Mania Grade: B+
4 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- DVD: Transformers Cyberton: The Ultimate Collection
- Rating: Unrated
- Starring (Voices): Gary Chalk, Sarah Edmondson, Richard Newman, Sam Vincent, Brian Drummond
- Written By: Various
- Directed By: Manabu Ono
- Distributor: Manabu Ono
- Original Year of Release: 2005 - 2006
- Extras: None
DVD Review of Transformers Cyberton: The Ultimate Collection
The Final part of the Unicron Trilogy
By Tim Janson
August 17, 2008
Transformers Cybertron (2008)
© Paramount Home Entertainment
Transformers Cybertron: The Ultimate Collection is the third and final series in the Unicron Trilogy that began with Transformers: Armada and Transformers: Energon. The boxed set includes all 52 episodes of the show, known in Japan as Transformers: Galaxy Force. Like Transformers: Energon, the show was produced with a combination of traditional cell animation for the human characters and backgrounds and computer-generated animation for the Transformers.
Cybertron represents yet another reboot of Transformer history which Transformers fans should be used to by now. Generation One was great but long gone. The bottom line goal of Hasbro and Takara is to sell toys and if that means constantly re-writing history, then that is what they are going to do.
The show picks up just after the conclusion of Energon. The destruction of Unicron has resulted in the creation of a massive black hole, which threatens to destroy Cybertron. The Autobots are attempting to evacuate the planet when an ancient Autobot, Vector Prime appears. Vector Prime was one of the original Transformers created by their God, Primus. Vector Prime is so ancient that he runs on clockwork gears. He informs the Transformers that the only way to stop the black hole is to locate the Cyber Planet Keys, ancient artifacts formed from the spark of Primus himself. The Cyber Keys have been lost for eons and are now their only hope. The Transformers escape to earth where they can different vehicles in order to blend in on their new world. It’s not long before Megatron, Starscream, and Thundercracker arrive on Earth looking for the Cyber Planet Keys as well in order to destroy the universe.
Thus begins the central plot of Tranformers: Cybertron, the search for the Cyber Plant Keys and the Omega Lock that controls the keys. The action is truly universal in the show. The Transformers will travel to distant planets in search of the keys. Planets that strangely are home to other, previously unknown Transformers. These include Velocitron, the Speed Planet, led by Ovverride; The Jungle Planet led by Scourge; and Gigantion or The Giant Planet, whose leader is the massive Transformer Metroplex. Each of these planets is found to be home to one of the Cyber Planet Keys and in turn, battles are fought between the Autobots and Decepticons to find the artifacts. New enemies and allies are gained on each of the new worlds, as Transformer lore is re-written.
The discovery of the Cyber Keys leads to the discovery of Cyber key powers. These powers are unique to each Transformer and enhance their abilities or provide new ones. One Earth the Transformers soon make friends with some local kids: Bud, Coby, and Lori because you can’t have a show about giant robots without kids getting in the way. Yes they do tend to be the most annoying part of the show but often times their involvement is minimal.
There are a LOT of transformers in Cyberton. The cast is huge and the fact that they are from different worlds allows them to be grouped somewhat logically by type. For example the Transformers of Jungle Planet took the forms of beasts rather than vehicles such as Scourge who transforms into a dragon and Snarl, who transforms into a wolf. Yes, all names that have been used before in every series since G1 and always in a new form. All the better to sell toys!
At first it might seem that the quest plot might be too thin to carry the show through 52 episodes but the action moves along surprisingly well. The different planets all make for fresh landscapes to battle within and new Transformers to discover. During the course of the show there are a number of Transformers who even re-format into new characters and forms, keeping things interesting.
The voice acting is quite good with Gary Chalk returning as Optimus Prime although the strange accents are confounding such as Jetfire’s heavy Australian accent. I was half expecting him to exclaim “By Crikey!” at some point. Jetfire’s cargo plane form is also disappointing and a far cry from the VF-1S Valkyrie of the original.
The animation is fluid and the combination of the cell and computer animation is seemless and as good as many of the Japanese Anime shows. Transformers Cybertron showed that both Takara and Hasbro were committed to co-producing a quality show which had a depth of plot and characterization better than any other Transformers show since Beast Wars. Oh, it’s not perfect. The repeated used of the same transforming sequences, especially Optimus Prime’s, gets old after about a half dozen episodes and you realize you still have 46 to go! Also, there are no extras of any kind in the seven-disc set. No commentaries, no deleted scenes, nothing. Hasbro and Takara HAVE to do more to appeal to collectors and adult fans. All in all, the best Transformers show since Beast Wars.