More than meets the eye
The Transformers are celebrating their 25th Anniversary in the pop culture lexicon, now having reached full multimedia status and they continue to increase their global popularity. The franchise created a new type of superhero for kids – literally larger-than-life, non-human, fully made of metal and constantly at war.
The origin story arc is presented in the three-part pilot, More Than Meets The Eye, a title which went on to become the tagline for the original series. The epic tale begins nearly four million years ago on the planet Cybertron where the altruistic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are in a fierce battle against the evil Decepticons, led by Megatron. After crash-landing on Earth, the sentient robots lay in hibernation for centuries, then awaken in modern day society and immediately resume their devastating war, this time fighting for the energy required to return to their home planet.
From there, 13 more episodes make up the entire first season of the show, which lasted on U.S. television for less than four years.
The show was aimed at kids but became a cult favorite among comic and genre film fans, and the animation still holds up very well today. The story lines were never the truly compelling part of the Transformers, but reacquainting myself with the origins of the franchise was a lot of fun and was certainly worth it. Fans will want to purchase this boxed set not only for the episodes themselves, which represent the best of the animated group of Transformers series, but also the compelling batch of bonus material and the packaging presentation, which includes a beautifully designed episode description booklet and a collectible Autobots magnet.
The set also stands out because publisher The Shout Factory did extensive research on the show’s original episodes and found discrepancies between the original broadcast masters and restored masters that were used for a previous DVD release. Technicians have reinserted the correct animation cel sequences and color corrected them. Their efforts have resulted in a beautiful screen presentation with few, if any artifacts, and sharp, crisp imagery.
Along with the aforementioned episode description booklet and magnet, Disc 3 of the set contains a retrospective featurette titled Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen, about the franchise’s early days and continuing influence. The presentation includes interviews with executive producers Joe Bacal and Tom Griffin, along with comic writer Bob Budiansky and several other executives.
There are also three Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials; Optimus Prime & Megatron, Insecticons & Dinobots and G2 Optimus Prime. Also included is a Public Service Announcement titled Bumblebee: Running Away From Home, in which the title Transformer turns a young boy’s life around in a few seconds.
The bonus content is rounded out with a printable Transport To Oblivion script, accessible on your computer DVD-ROM drive.
Overall this is a well put together collection that has been carefully prepared, that will certainly satisfy fans of the franchise and should also be enjoyable for animation lovers as well.
- More Than Meets The Eye, Part I
- More Than Meets The Eye, Part II
- More Than Meets The Eye, Part III
- Transport To Oblivion
- Roll For It
- Divide & Conquer
- Fire In The Sky
- S.O.S. Dinobots
- Fire On The Mountain
- War Of The Dinobots
- The Ultimate Doom, Part I
- The Ultimate Doom, Part II
- The Ultimate Doom, Part III
- Countdown To Extinction
- A Plague Of Insecticons
- Heavy Metal War