Before I start this review I feel I must warn the reader that I do in fact have a bit of a personal bias, as I’ve been one of the most avid and devoted fans of the Transformers universe/franchise since 1985 (coincidentally, the time of my birth…).
Yes, I am one of those people who was even partially responsible for getting that disgusting piece of filth made by Michael Bay (whose only redeeming qualities were it gave Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, his props and well deserved big screen return, and that it got a proper release of the original 1986 film on DVD).
Following the summer film Hasbro naturally wanted to follow-up with a cartoon, only from a slightly different approach. Some of this works, some of it doesn’t, and some of it makes you want to take a steel baseball bat and play around with a couple of executives and their knee caps in the middle of the desert. First of all they adopt the idea of the all-spark and its mystic significance. Fine. Secondly they take the notion of introducing decepticons very slowly, especially Megatron. This would be acceptable had they actually had a reason or a mystery or something to drive the story to find out what the season is going to be building up to.
Most of the episodes meander around with ridiculously stupid nonsense dealing with Sari, a little ANNOYING girl they befriend, and fighting even dumber and more ANNOYING “super villains” who seem to have wandered over from Ben 10 or Teen Titans. Which I guess does make you pine for the decepticons more, but it’s called TRANSFORMERS and it should only follow that TRANSFORMERS would fight……uuugghh…..uuugggghhhh….TRANSFORMERS! A third point of contention is Optimus Prime, who is a very young bot who walks around without a face plate virtually all the time, which something pioneered by the Bay movie, and it makes me want to hurt people. Given, it does make a little more sense here, but it needs to go at some point permanently; perhaps when the show decides to adopt a more serious tone (and KILL SARI, and Bumblebee for that matter) they make it more like the original show or Beast Wars….good.
However, despite all the annoyances and the idea to make the show geared towards chimps with fetal alcohol poisoning, the show does manage to steal some good elements from past TF shows including characters like the Dinobots, Sentinel Prime, Arcee, Elita-1, Blackarchnia, and even Pretender looking monsters. Not to mention the fact that Corey Burton (my personal favorite voice actor whose back from the original series) gets to play not only Ratchet, but the big cheese Megatron himself. All in all the show is able to be entertaining and kinda find its more Transformers oriented stories and episodes, I guess it just depends on how diehard a TF fan you are to get to them.
With that being said, let me say I have mixed feelings on this release. First of all, the two disc set doesn’t even include the pilot, which is two rather important episodes of setting and drive for the rest of the series. Secondly, all the DVDs include in terms of special features are a couple of photo galleries of animated characters, which is surprising as the whole point is to sell the toys. It would have been nice to get the creators perspective on the creation and direction of the show, as well as veteran TF actors Corey Burton and David Kaye’s feelings about being back on the show that launched their careers. Mostly a mixed bag, one the TF fans will be able to take some enjoyment out of, but casual viewers will probably reach for the remote.