Transformers Prime Season One Limited Edition Blu-Ray Review - Mania.com



Transformers Prime Season One Limited Edition Blu-Ray Review

Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Author: Tim Janson
  • Rated:: Unrated
  • Cast:: Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Jeffrey Combs
  • Writer:: Various
  • Director:: Various
  • Distributor:: Shout Factory
  • Original Year of Release:: 2011
  • Extras:: See Below
  • Series:: Transformers Prime
  • Series:

Transformers Prime Season One Limited Edition Blu-Ray Review

A Prime reboot for the Transformers

By Tim Janson     March 28, 2012
Source: Mania.com

The latest Transformers animated series debuted in 2010 with the 5-part “Darkness Rising” mini-series and continuing with a 21-episode season 1 run.  The series is broadcast on the HUB network.  Transformers Prime exists in its own continuity although there are veiled references throughout to other Transformers shows.  The show was inspired in part by the Transformers: War For Cybertron videogame.  While not stated emphatically it looks like Prime will set the direction for the Transformers for sometime after the many previous animated series have constantly re-booted the continuity.
 
The series follows the events during War for Cybertron with the simple premise of the Autobots arriving on Earth in the eternal search for Energon with the Decepticons following behind.  No Transformers show (unfortunately) is complete without the usual young human characters running around and getting in the way and (unfortunately) Prime is no different.  Jack Darby, Miko Nakadai and Rafael Esquivel, get caught in the crossfire between the two factions.  Prime concentrates on a smaller team of Autobots: Optimus Prime, Arcee, Ratchet, Bulkhead and Bumblebee.  Now I’m going to give Hasbro a bit of credit here…when you go back to the original G1 Transformers series, new Transformers were introduced to the show merely to sell more toys.  So I applaud the effort to make Transformers Prime much more character and story focused. 
 
As a sign of the times and the popularity of zombies, Megatron has gotten his hands on Dark Energon which can revive dead transformers as zombie bots.  This is discovered in the second episode of Darkness Rising with Cliffjumper.  The mini-series finds the Autobots battling the Zombie transformers and ends with Megatron apparently being killed.
 
No of course you’re not buying that Megatron is dead but it does setup for the first season to begin with Starscream attempting to take command of the Decepticons although things don’t go so well.  Starscream, much to the chagrin of his legion of fans, turns out to be even lamer than in the G1 series.  The other Decepticons don’t respect his authority and even when he resurrects the legendary Skyquake to do his bidding, Skyquake ignores him and sets out to finish what Megatron started.  Poor Starscream…he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of Transformers.
 
Highlights of Season one are “Predatory” which introduces us to the depraved spider-like Decepticon Airachnid who becomes Arcee’s main nemesis.  The pair engage in some truly epic battles throughout the season.  Megatron regains his consciousness in “Shadowzone” and beats the living hell out of Starscream.  In “Stronger, Faster” Ratchet develops a synthetic version of Energon that he tests on himself with disastrous results.  And finally there is the three-part season finale “One Shall Rise” that brings Unicron back into the fold as he threatens not only the Autobots but the Decepticons as well.
 
Transformers: Prime is the best Transformers series perhaps since Beast Wars.  The Characters are fantastic and while the smaller cast of Autobots is initially disappointing, the writers more than make up for this with quality stories.  The voice cast is terrific as well.  Peter Cullen is back as the voice of Optimus Prime with Frank Welker as Megatron, andJeffrey Combs as Ratchet.  The show also boasts an impressive cast of guest voices including Tony Todd, Nathan Fillion, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Reggie Bannister, and Ernie Hudson.  The Animation in Prime was also superb with a unique mix of computer and traditional 2D cell animation.  I’d love to see a Transformers show without the need for annoying human characters but until then, Transformers: Prime has more than lived up to most Transformer’s fans expectations.
 
Blu-Ray Extras
 
Audio Commentary on 14 episodes.  This covers more than half the episodes in the set and includes a variety of people including writers, directors, and actors.
 
Two Featurettes:  One is a “making of” short that runs (11:03).  This is mainly a promotional piece and more in-depth info can be had during the commentaries.  Better by far is the Toy Featurette (16:30) which covers the creation of the toy line, how the roster of characters was selected, etc…I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
 
There’s also a short teaser trailer for Season two.

96 page Graphic novel

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
gauleyboy420 3/28/2012 12:58:53 PM

B ? Let me be the first to complain about that rating...

This show is the best incarnation of TF since (and maybe better than) G-1.

Most of everything you said I agree with, except that I don't find Starscream lame at all. He's evil, manipulative, calculating, smart, powerful, badass fighter, and most importantly like all bullies he's still a coward... All the best things about Starscream

AND I must be the only TF fan in history that likes tyhe humans in the stories, both Comics and Shows, and Movies (although in TF-3 there ARE in fact too many humans) The humans expand the stories so much and allow us the reader to imagine what it would be like to hang with the autobots. They also allow for character growth from the Autobots...

I would like to see a few more cameos thrown in...

I give TF: Prime A

tjanson 3/28/2012 1:50:19 PM

Gauley...A...B ...were not off by that much you and I.  I strongly disagree about the humans though.  I can understand why previously the Human characters were a necessary evil.  But I think the Transformers have endured long enough that we no longer need humans for kid viewers to try and identify with.  I didn't mention it but I'm also really sick of Bumblebee being shoved down our throats as well. 

gauleyboy420 3/28/2012 2:28:56 PM

HA!, I love the badass bumblebee, 10 times more than the G-1 Bee. And yeah were not off by much, just throwin out my two cents. Whats strange to me is that more peeps (especially here on Mania judging by the comments sections on TF:Prime reviews) aren't watching this show. It's amazing!

I actually give TF:P an A plus, but the Plus sign never shows up.

tjanson 3/28/2012 4:19:51 PM

I'll give you that.  I was thinking more regarding the toy lines.  Every new toy line seems to have a hald dozen new bumblebees, Optimus Primes, and Megatrons.  That's why i loved the G1 toys so much. with the rare exception like the Powermaster Optimus Prime there was just one toy for each character.

gauleyboy420 3/29/2012 1:59:51 PM

I'll give you that, they are oversaturating the toys with duplicates, but thats probably because they only had 5 Heroes, until "Loose Cannons". They finally added some new Autobots... AND I think one of the best things about this show,  is that HUB will let you watch it on their website. I don't know if Season 1 is still online, but I watched 80% of season one for free from thier site, they don't even have commercials!

And I just finished watching The most recent ep, right on thier site.That is a cool thing for HUB to do...

noahbody 3/30/2012 9:03:43 AM

I  enjoy the show. Well done and Star Screams voice is awesome, I think its the same guy that did the Goblin on Spider-Man.

Dedpool3678 3/30/2012 12:41:18 PM

Love the show. I really like how it takes the best from G!, the Bay films, and the comics and is creating an ALL NEW mythology. They're basically rewriting things with this and the new games. I personally want to see some more bots. We got teased with Wheeljack lets bring him back and some Dinobots and the new inecticons in season 2 are badass!

jsmulligan 3/31/2012 7:34:34 PM

 In my opinion, this is the best version of the Transformers yet. Yes, as a child of the 80's I will always have a soft spot for the original, but I think this surpasses it in most regards.

Yes, I could do with less of the little kids, but there are several eps where they don't even figure in, and they usually take a back seat to the 'bots, as opposed to the live action movie which was Shia and occasionally a bot.

Sure, there has been an occasional dud ep or awkward moment, and it would be nice to see more Transformers, but the characterization, overall story, and the way they've worked to fleshout the relationships and backstories of the Transformers is great.

Also, I do not believe this actually takes place in it's own continuity. I read somewhere that Hasbro is trying to streamline things, and I believe this actually takes place in the same continuity as "War for Cybertron" and "Fall of Cybertron", which is now THE Transformers continuity. (I may be wrong about that.)

boxker 4/2/2012 9:57:14 AM

I will say that there is better writing, but I still gotta go with the original over prime. There is a lot that I miss from the original. For one, I wish there were more Autobots and Decepticons. Maybe not as much as the original but still more.  Not a major issue, but I wish that Optimus still had his original mouth, bumblee talked and that soundwave had his original voice. One thing that I have a hard time buying into are the kids. I'm not against kids, it's just seems a bit dangerous to have them around. It's seems more believable to have a young adult, late teens or early twenties, like spike.

mikemc2 4/9/2012 4:09:30 AM

 Great article.  I watch this series regularly, love the voice acting and the stores are dark enough for today's audience and still be on TV.  As for the kids, yeah kind of annoying BUT looks like the writiers have tried to make up for it by giving them a purpose (at least Jack, has the heroic thing going on).  Would love to see Miko get killed.  Logically Agent Fowler works because you would figure the Autobots would need Gov't approval to have a base.  I am not a fan of the new Bumblebee though (although in Season 2 they do explain why he cannot talk).  I do wish Soundwave while not a Boombox like the original was not a sattelite either (looks too wierd, hardly ever see him transform & HE NEEDS A VOICE).

Comparing it to the Bay films, the bots in the movies looked WAY to flimsy and easy to pull apart (they had virtually NO "skin" or metallic covering).  At least in T-Prime they have covering and look like something other then something put together from stuff found in a scrap yard.

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