Directed by: various
Written by: various
Since the mid 1980s, The Transformers have been a staple of fandom for the children and teenagers of that era. With the new film from Michael Bay and now Transformers Animated, Hasbro is giving new and old audiences something to experience that is “More than Meets the Eye”
Transformers Animated takes place after the recent theatrical film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. However, this animated series mixes elements of the film and the classic Generation One Transformers storylines to bring something all Transformers fans can enjoy.
Instead of Energon cubes, the Autobots must protect the Allspark. Gone are Bumblebee and Spike who are replaced by a spunky 8-year old girl named Sari Sumdac. Instead of fighting the Deceptacons exclusively, the Autobots are delegated to superhero status. These changes may sound strange, especially the humans they have to tackle, but the addition of Sari helps the cartoon reach a wider audience that is fine with a girl hanging out with their favorite robots.
I will go ahead and say that if you are a Transformer purist you may not like this series. With that said, any Transformer fan that wants a fun series with robots, humor, and all of the things we remember from the glory days of the 1980s will at least enjoy this series. I know I did.
The character designs in the show remind me of mixtures of the movie and generation one. Interestingly, the robots are streamlined and less like robots and more like curvy machines. I honestly like the change. It feels like something more modern. Not to stir up Michael Bay hatred, but yes all of the transformers have actual mouths and eyes. The designs feel natural and modern, not a slap in the face of the old cartoons. In fact, this release is more true to generation one than all of the CGI infested remakes from the past five years.
Old Transformer fans will like the many nods to the old series. For example, the Dinobots show up, Bumblebee looks almost exactly like his 80s counterpart, Soundwave makes an appearance, and the stores build on each other. Again, the look is the only big change for this show. Did I mention that the theme song and old “transforming sound” are present in this release? That’s right it feels like the first time.
This release is truly something a father or mother can share with their children and say, “I used to watch this.” I liken it to the recent Teen Titans release that had the same stories as the comics, but a more anime/manga art style. Both work for their respective shows.
7/10 for a fan of fun Transformers or cartoons in general
The show is presented in Full screen, but I would have loved to see this release enhanced for widescreen. The colors are bright but not too shiny or metallic glossy. My favorite aspect of the animation and video is that no CGI was used. See, classic animation is still relevant.
For the sound, it is presented in Dolby Digital and stereo. The Dolby Digital sounds nice with the voices not too overpowering. The jazzed up opening theme will have people taking a nostalgia trip in no time. All of the music is crisp and not overpowering.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
While the packaging is great and vivid with the classic looking bumblebee and Optimus Prime jumping at the viewer, the special features are mediocre at best. All that is present on both discs is the Season 2 Photo Gallery Sneak Peek. An added feature that may be used is the Spanish language tracks; those are rather helpful I’m sure. I would have loved a featurette detailing the old and new series and how they matched.
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10
The Show 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 6.5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 4/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10