Alright, class, your “Milking a License 101” class in now in session! With their first live action movie set to drop any time now, the Transformers are gearing up for a new animated series on Cartoon Network as well. This will be the first time Cartoon Network has aired a Transformers series co-produced by Hasbro, the original creators of the Transformers toys. Previous series were co-produced by Japanese toymaker Takara.
The series, aptly titled Transformers: Animated, takes a selection of heroic Autobots whom I have loved for some 13 years now, and “recreates” them as a super-hero team, fighting not the super-villain Decepticons we’ve loved to hate for so long, but evil humans. It’s basically sounding like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers without the undeniably radical giant monsters. I mean, 40-foot-tall robots that turn into heavy machinery beating up on humans with mischievous plans seems a little lopsided doesn’t it? Ah well, Captain Planet could turn into a liquid hurricane of fire and brimstone with mind-reading capabilities, and all he ever got to go up against was environmentally uncontientious humans. Oh wait! They did have that guy made of rocks! Was his name Duke Nukem? Oh geez, and the pig guy! And the threat of global warming! Damn it, okay, Captain Planet sounds cooler than Transformers: Animated, too.
The idea is to give the Autobots “more human qualities”, so as to make it easier for emotionally devoid children without parents to identify with someone, anyone, even if it’s just a cold crime-fighting machine.
Cartoon Network’s Bog Higgins tells Cartoon Network:
“We’ve used the basic Transformers and characters as a springboard, but then we’re pretty much reimagining the whole thing. What we’re doing with it is basically turning it into a superheroes story. We’re really excited that we’re able to take this decades-old property and hopefully turn it into something that kids haven’t seen or expected from a Transformers series before.”
Why are they doing this to me? Why are they picking my childhood apart, one beloved merchandise marketing scheme at a time? I hear they’re making new He-Man and Thundercats films to rub in my face, too. Next thing you know G.I. Joe and Mask will have sing-along Christmas specials by 2010!
26 episodes will be produced initially, along with a 90-minute launch episode. The staff includes supervising director Matt Youngberg (Teen Titans / The Batman), executive producer Sam Register (Ben 10 / Teen Titans), character designs by Derrick Wyatt (Teen Titans), and head writer Marty Isenberg (X-Men / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). After preproduction is completed at Cartoon Network Studios, Animation will be done by Japanese studio Mook.
[Via IGN. Big ups to Feldman!]