Transformers – Beast Wars Complete Seasons One
C+ Sound: B- Extras: C- Episodes: C+
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.
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.
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)
Chain Of Command
A Better Mousetrap
The Trigger (two parts)
Call Of The Wild
The Low Road
Law Of The Jungle
Before The Storm
Other Voices (two parts)
Coming Of The Fuzors (two parts)
Maximal, No More
Other Visits (two parts)
Code Of Hero
The Agenda (three parts)
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.
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
- Nicholas Sheffo