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
When the Aerialbots where introduced in the second season of Transformers they were no doubt an instant hit. They would go on to become some of the most popular faces in the franchise. They may have made more appearances in the cartoon than the other Autobot and Decepticon combiner pieces. In the second season of the series, it's kind of easy to understand the interest with them, because personality wise they were the most interesting Transformers to come around due to their lack of experience. This release contains two more episodes with War Dawn being a complete focus on them, whileForever Is A Long Time Coming features them, but doesn't exactly focus on them.
War Dawn follows the Aerialbots as they still wonder weeks after being created why the Autobots protect the humans, and who's exactly to blame for the fighting in the first place. They even go so far to believe that the Autobots are just as responsible for Cybertron being a ruined planet. Starscream takes advantage of their naivete and uses Megatrons time machine to send them into the past hoping they would be lost forever.
The Transformers is a cartoon series that would sometimes take steps towards the thought provoking either through its characters or the use of some themes, for the most part though, it was mainly meant to be fun and I clearly understand this. However, it really does suffer from some bad writing, and even more from plot holes and continuity problems.
This is one episode that is praised by many because it dives into some of the origin of the war, but the lack of experience and research on the part of episode writer David Wise in regards to time altering is too hard to ignore. Without giving away major spoilers, his ideas on how past events could effect the future in sci-fi are completely clouded. He comes off like he really doesn't know what he's talking about. If you really look pass the popcorn fun aspect of this episode, you wouldn't find anything the least bit plausible as far as storytelling goes. On top of this, it contradicts the episode The Search for Alpha Trion in regards to the mystery of Optimus Prime. In the aforementioned episode, Prime had no idea he was created by Alpha Trion, while here, he's fully aware that he was and even asks him to recreate someone else. This isn't the biggest continuity issue in the series, but at the very least you will see that the series writers weren't even in the same zip code. On the other hand, it was nice to see the cause of the great war and how Optimus Prime came to be, but later on, parts of this episode as well as many others would also fall victim to the power of retcon. The action is decent at best, nothing truly noteworthy here.
The second episode takes place in the third season. This begins with the Transformers creators the Quintessons attempting to re-write history, by creating a time window to reach back into Cybertron's distant past, and kill the Autobot who began the rebellion that saw them kicked off the planet. I always thought this episode was pretty interesting yet very underdeveloped. It would have benefitted more as a multi-parter, because there are sections of Cybertron possessing rocky landscapes as an indication that the planet was probably still in it's beginning stages of "cyberforming". Instead, it's just another episode with mediocre action segments, riddled with various errors, and focuses on some of the most annoying characters.
The animation in both episodes are just not up to any real standard. Although it would become the series twisted charm; there are too many animation errors, and this is something that would plague the series a lot more in the third season. Normally I love the voice acting in this series, with Susan Blu being among those voice actors I adore, unfortunately, her gravelly-voice over as Beta became quickly annoying for me. I give her credit for the performance though because for years I thought it was someone else.
Overall, these are far from great to me and barely pass as being watchable. I prefer tighter story elements in my entertainment, animated or otherwise, and War Dawn is too riddled with silly time altering concepts that hurt the story for me, plus the action really isn't all that much. And the latter episode could have been better with a different choice of characters. Perhaps they shouldn't have killed so many off in Transformers: The Movie.
Pros: -Aerialbot fans will dig it, some backstory
Cons: -Storytelling is lacking and weak animation
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