Transformers Animated Season One DVD Review

August 29, 2008

ChattahBox reviews<br /> Transformers Animated Season One on DVDTransformers Animated: Season One

DVD Review
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 19, 2008
Price: $26.99
Running Time: 286 minutes
U.S. Rating: Not Rated

Wow flashback to my childhood continues with the release of Transformers Animated.  This restart of a cartoon series has my son now following in dad’s footsteps with his interest in the adventures of Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots as they defend us from the evil Decepticons.

As you can imagine this series began as an opportunity to take advantage of the success of the recent live action movie, and it’s eventual sequels.  It brings the Transformers to life just as I remember them from my childhood in cartoon format and as only cartoons can.  While the original series was very square and had an edge to it this series, like so many recent restarts (see The Batman) rounds the characters in look and personality to be a bit more child-friendly. 

This first season starts with Episode 4 and runs through the remaining episodes originally aired on Cartoon Network from January- April of this year.  Unfortunately this set did not include the premiere 3 episodes which started the series in December of 2007.  With this being my son and I’s introduction to this series I do wish it were included to help us understand where our hero’s were and some introductory plot lines.

This series centers around a group of Autobots on Earth and in Detroit where they are putting together their new home.  The main characters for the Autobots are Optimus Prime the leader of the group but not as heavy handed as I remember him being, although this is in line with making the series and characters a bit more child-friendly.  In this first season we are also introduced to a familiar foe in Magnetron, although in a slightly different state.  As the series begins his body has been destroyed and only his computer brain survives and is brought back to life by a scientist called Isaac Sumdac.  Coincidentally Isaac’s daughter, Sari has met and formed a relationship with Bumblebee and a few other Autobots.  This makes for a few plotlines where Sari is used by Megatron to battle the Autobots.

The graphics of the show are on par with most of the modern day action cartoons.  This series is not unlike other modern cartoons where we see the Japanese influence in the characters and action scenes.  With the series being directed towards a younger audience I found the dialogue to be a bit too technological for my liking but the kiddies received the point.

Overall I thought this series was an interesting redesign to the Transformers franchise which will continue to evolve with the release of Season 2 which aired April- June of this year on the same Cartoon Network.  The DVD contained some additional materials such as a “Sneak Peek” at Season 2, which at this point is not as much a “Sneak Peak” since the second season already aired by the time the DVD hit the street.  It would have been nice to see a season 3 preview or a making of where we get to see the work done to get to this incarnation and what the various influences were for the decisions made and directions taken with this installment.  In the end it is what it is, a child’s cartoon and since kids really enjoy watching things over and over and over again this is one that will be replayed until the next best thing comes along.

Film: 5.0 Nothing incredible, but it is a kid’s show and from the kids perspective…ah.

Video: 7.5 The images and sights of the Transformers was great.  I did enjoy the look and feel of this version.

Audio: 6.5 Nothing special here, not bad but not great.  Points off because I think it went over some kids heads.

Extras: 5.0 Other than the Season 2 Sneak Peak (which as I say was not really a sneak peak at this point) there wasn’t much.

Final Score: 6.0

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