Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Animé TV > Transformers: Beast Wars (Sets 1 & 2)

Transformers – Beast Wars Complete Seasons One & Two


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Episodes: C+



As a revival with a twist, the Transformers franchise was revived as a computer animated (CG) series, when a few companies gambled a mega-hit could come out of such animation on TV.  Most of these shows, like yet another dreadful Jonny Quest series a few years ago, nothing on TV took off or worked (MTV’s CG Spider-Man gives me new respect for the Spidey Super Stories segments on the inexcusably cancelled The Electric Company) despite mega-buck theatrical film successes from Pixar and PDI.  Beast Wars is from 1996 and has not aged as well as it could of, but still looks better than expected, considering all the breakthroughs in CG since its debut.


As compared to better effects in live-action films which date far more quickly, I give this series points for its more creative uses of such effects to take the idea of machines transforming to another level of seamless ease, which would be too expensive in hand-drawn animation.  This is difficult to do either way, but it is the reason the show stands the test of time better than it would otherwise.


This is also the only series where the machines (read unnatural) cross the line into the animal world (read natural) sort of.  That did not stay an aspect of the franchise overall with its recent (latest) revival, but it is a novelty that at least makes sense as reason enough to do a revival of some sort.  The other thing that does work is how funny, intended and especially unintended this can get.  At least it has some kind of mind, even if this is silly beyond belief; it is never degrading like the vast majority of shows based on toy franchises.  The episodes on the first two DVD boxed sets are as follows:



Beast Wars (two-part pilot)

The Web

Equal Measures

Chain Of Command

Power Surge

Fallen Comrades



Double Jeopardy

A Better Mousetrap

Gorilla Warfare

The Probe


Dark Designs

Double Dinobot



The Spark

The Trigger (two parts)

Spider’s Game

Call Of The Wild

Dark Voyage




The Low Road

Law Of The Jungle

Before The Storm

Other Voices (two parts)




Coming Of The Fuzors (two parts)

Tangled Web

Maximal, No More

Other Visits (two parts)



Bad Spark

Code Of Hero


The Agenda (three parts)



The full frame image is above average, showing its age and being color poor like most CG animation then and now.  The sound is available Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 remixes that are the best of the three series as issued on DVD.  Not bad, but not remarkably better than the best Pro Logic surround around, but the .1/LFE subwoofer effects are a plus to the extent they exist.  There are interviews with two of the creators on Set One, but the two boxes are void of extras otherwise.


So even if yo0u are not a fan, it is a curio of early CG animation.  If you need a good laugh or are curious about the animation, Beast Wars is worth a little bit of a look, though fans will collect them all… and the toys that go with it.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com