DVD Corner's blog

News, dvd and blu-ray reviews

Transformers Prime Season 1 Blu-ray Review

“Transformers Prime” is one of the best animated series currently on TV.

The premise: With the help of 3 human kids (Jack, Miko, and Raf) and a Government agent (Agent Fowler), the Autobots (mostly comprised of Optimus Prime, Bulkhead, Arcee, Ratchet and Bumblebee) have to avoid being seen from the human population while trying to prevent the Decepticons (namely  Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Knock-Out, Breakdown, and later Airachnid) from carrying out their evil plans. In the 26 episodes, expect to see plots about: obtaining Energon, resurrection of the dead with Dark Energon, Cybertron, a Decepticon named Skyquake, metal eating Scraplets, a friend of Bulkhead’s named Wheeljack, M.E.C.H. (a terrorist unit who wants to obtain tech from the bots), Jack’s school crush Sierra, a Cybonic Plague, weapons such as a Polarity Gauntlet and The Immobilizer, a Data Cylinder, a Space Bridge, and Unicron.

Like most children of the 80’s, I grew up on the original “Transformers” series. While the series may have just been designed as an ad for the creative toys, it was still an entertaining show filled with a rich cast of characters. The other animated incarnations of the series, however, never really lived up to the original. Sure, they all had their fans, but they all never had the impact or fantastic voice work that the original did. Until now that is.

“Transformers Prime” is arguably the best “Transformers” toon to date. Sure, one can argue that the skirmishes between the Autobots and Decepticons can become tiresome and that there are not enough characters currently in the series, but in terms of writing and voice acting, this show is first rate.

The original animated series has often been praised for the voice work by legends like Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron). Not only do these 2 icons reprise their roles for ‘Prime,’ but there’s also a ton of talent here including Jeffrey Combs, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Tony Tood, Clancy Brown, Ernie Hudson, and even The Rock briefly. This all-star cast really brings these characters to life which is partially why the show has become such a hit with fans.

Another big plus here is, of course, the writing. Since the franchise has been around several decades now, one would expect that the characters and stories would be running out of gas. That’s definitely not the case here. The writers manage to reintroduce the characters to all generations of fans by including new stories, new characters, new conflicts, and new story arcs that will hook the viewers into watching every single episode.

As for the animation, it’s a little rough around the edges at the start (most notably the sparse environments), but the animation definitely improves as the show progresses. By the time season 2 rolls around, you will see that the animation has come a long way. I will say that the Autobot and Decepticon characters themselves have always looked perfect though.

Summary: I wish the “Transformers” movies were as good as “Transformers Prime.” A must see for Bot fans.

Video/Audio:

The series is presented in 1.78:1 1080p and, to be honest, this is the only way to watch the show. It is leaps and bounds better than the standard and hi-def broadcasts on Hub. The colors, lighting, and reflections are simply gorgeous. There are a few shimmering issues I noticed, but it’s no big deal.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is as good as I hoped it would be. The action and dialogue sound fantastic. PCM Stereo tracks have also been included in case you wanted to play those instead.

Extras:
* A mini print graphic novel form IDW featuring an adventure with Arcee and Cliffjumper.Hope to see more inclusions like this in future releases.
* Commentary on all but 11 episodes by such people as Jeff Kline, Mike Vogel, David Hartman, Brian Tyler, Mathias Dougherty, Meghan Burleeson, Nathan Johnson, Jacob Rivera, Kathy Cavanaugh, Austin Block, Meredith Rodgers, Sonya Park, Therese Trujillo, Brian Lenard, Tania Gunadi, Ernie Hudson, Jose Lopez, Peter Cullen, Rafi Ruthchild, Stephen Davis, Todd Waterman, Sumalee Montano, Josh Keaton, Andy Pessoa, Mike Miles, Bumblebee, Jeffrey Combs, Marighread Scott, Shaunt Nigihossian, Nicole Dubuc, Joseph Kuhr, Vinton Heuck, Augusto Barranco, Duane Capizzi, Marsha Griffin, Christophe Vacher, Vince Toyama, and Steven Melching. As you’d expect, some tracks are better than others. Personally, I prefer the discussions that are more centered around animation. I do have to admit that having Bumblebee on a commentary track was a nice touch though.
* Hasbro, The Hub, and “Transformers Prime” ads.
* “Making-Of Transformers Prime”- A behind-the-scenes sneak peek that basically sells the show.
* “Toy Featurette”- Hasbro executives talk about characters, stories, fun facts about “Prime” that you may not know, and toys.

 

 

April 28, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: