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Directors: David Hartman, Vinton Heuck, Shaunt Nigoghossian, and others
Writers: David Hartman, Joseph Kuhr , Steven Melching, Nicole Dubuc and others
Stars: Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Steve Blum, Adam Baldwin, Ernie Hudson, Gina Torres, Clancy Brown and others
What they say: TRANSFORMERS PRIME chronicles the triumphant return of the AUTOBOTS via the most cutting-edge computer-generated animation ever seen on television. From Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (‘Star Trek,’ ‘Transformers’ feature films, ‘Fringe’), and Jeff Kline (“Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Men in Black: The Series”), Transformers: Prime deepens the epic mythology of both the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS, while starting fresh for a new generation of viewers and future fans. OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE, ARCEE, RATCHET, BULKHEAD, and many others are back to “roll out” against MEGATRON’s latest attempt to conquer Earth. And MEGATRON proves to be more powerful than ever, having acquired a rare element that allows him mastery over life itself. ‘Team Prime’ may be few against the DECEPTICON hordes, but they find increased strength via bonds forged with three human teenagers. Make no mistake, TRANSFORMERS PRIME WILL deliver heavy metal action, and nail-biting suspense — but it also promises to take the human drama to levels as yet unseen by the franchise. (from IMDB)
What I say: Being a Transformer fan is hard. Hard in the sense of man I can’t buy any more toys; I’m running out of space, I have two girls now and I can’t afford any toys now and of course do I really want to get into a new line of Transformers?!! I wasn’t a big fan of the movies. If you ever listen to the podcast I considered the second movie one of the worst movies ever made. So when I heard that the screenwriters of the movies were executive producers on this show; I immediately knew I was not going to get any of the action figures and I expected the show to fail. I love being proved wrong and buying a whole new set of toys based on an amazing show! I’m so glad I got to watch all 26 episodes in the span of four days.
So I sit down one lazy Sunday afternoon with my two year old daughter who loves robots as much as I do. We put in disc one and I expect to watch a few episodes and do my review. Right away I was impressed with the voice actors they hired. To get Duane (The Rock) Johnson to come and do one of the main character’s voices Cliffjumper, someone had to pull some strings. Well, after the first 10 minutes (sorry this is a bit of a spoiler review so stop reading now) Starscream ends up killing Cliffjumper. Not only that but they bring the character back as something my daughter likes to call Zombie Transformer! Yes this “kid show” gets dark. Keep in mind my daughter watches anime with me and I don’t really know if most two year olds can handle the show.
Two episodes in and we have already the established cast of characters; the Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bulkhead, Ratchet, Arcee and Bumblebee and the Decepticons: Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and countless of vehicons. These five brave Autobots are all that are remaining of their kind and they have sworn to protect Earth and humankind no matter the cost. This is where the three human kiddos come in: Miko, Jack and Raf’. Each one is assigned a guardian Autobot and I love the fact that Ratchet is the grumpy “Bones” doctor who still thinks it’s a bad idea to have humans around. These aren’t the only humans on the show however; Agent Follower is the liaison to the Autobots and his military ranking comes in handy when the kids are in trouble. Then there is Silas; leader of Mech, who is obsessed with acquiring Cybertroian biology at any means. For those worried about such a small cast; don’t worry other fan favorites like Wheel Jack and a form of Black Arachnia show up. Speaking of which the introduction episode of Airachnid is directed amazingly!
The five part opening story had me hooked. As I stated earlier; I wasn’t expecting much from this show. But one Sunday afternoon of watching a couple of episodes turned into a marathon of watching over half the season. I was blown away by the character interaction between the Transformers and the kids. Most of the time on Transformer shows and in the movies I would love to see the Decepticons just step on the human friends and get rid of them once and for all. These three kids grew on me like none before. I love Cullen’s portrayal of Optimus the great leader with respect not only for his compatriots, but life in general. I love how Starscream is always the same sneaky character from his previous incarnations, but this one seems to be a bit smarter because he knows he can’t always betray Megatron! Cause the Con just keeps coming back! I’m used to Blum using his Spike Spiegel voice in anything he’s ever been casted in; so it was nice to see him branch out and use a different voice on Starscream. Welker, can there be anything that the man cannot do? So glad to see him back as the voice of the leader of the Decepticons. I’m not saying every episode is perfect, but as close as you can get to it.
The bluray set of season one is completely amazing! The detail says it all: from scratches and dents that stay on the character’s shiny bodies to the dust particles that are flying around. It is simply amazing how good this show looks on a 1080P 60 inch television. Colors are bold and beautiful, infusing the open skies on Earth with dazzling blues and rich purples. The steely buildings of Cybertron have never looked so real and metalic. The HD 5.1 surround will blow you away because it’s just as invigorating as the details. When these Bots fight you feel the crunch and metal banging in your teeth. When they use a blaster you can feel the whole room shaking. The show on Bluray will make you ask yourself how in the world they could afford this and make it a TV series instead of a movie! While the show is also available on DVD format, if you have access to a Bluray player, there is no reason not to get it on Bluray.
Shout Factory also packs the bluray with some great bonus features! After finishing the series up I went ahead and watched some of the commentaries. Over half the episodes have a commentary by the producers, artists, writers, directors and voice actors. It was interesting to learn the show was put together so quick in the span of a year. I had to listen to the commentary of Convoy because I love listening to Peter Cullen tell stories. There is a making of featurette, but it seemed to have come out before the series premiered. Toy commercials and a preview for season 2 can also be found. The Limited Edition also comes with a prelude comic from IDW that sets the stage of episode 1. So, if I haven’t made it clear: GO OUT AND BUY THIS WONDERFUL SET!! It was a blast to watch! It made me gasp, laugh and even tear up at times with some of its amazing dialogue and it made my daughter demand I go find her a Bumblebee. I cannot wait for season 2!!!
My highest possible recommendation!