My personal bias may be leaning through but I fully enjoy the Transformers. More than meets the eye, robots in disguise, Starscream for President! Well, he can’t be any worse than the two turkeys we got running right now. Anyhow, after the Generation 1 cartoon series came and gone, we got a slew of off-shoots and attempts at re-creating the cartoon hit that was the Transformers. In the middle of 2005, a series produced by a partnership between Hasbro and Takara came to the fold. It was a sequel to Transformers: Armada & Transformers: Energon. It was called Transformers: Cybertron. Fifty two episodes later, the series ended. Was it any good or did it just get sucked into a black hole?
The destruction of Unicron takes place in the Transformers universe and has resulted in the formation of a massive blackhole. This blackhole engulfs planets and Cybertron is the next inhabited planet in its path. Optimus Prime and his crew of Autobots decide to evacuate to Earth as they consider how to keep Cybertron safe. Landmine is the first Autobot to make it to Earth as he finds his way through a portal.
Once there, he becomes friends with three human children named Coby, Bud and Lori. Back on Cybertron, Optimus & the rest of the Autobots make preparations to join him. It is at this point where they are joined by an ancient Transformer named Vector Prime. He informs them that they must find the Cyber Planet Keys which reside separated in four worlds across the universe. They must also find the Omega Lock which focuses the power of the keys. But before they can go to Earth, the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron steals the map and with it the secrets to the locations of the keys.
Both forces make the journey to Earth where their search begins. Over the course of fifty episodes they journey all over the Earth as well as distant worlds to recover the items needed to put a stop to the black hole. They also have the Decepticons to contend with who are led by Megatron & Starscream. However, to aid them in their fight; certain Cyber Key Powers are available to each robot. These powers give them an edge in their time of need. It’s a race to stop the destruction of Cybertron and prevent world domination from the Decepticons.
New Transformers cartoons always excite me. I am a diehard Generation 1 fan, have every one of the Boxsets and have watched almost every episode. Cybertron from the box looked like a re-hash of the series with updated 3-d animation technology to boot. The episodes feel fresh and sport actual continuity. The story has an origin and by the end of the 52 episode run, it actually has a climax and finish. Every episode felt like it was one step closer to the finish and it kept us interested. Many cartoons like to meander around and give us random stories at random times. Transformers: Cybertron is different. The characters are cool and I actually like the mixture of traditional animation mixed with 3-d cgi graphics.
However, the show does have several minor problems. First, for those pure G1 folks, don’t expect many old faces. Megatron, Optimus Prime, Starscream and a few others is about all you get. That would be okay if they stuck with the new bots. The problem is every few episodes we get one robot turning into another robot, or an advanced form of the same robot due to Cyber Key Powers. Since this was partnered with Hasbro, one would expect this was done to sell toys. Also, how come every time they transform or they unleash a certain power, we get this techno music and 3-d animation of the change? It’s the same one for that specific robot every time too. All of them also sneer after they change like they just had a bowel movement or something. It’s very odd, but honestly minor complaints overall.
The show is presented in 1.33:1 Fullscreen. It blends 3-d cgi and a dose of regular animation. Surprisingly they work well together and pull a decent product. For the most part, the colors on both sides were vibrant and colorful. It’s hard to find another product especially in a normal tv cartoon show that blends these two abilities so well without looking out of place.
The audio is presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital English Stereo. The action is fast and furious and the track keeps pace. Dialog (as long as you don’t mind some “Down Under” accents) is clear even when they make some of the characters have the robot voice. The sounds effects are good and do resonate well in the speakers with some bass to back it up. No subtitles, but none were really expected.
Not a blooming thing ‘mate. *sigh*
Generation 1 of the Transformers will probably always be the best to me because I grew up with it. It’s hard even with being a professional to not have some bias towards it. However, let us not take anything away from Transformers: Cybertron. In seven discs, they go over the whole series and keep it together from episode to episode. The smell of continuity is fantastic and it is something I wish more cartoon series had today. The video and audio are above par and the overall presentation feels well taken care of. The lack of extras do hurt the overall value of the show but after seeing other series with 10-13 episodes (and a few extras) per package, you kinda appreciate that they released the whole thing in one fell swoop. There simply wasn’t room for much more or else we would have had a much higher price or more releases. Heavily recommended for Transformer fans, recommended for casual cartoon fans and the like.
- DvdVerdict.com – “On the plus side, though, Transformers: Cybertron had continuity in spades—and I love continuity, even if that continuity is madness in concentrated form.”
- DvdInMyPants.com – “Speaking of kids, Transformers Cybertron – The Ultimate Collection is a 7-disc set that pre-adolescents and nerdy, spectacled fat guys in basements will thoroughly enjoy… but anyone else will no doubt squirm in agony the whole time. “