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Created by: Hasbro and Mainframe Entertainment
Starring: Gary Chalk, David Kaye and Ian James Corlett

I love the Transformers, I always have. But it seems that everything past 1987 has been just a pale shadow of the original animated series. Beast Wars is no exception.

The Season

In this storyline the Predacons and Maximals land on a primitive planet after a space chase and ensuing battle. The reason for coming to this planet is to find the energy source known as Energon. Both sides need it for fuel and thus the reason for the conflict. After touching down on the unnamed planet it is discovered that long term exposure to the Energon will cause permanent damage to their robot forms. So both factions scan the surrounding countryside and take the form of native animals to offset the negative effects.

Sound ludicrous? Well, it is. It is no secret that much like G.I Joe, The Transformers cartoon was a vehicle to sell toys. Beast Wars takes that philosophy to a whole new level. Although this is supposed to be in cannon with the original series there is almost no continuity in this story. Other than the names Megatron and Optimus being used one wouldn’t connect the two. And there is something odd in the pilot episode. None of the pre-scanned characters appear in full frame. All we get is a close-up of a robot face or a shadowed image from behind. This suggests either the production company didn’t have full rights to the characters or they simply did not want to link the old to the new more than they had to. Either way is ridiculous. And speaking of ridiculous, it takes all of ten seconds after each robot is rendered a new form for each of them to come up with a new name. Who comes up with this crap?

Then there is the animation style. I realize that in 1996 when this was created that CGI was a new and revolutionary technology. But that does not change the fact that it still looks like poorly rendered video game. What baffles me the most is that this series apparently won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. Oh, how times have changed…none.


The Video and Audio

Presented in a 1.33 to 1 aspect ratio the video for this package is pretty good. Being a computer rendered series makes for an easy and clear transfer. As far as the audio goes I could not find any information. It sounds clear enough and there were never any problems understanding the voice actors.


The Packaging and Special Features

The packaging is simple with a cardboard sleeve around a plastic clamshell case. The special features are about as interesting. An art gallery and character model galleries are absolutely pointless. The freaturette Maximize! Creating a Breed of Transformer sheads some light on why this series is such a disaster. Hasbro brought prototypes of the new toys to the animation company and told them to create a series. And people wonder what is wrong with the entertainment industry these days.


Maybe my love of the generation one Transformers is clouding my judgment on this series but I just cannot wrap my head around this show. Granted it isn’t the atrocity Michael Bay created with the live action movies but it’s damn close.

Overall (Not an Average) 2/10

The Review
The Season 3/10
The Video and Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Special Feature 1/10
Overall (Not an Average) 2/10