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When it was announced that a new Transformers series had come out, I was initially a bit sceptical, but as time passed, I grew to love those character designs and the robots personalities from the clips. I had hoped that this series wouldn't let me down, and boy, was I right. The first three episodes so far have given this franchise a kick-start, and from the very first minute, I was hooked to the screen. The art doesn't really distract you, and you'll find yourself becoming used to it later. The storyline was great and the voice-actors sounded like they were the characters - not just merely reading their lines or so. In conclusion, this series might seem a little too kiddy for those who grew up with the original Transformers, but it's really worth watching. Try it and see for yourself if you don't believe me.
It seems that to the majority of the Transformers fan base,
Transformers isn't Hasbro's biggest financial success, which must be
refreshed for each new generation, but a sacred relic from their
childhood which must never be tampered with. Transformers: Animated
proves that Generation 1 can live on in the modern day, whilst giving
us a solid, fun, modern cartoon. Firstly, there is the fact that almost
every robot in this series is a veteran from the original 1980's
cartoons. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Prowl, Arcee, Jazz, Ultra
Magnus, Grimlock, Megatron, Wreck-Gar, Starscream, Blitzwing and Blurr
are among just a few of the cast of robots in this series. We are also
introduced to a few newcomers to the series; Lugnut and Lockdown, who
are both fantastic characters. All of these characters are perfectly
fleshed out, with great personalities and a look which stays true to
their G1 counterparts, whilst being modern and dynamic. The voice
actors do a great job bringing these characters to life. The
development in this series is also fantastic. We get glimpses of the
character's back stories, and really begin to understand why these
characters are who they are. Another great thing about this show is all
the G1 references that are presented. The transforming sound-effect,
cameos from the Witwickys, lines of dialogue and so forth. So far, I'd
say my favourite episode would have to be "A fistful of Energon". If
you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Then again, I recommend
this entire series. The only bad thing about it is the bizarre human
villains, but once the Decepticons get their place in the spotlight,
they don't cause any problems. All in all, and awesome show, and I am
highly anticipating the third season
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
TransFormers has been going a little rocky lately. Both Energon and
Cybertron haven't received very good repeption from critics, and the
new TransFormers movie from DreamWorks received mixed reactions,
especially from Roger Ebert. It looked like, for a moment, that
TransFormers was going to flatline. *beeeeeeppp* CLEAR! TransFormers:
Animated serves as a defribrillator for the series, as well as showing
that an old TV show can still pull it off. Though the anmation takes a
little getting used to, the semi-anime approach is surprisingly
refreshing. Thanks to Studio 1c for that! The new script is also very
good, and will remind you of the old series once you hear it, with
references to the Allspark of Cybertron being abundant.
Though I've said all of that, the series isn't without flaws. The script can get a little stretched out like someone's using it as Silly Putty. And the animation can get a little choppy and framed, but I guess they did that to reflect the old animation feel of the G1 cartoon.
Regardless, this is one hell of a series. Long Live Cybertron! 9/10
Being a G1 die-hard, I was naturally skeptical about this new series
(especially after catching glimpses of the questionable character
design). But I have to say that after watching the first 3 episodes (or
was it a full 1 1/2 hour mini-movie?), I think this new series is
pretty good. Not great, but good.
The high points: They kept the original transforming sound (which is more than I can say for that damn live-action movie). The storyline vaguely follows in G1's footsteps (it's not exactly the same, but it's close enough). Oh, and you won't even notice the funky character design after a while...it's not actually THAT bad after all, once you start watching.
The one low point: Most of the characters have changed significantly. A lot of these new Transformers seem to be combinations of different G1 characters. Ratchet in particular is a perfect 50/50 hybrid of Ironhide and Kup, Optimus seems more like Rodimus, Megatron has vague traces of Unicron, and so on. However, it must be said that the writers/producers had the good sense to keep at least a few key characters perfectly intact...namely Bumblebee and Starscream.
For somebody who loved the original so dearly, this series doesn't disappoint. It's an entertaining take on the cartoon that defined my childhood. If nothing else, it's definitely fun to watch!
Transformers Animated, the latest(as of writing this review) in the
line of animated series based on the long running Transformers
franchise. I must say that this is the most "balanced" Transformers
show in a long time since Beast Machines. The producers have cast their
net wide as there is something for EVERYONE to like in this show.
Unfortunately, nothing is perfect and there is also something for
everyone to dislike.
The overall premise has been changed from the usual "evenly matched good robots vs bad robots". The main team of protagonists are not highly trained defenders of justice, but merely a maintenance crew caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. This gives a greater sense of peril to the battles and when it comes to the good guys facing down the bad guys, you are truly rooting for the underdog here. A well planned storyline allows a good mix of character centered episodes, pure sci/fi adventure ones, comedic episodes and even some serious emotional drama.
The themes that the writers interwove into the story are not as deep as the philosophical Beast Machines nor as preachy as "good morals" plugging Cybertron. They are simple themes pretty much in line with those present in the original 80s Transformers series, such as the importance of teamwork and the value of trust. More social themes like corruption, propaganda, the problems of single parenthood and "empty nest syndrome"(especially after the point where Sari "grows up) are thrown in in the later seasons allowing even older audiences to look at Transformers as not just a show to promote toys.
Mentioning Sari, she is the mandatory "human" character this time around. The ever spunky and high spirited little girl could possibly be the most likable "human" character among all the others from the previous series. Her mannerisms, style of speaking and her reactions to various situations make her a character that any curious, bright eyed kid or "inner child" can relate to.
Now "characters" has always been the strongest point of the original series and Beast Wars. How do the autobot and decepticon characters fare in their latest incarnation? The answer is "very well". Being in a separate "continuity" from any of the previous series, i do not expect a 100% similarity between Optimus Prime in this show and the other Optimus Primes in previous shows. Each new character that is based on a previous existing character still possesses enough distinct personality traits of their predecessors. Optimus, though no longer a confident leader(his wavering confidence in his leadership capabilities is just one of many captivating subplots in the story) is still selfless and courageous, Megatron is still a tyrannical megalomaniac, Starscream is still obsessed with gaining leadership of the Decepticons from Megatron etc. The chemistry between the autobots is the high point here. Very believable in the ways they interact and their sometimes bumpy relationship make for some good comedy here and there. Though the decepticons are still the main threat, there are other "supervillians" that the autobots have to contend with. IMO, some of the supervillians seem necessary but i guess they are there to add variety to the episodes.
In short, there characters are just as likable as in the original cartoon, though it may take some time to warm up to the many little changes. Like the characters for who they are, or hate them for the changes made, its up to you.
Ironically the weakest element in Transformers animated is its animation.(imagine that. lol). The character designs are really up to one's own preference. They are very in keeping with the typical cartoon network minimalistic and highly stylized art. In light of that, One would think that with such an art style, more attention could be spent on creating smooth fluid animation and movement. That does not seem to be the case here. Character animation is pretty mediocre with a lot of scenes, especially fast paced fights, utilizing very notorious animation short cuts such as creating motion blur in-between only two key frames to give the illusion of a fast movement. It just ends up giving a very jerky and jumpy feel to the movements.
I must say that the characters actually look terrible in still shots or on posters(hence the negative fan reaction when still images of the characters were first revealed), but in constant animated movement, the character designs worked pretty well and like the characters themselves, it would eventually grow on you.
I urge anyone who is looking for a good Transformers series to watch this show with an open mind. Do not be so shallow as to dismiss over one or two negative aspects. The children would like this show for its lovable characters and action Older viewers can find something to like too in its well woven story lines, underlying themes and entertaining scripting. Even long time Transformers fans would get a kick out of the numerous in-jokes and homage/references to past Transformers shows and comics. Look past the mediocre animation and there is Truly something for everyone to enjoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Those looking for this series to fill all their dreams of what the
original 1984-1987 show was will be disappointed. Not because this show
is that bad, but because the original show had the same flaws. But many
don't remember the original flaws due to their "rose-colored glasses".
This show starts with a few weak elements, from the viewpoint of an older viewer. But the show was originally intended as a superhero show with the Autobots playing the role of the superheroes. Fortunately the concept was revised, but much of the initial season, with some holdovers for later, were victims of the original concept; these aspects remind me strongly of the PowerPuff Girls. However, those who were fans of the original show will be thrilled by many elements in the second season, and by almost everything in the third season, rose-colored glasses or otherwise. If they can get past the weak spots at the beginning of the series, which do still have their good points.
Transformers: Animated does have Teen Titans-influenced animation. The style is popular. Yes, this means that mechanical heroes that transform into vehicles tend to favor superheroes in tights for some reason. Remember, this was the original concept. Characters introduced later in the series do not have this problem. Early shows involved human villains. Later shows do not have this problem. Earlier shows have a human sidekick, one of the main complaints of the previous three serieses. (SPOILER) Later shows revealed this was not actually the case. And despite the unusual style (from the technological point of view), the toys are more accurate to the show, in both modes, than with any other Transformers series.
The later seasons bring in many new characters which were closely patterned after characters in the original series, though some has different personalities for plot-driven reasons (Ultra Magnus needed to be a superior officer, not a peer, and Alpha Trion also involved a plot- driven personality shift). These original-series inspired characters include Arcee (voiced by Sue Blu, the original VA and voice director for the TF:A series), Wreck-Gar (voiced by Weird Al Yankovic, the original VA), Blurr (voiced by John Moschitta Jr., the original VA), Elita One, Blackarachnia, Jazz, Shockwave, Wasp/Waspinator, and Omega Supreme. And cameos of original characters were abundant, including, but not limited to, Cliffjumper, Ironhide, Powerglide, Warpath, Beachcomber, Brawn, Wheeljack, Perceptor, Rodimus Prime, Cyclonus, and Stryka.
Oh, and for the reviewer who complained that the Allspark looked like a car key: Did you actually watch the original series, or Beast Machines for that matter? The Allspark key in TF:A is clearly patterned after the Key to Vector Sigma, a plot device in a number of shows in each series.
By the way, the Headmaster unit and Starscream clones were also ways to incorporate G1 elements without too much overhead. Headmasters were involved in a technology at the end of the series (more fully developed in the comics), and the Starscream clones were clearly colored after Decepticon jets who were not introduced in this series. This last point was amplified when at one point Lockdown gave two of the clones different helmets; the G1-era toys were designed that the jet nosecone could be positioned either way, and the animators chose to give the three face-vents and three cone-heads.
As a fellow Transformers fan, there's a little confession I would like
to make: I was almost a Bayformers fan!!! But don't worry, even though
I thought the first movie was good, it still wasn't enough to make me a
genuine "Trans-Fan". My best friend knew much more about Transformers
than I did, as she grew up with the franchise, so I've mostly learned
about the main premise of the story from her.
Anyway, by 2007 I knew almost nothing about G1, Beast Wars, or the Unicorn Trilogy (though, from what I've heard, I didn't miss anything from the Unicron Trilogy). Then it just so happened, on Cartoon Network, I came across a TV promo for this new show simply titled, "Transformers: Animated". The moment I first saw their new designs I thought, "It would never catch on, the proportions of the robots look all wrong!" However, when the show finally aired, I took a look at one episode. My first thought was, "Well, the story seems pretty basic, but this Starscream guy looks like a cool character (by the way, this was the show that made me a Starscream fan-girl).
A couple years later, I soon forgot about it, until my friend show me the Allspark Allminac (which is a book that has information about everything from the show). Eventually, my interest for the show lit up again, and I've watched reruns of it on The Hub, then I realized everything I first thought about this show was wrong. The main Autobots, for example, are not the Superman archetypes you see in the original show, in fact Optimus here isn't even leader of the Autobots, but the leader of a small group of rookies. I really like this change, because not only does it make it a lot easier to root for them, but it also makes them more realistic and sympathetic.
Now the main human character, Sari, is another interesting aspect of this show. At first, she appears to be an annoying tag-a-long that never does what she's told. This of course, was a very common trope in Transformers since G1, but instead of just being a tag-a-long, Sari actually has a story arc in this series! She's also not as useless as most Trans-Fans like to believe, she actually helps the Autobots multiple times. Her father, Prof. Isaac Sumdac, is one of the "weaker" characters in the show. He's way too trusting towards Megatron in Season 1, and is clearly irresponsible letting his 8-year old daughter handle the AllSpark Key, but he's not too annoying and you'll eventually grow to love him.
I was also impressed by how the Decepticons were portrayed. Megatron doesn't get a very big role in the first season, but he is BY FAR superior to the clumsy G1 version, and the bland TF: Prime version of the character. The other Cons are also very well written. Blackarachnia and Waspinator both have tragic and interesting back stories, Blitzwing the triple-changer is given a split-personality, and Shockwave is given a more prominent role in Season 3.
It just makes me said that they were never able to release a Season 4 before it got canceled! This is a vastly underrated show, that has more emotional depth than "Transformers Prime", and much more character development than G1.
My Overall rating-- 8.5 out of 10!
I can understand that there were a few failures somewhat in the franchise, but come one this is actually pretty good mega tron everyones beloved transformers villain has a perfect voice actor and so does star scream, and many other characters,bumblebee is portrayed as a auto bot who never shuts up and always cracking jokes as opposed to him being completely silent in the movie can be funny sometimes, and the way the designers and voice actors manage pulled it off so well in this show from start to finish. I personally recommend this show to everyone who's looking for a good cartoon or even someone who is hoping this newbie of a show is good
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Im not to old to appreciate the modern graphics and I'l always be a big
fan of G1. But I feel the show needs some justice done on how good it
Its original in its own way but keeps to its G1 roots.
I have to admit the first 3 shows didn't sell me on it, I found it a bit childish especially the infamous death scene of yet 'another' optimus prime near death scene.
However the episode which sold me on it was the seventh episode "Thrill of the Hunt" with it being dramatic and having great tragedy, and helping to add back story to not one but two well known G1 character's it had more of an adult theme to it but still gave the feel of a message like G1.
I've not yet seen all of the episodes but no matter how bad the episodes seem I know that they can produce an episode fit to be called "Transformers" and will continue to watch the entire season and the next.
However when you watch it you must not judge it by only G1 and look at it with a clean plate.
Id recommend it for children of any age with its humour and active plot line, while some episode would require an older audience to appreciate the scenes shown, its fit for all age groups.
Transformers(1984) is still the jewel of the Transformers franchise, but Transformers: Animated is not a bad show at all and one of the better recent incarnations, better than the Unicron Trilogy at any rate. Of the recent incarnations, Transformers: Prime may be the better animated and written show, has more depth and also has the advantage of having Peter Cullen and Frank Welker as Optimus and Megatron. But what Transformers: Animated does better is that none of the main characters are annoying(Prime had Miko), Bumblebee is much closer in characterisation to the original show, in Prime he was bland, and it is one of the better recent incarnations in terms of recreating the spirit of the original show. Transformers: Animated is not without its problems. The character designs do take some getting used to, in the action sequences they could have done with much more finesse and being less hurried-looking. The human villains could have been better developed and verge on bizarre sometimes. And some of the dialogue- mostly it's fine though- is a little stretched and slap-sticky sometimes, the humans' dialogue at times is not that much of an improvement on that of Prime. The colours and backgrounds though are very nice and detailed, the style is also the closest any of the recent series in the franchise have gotten to the original show too. The music is energetic with some haunting moments, enhancing the action sequences and any of the scenes that require any depth. The dialogue mostly is smart and thoughtful with some funny moments(getting even better once the show found its feet), while the stories are fun and engrossing, taking care also in fleshing out the characters and their back stories. Those for Waspinator and Blackarachnia are particularly well done. The action sequences are thrilling and fun to watch. Optimus and Megatron are still memorable characters, Starscream is a hoot and Sari is thankfully not another Miko, she's interesting and is far from useless. The voice acting is great, you do miss the original voices but these voice actors still do worthy jobs, actually sounding committed and involved in the drama. Standing out are David Kaye, Corey Burton(though these two did have big shoes to fill) and Tom Kenny. Overall, not mind blowing but highly entertaining still, while some of the complaints are somewhat valid Transformers: Animated is not really that deserving of the hate it's gotten. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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