power struggle between Megatron, and his second in command Starscream. The possibility of betrayal is always there, and the constant critique of Megatron's leadership is always on full blast by Starscream. The excellent voice work is clearly what brings out the best in the interactions, with superb voice acting delivered by the late Chris Latta(Starscream), the late Scatman Crothers(Jazz), Peter Cullen(Optimus Prime), and Frank Welker(Megatron & Soundwave).
The episodes are very simplistic, but they all accomplish what they set out for, and I hardly ever found my attention drifting. I credit this to the great action scenes and the fitting soundtrack. The episodes are mainly stand alone with only two major story arcs. There are story elements that take place, which carry over to many future episodes: such as the creation of the Decepticon Space Bridge and their crashed battleship. Other episodes debut many and very memorable characters such as the Dinobots, and then later the Constructicons who forms into Devastator, who also happens to be the first of the giant robot combiners. However, my personal favorite happens to be the Insecticons, who are a team of robot insects that speak using robotic insect-like voices.
Now for the part of this set that I feel should mostly be addressed is the restored animation. This area is very important because many fans are buying the set hoping that the animation mistakes are fixed. I really have to be straight forward, and say anyone who claims that the animation is completely restored are either lying, or just don't have a decent eye much less a good one. In all honesty though, I'm more willing to believe some people reviewed the series with rave reviews before seeing it.
The series is still packed with animation errors. You will still sometimes see two Starscreams in the exact same scene, or Autobots appearing in the Decepticon force in the background. There are many animation errors still present. The ONLY episode that was cleaned up, was episode 16 called the Heavy Metal War. This episode is animation error free, but you can clearly see which scenes are cleaned up, as they are much softer than the scenes that were untouched. Now to be fair, it is mentioned in the set booklet, that some scenes "will seem slightly softer than others". Still, I feel this is information that should be revealed before buying and opening the set. So people know they're paying for only one cleaned up episode.
The two three parters of the series are More Than Meets The Eye and The Ultimate Doom. I found the stories to be good overall, but I enjoyed the stand alone stories a lot more. I'll list the episodes and DVD extras.
1)More Than Meets The Eye Part 1 2)More Than Meets The Eye Part 2 3)More Than Meets The Eye Part 3 4)Transport To Oblivion 5)Roll For It 6)Divide And Conquer 7)Fire In The Sky 8)S.O.S Dinobots
9)Fire On The Mountain 10)War Of The Dinobots 11)The Ultimate Doom Part 1 12)The Ultimate Doom Part 2 13)The Ultimate Doom Part 3 14)Countdown To Extinction 15)A Plague Of Insecticons 16)Heavy Metal War
Triple Changer:From Toy To Comic To Screen Printable "Transport To Oblivion" Script Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials Rare PSA(Public Service Announcement)
The only section of the features I cared for was the Triple Changer segment. This is an interview taking place with the Series Executive Producers Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal to only name a couple, and also the comic book writer Bob Budiansky. There is quite a bit of interesting information found here and fantastic artwork. I always knew that the series was American made, but it was great learning what influenced the writers to push the toy and create the series.
Overall, as a huge fan of Transformers, I appreciate the release but those out there who own the Rhino Releases, and only want the set for the restored animation; use your own judgment here, since you're only paying for one cleaned up episode, but if you do not own Transformers, then I recommend the series because it's something that's actually good for the kids also. Die hard fans will definitely get a kick out of the interviews. The sets total run time is 6 hours.
Pros: -Memorable cast and voice actors -Fun and light entertainment
Cons: -Very inconsistent animation with errors -Some episodes are simple and cheesy
A very cool introduction to the series and to the characters. These episodes are pretty campy at times but the action is still really cool. There are also some nice debuts featuring the Dinobots, Constructicons, and Devastator. The top notch voice acting starring Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Chris Latta add to the fun.
The setup for Transformers is that there are clearly two distinct factions: the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. Both sides are from a race called Transformers - robots that can change into vehicles, mechanical devices and even animal forms. The two factions waged war for eons on their home planet of Cybertron. Then, 4 million years ago, a group from each side crash-landed on prehistoricEarth, reawakening in the present day to do battle once more.