• Tue, Aug 5 2008

"Transformers Cybertron": DVD review

Transformers: Cybertron” The Ultimate Collection
Released July 22, 2008
Paramount Home Entertainment

transformers-cybertronThis wasn’t anything like the ’80s “Transformers Animated“, for sure. And that’s the unfortunate truth.

Transformers Cybertron (Robots in Disguise)” is the last of a three-part series (“Transformers: Armada” and “Transformers: Energon”) but since it makes no reference to the previous series new fans won’t be out of the loop.

The story. The continuous story arc opens with a massive black hole that threatens to destroy Cybertron, the home planet of the Transformers. The only means to close the black hole are the Omega Lock and its four Cyber Planet Keys, ancient artifacts that were scattered in different worlds across the universe. An ancient Transformer called Vector Prime tasks Optimus Prime and the Autobots to locating the Keys and save the universe. This is where the Decepticons come in. Megatron plans to use the Keys to re-create the universe in his image.

The Autobots evacuate to Earth and meet three children Coby, Bud and Lori who the robots recruit to help them. Yes, children. Don’t ask me why but several times Optimus Prime puts the children in danger like it’s a normal thing for a robot to do.

The race to locate the Keys take the Autobots and Decepticons to Velocitron, Beast Planet and Gigantion, where more Transformers reside. Actually by the second disc, I have met so many Transformers and upgraded versions of Transformers that I totally got lost. The Cyber Planet Keys give a Transformer instant system upgrade of power, weapons and a new name. So Megatron became Galvatron, Overhaul became Leobreaker, etc., etc. Why can’t they stick to Mega-Megatron, or upersize-Megatron or something? By the second disc, there are so many Transformers and names that I totally lost track.

The DVD. “Transformers: Cybertron (Robots in Disguise)” Ultimate Collection is a 7-disc 52-episode set that runs for more than 19 hours. Retailed at US$61.99, I suggest not watching this as a marathon, like I did. The theme song “Transformers more than meets the eye” gets annoying after a while. I have to credit the animation – the machines are all computer-generated and transformations are totally sophisticated. The images are quite sharp and detailed. On the other hand, the humans and background are traditionally animated so there is still that cartoonish look to the show. There are no extras or special features whatsoever. The audio is Dolby Digital English Stereo.

The Review. I was excited about reviewing this collection, since I grew up watching and loving the original series back in the ’80s. However, I found the episodes of the current series “Transformers: Cybertron” to be painfully dragging. There was too much talk and “lecturing”. I would have just preferred total action adventure, instead the characters  (who knew robots have something to say?) have moralistic conversations about death, friendship, trust. Maybe the producers fully intentioned this DVD to teach lessons, and I could totally use this to teach my child something – “remember what Optimus Prime said?” – but those scenes just stretched the episodes even longer.

But of course I still watched it till the end. After all, it’s still Transformers and I wanted to find out just what it takes to destroy Megatron Galvatron.

image: Paramount Home Entertainment

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