Tuesday, November 30th 2010 12:39pm EST
Categories: Cartoon News
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Posted by: Seibertron
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2010
THE HUB PRESENTS HOLIDAY LINEUP FULL OF FAMILY-FAVORITE
PROGRAMS INCLUDING TWO-PART PREMIERE
OF ‘R.L. STINE’S THE HAUNTING HOUR: THE SERIES’
Holiday Programming Includes: Hub Presentations of “The Christmas Toy” and “Atomic Betty: NO-L 9”; Hub Family Movie Night Films “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” “The Muppets Take Manhattan” “Good Boy!” and “Larger Than Life”;
Week of Holiday-Themed Series
Los Angeles, CA – The Hub, a cable TV network for kids and their families, will bring viewers a special lineup of holiday programming that the entire family can enjoy Monday, December 20 – Friday, December 31. The schedule also includes a weekend of holiday-themed festivities highlighted by the world premiere of the new Hub Original Series “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series,” Saturday, December 25 (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET).
The Hub, which rebranded from Discovery Kids on 10-10-10, is a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc., and is available to 60 million U.S. cable and satellite households.
The Hub begins its yuletide cheer December 20, with a series of holiday-themed episodes of its regular animated and live-action series, including “The Twisted Whiskers Show,” “Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show,” “Family Ties,” “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Atomic Betty.” Each show brings viewers closer to the Hub holiday weekend featuring family-friendly shows kids and their parents will want to watch together.
The week culminates with a three-day holiday weekend of programming that includes two new episodes of “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series,” from the best-selling author and master of scary tales, R.L. Stine.
Highlights of The Hub holiday schedule follow:
· Hub Special Presentation: “The Christmas Toy” (Friday, December 24, 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET; encore presentation: Saturday, December 25, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. ET) Celebrate the magic of the season in this one-hour, Jim Henson Christmas special where the toys in the playroom magically come to life when people are not around.
· Hub Special Presentation: “Atomic Betty: NO-L 9” (Friday, December 24, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET; encore presentation Saturday, December 25, 11 a.m. – noon ET) Atomic Betty (Tajj Isen) has to stop Maximus from turning singing planets from a forgotten constellation into ornaments for his Christmas tree.
· A special Hub holiday-themed episode of “Hubworld” (Friday, December 24, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET) The Hub presents a special holiday-themed episode of the weekly, live-action pop culture magazine show “Hubworld,” that infuses what's happening in the life of everyday kids with what's happening on The Hub. Actor-magician Justin Willman hosts.
· A special holiday-themed episode of “Family Game Night” (Friday, December 24, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET) The Hub presents a special holiday-themed episode of the new live-action series “Family Game Night,” featuring your favorite Hasbro board games that become larger-than-life experiences where families compete for cash and prizes!
· Hub Family Movie Night: “Muppets Christmas Carol” (Friday, December 24, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET; encore presentation Saturday, December 25, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET) The Muppets take on the Dickens classic about the miserly Scrooge (Michael Caine) learning the true meaning of Christmas after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
· “The Adventures of Chuck & Friends” (Friday, December 24, 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET; encore presentation Saturday, December 25, 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET) A new holiday-themed episode of the animated series “The Adventures of Chuck & Friends.”
· Hub Original Series Premiere: “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series” (Saturday, December 25, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET; encore presentations Saturday, December 25, midnight and 12:30 a.m. ET) Anthological storytelling returns to television in this half-hour live-action children’s series, based on the works of best-selling author and master of scary tales, R.L. Stine. The Hub will premiere two new episodes “A Creature Was Stirring” (8 p.m.) and “The Dead Body” (8:30 p.m. ET.)
· Hub Family Movie Night: “Muppets Take Manhattan” (Saturday, December 25, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET; encore presentation Sunday, December 26, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET) Kermit, Fozzie Bear and the entire cast of Kermit's musical Manhattan Melodies head for the Big Apple with plans to turn their small play into a big hit!
· Hub Family Movie Night: “Larger Than Life” (Sunday, December 26, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET; encore presentation Sunday, December 26 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET) Jack Corcoran (Bill Murray) is left an Elephant in his father's will and has to get the animal from the East Coast to California in just 5 days so he does not miss his big speaking engagement.
· Hub Family Movie Night: “Good Boy!” (Friday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET; encore presentation Saturday, January 1, 2011, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET) A canine agent, Hubble (Matthew Broderick), from the star Sirius has been sent to verify the rumors that dogs have failed to take over the Planet Earth. Starring Molly Shannon, Kevin Nealon, and Cheech Marin.
Additional Hub holiday programming includes: (All time ET)
· “The Wonder Years”
(Monday, December 20, 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Tuesday, December 21, 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Wednesday, December 22, 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 23, 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 30, 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
· “Happy Days” - (Monday, December 20, 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Tuesday, December 21, 10 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Wednesday, December 22, 10 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
· “Laverne & Shirley” - (Tuesday, December 21, 11 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Wednesday, December 22, 11 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 30, 11 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.)
· “Pictureka!” - (Wednesday, December 22, 4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 23, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday, December 24, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
· “Family Ties” - (Wednesday, December 22, 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Thursday, December 23, 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
· “Doogie Howser, M.D.” - (Wednesday, December 22, 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
· “Fraggle Rock” - (Wednesday, December 24, 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
· “Atomic Betty” - (Friday, December 24, 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
· “Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Series” - (Saturday, December 25, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
· “The Adventures of Chuck & Friends” - (Monday, December 27, 9 a.m. – 1p.m.)
· “The Twisted Whiskers Show” - (Monday, December 27, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
· “The WotWots” - (Tuesday, December 28, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
· “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” - (Tuesday, December 28, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
· “Animal Mechanicals” - (Wednesday, December 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
· “Pound Puppies” - (Wednesday, December 29, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
· “Dennis and Gnasher” - (Thursday, December 30, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
· “G.I. Joe Renegades” Marathon - (Thursday, December 30, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
· “Cosmic Quantum Ray” - (Friday, December 31, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
· “Hub Exclusive: “G.I. Joe Renegades” and ‘Transformers: Prime’” - (Friday, December 31, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
· “Transformers Prime” Marathon – A Hub Original Series:
· “Transformers Prime”- Part 1 of “Darkness Rising” (Friday, December 31, 4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
· “Transformers Prime” - Part 2 of “Darkness Rising” (Friday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
· “Transformers Prime” - Part 3 of “Darkness Rising” (Friday, December 31, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
· “Transformers Prime” - Part 4 of “Darkness Rising” (Friday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
· “Transformers Prime”- Part 5 of “Darkness Rising” (Friday, December 31, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
In addition to great holiday programming, The Hub will host a special “Naughty or Nice” contest on Saturday, December 25, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET. Children can vote online beginning Monday, December 6 for their picks of The Hub’s naughtiest and nicest animated characters. The top two winners from each category will be featured on The Hub. For additional contest information and to vote for your favorite characters, visit www.hubworld.com/vote
The Hub is a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE: HAS) with a goal of entertaining, enlightening, empowering and educating children and their families. The cable and satellite television network features original programming as well as content from Discovery's library of award-winning children's educational programming; from Hasbro's rich portfolio of entertainment and educational properties built during the past 90 years; and from leading third-party producers worldwide. The Hub lineup includes animated and live-action series, specials and game shows, and the network extends its content through a robust and engaging online presence at www.hubworld.com
. The Hub rebranded from Discovery Kids on October 10, 2010, and reaches approximately 60 million U.S. households. The Hub logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.
Thursday, November 25th 2010 4:31am EST
Categories: Cartoon News
, Site Articles
, Site News
Posted by: Seibertron
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So where to begin telling you about Transformers Prime? In less than two short days, many of you will get to experience what I've already watched about a half dozen times. Earlier this week on Monday morning, an unexpected package arrived from The Hub via UPS. I quickly opened up the package and was surprised to see that they had sent me an advance copy of the first two episodes of Transformers Prime.
I quickly got to work writing extremely lengthy and detailed summaries of the first two episodes. I wasn't sure who my review would be competing against so I decided to do summaries instead of a review first in case everyone and their robo-brother did reviews. I figured detailed summaries would be least likely by everyone. My instinct was correct. If you missed the spoilerific summaries I posted earlier this week, you can check them out by clicking on the following links.
Summary of Transformers Prime Darkness Rising Part 1
Summary of Transformers Prime Darkness Rising Part 2
Much to my surprise, I really liked the show. I'm not sure what I was expecting. To be honest, I've had Transformers Prime on my mind's back burner. I've been so busy with keeping up with galleries on Seibertron.com that I hadn't really given "Prime" much thought other than making sure news was getting posted about it when necessary. Prior to seeing the show, I would never have believed what my reaction would have been. To sum up my thoughts about Transformers Prime, let me put it like this in terms that Seibertronians will understand loud and clear -- "Prime is like the love child of Beast Wars and the Live Action Films". Basically everything I like about both of those series seems to be here, except without the senseless and cheesy humor.
On November 24th, weekly entertainment trade magazine Variety
posted a review of "Transformers Prime". I was hesitant to read what they wrote initially, but after getting through the first paragraph or two I realized that they liked it as well. Their review wasn't quite what I was expecting from a mainstream magazine. I thought for sure that my Transformers warped mind was making me watch the show through rose-colored glasses. Nope -- they liked it and even summed up several of my thoughts.
Variety wrote:As no-brainers go, a Transformers TV show on the Hub -- welding Hasbro's popular toy line into its cable co-venture with Discovery -- ranks down there with making a sequel to the first movie. Yet the product of that assembly line, "Transformers Prime," proves unexpectedly sharp -- better than the movies (admittedly damnation with faint praise), thanks to the arresting CGI animation, which proves especially well-suited to rendering shiny robots and their vehicular alter egos. There's nothing more than meets the eye here, but what does appear is a plenty entertaining addition to this well-oiled moneymaking machine.
Having read such a positive review from Variety
, I felt more encouraged to state how much I liked Transformers Prime. The voice acting is superb, the animation looks incredible and uniquely stylized (even if the human animation models are lacking something), the musical score was beautiful, and the aggressive story below me away.
The first two episodes were serious, sophisticated, rather dark and contained various mature themes -- something I was not expecting at all, especially after the somewhat misleading character trailers that The Hub recently rolled out. This show is definitely not geared toward the younger kids like Transformers Animated was. I don't even know what previous series Transformers Prime is most like. I think I'll need to view a few more episodes to decide. I'll tell you what it's not like ... it doesn't have the kiddie feel to it like Animated, it's extremely coherent and not dumbed-down or poorly dubbed like the Unicron Trilogy, it's not simplified or hyperactive like RID, it's not a whiny complaining misguided hippie like Beast Machines, it's not like Beast Wars despite being the closest thing I could compare Prime to, and it doesn't come across like a toy commercial like G1 does at times (sacrilegious, I know).
Transformers Prime doesn't waste any time. Something major happens in the first third of the first episode that I don't think anyone was expecting. I can't wait to see if the second episode truly ended what happened or if there's more than meets the eye awaiting us. I'm still shocked at what happened, especially in the second episode. Crazy!
Knowing that an army of you Seibertronians will be here on Friday evening posting your reviews in this topic, I'll keep the rest of this review to a minimum. Here are some of my final thoughts that I want to share with you to tide all of you over until Friday afternoon when Transformers Prime debuts.
- It's in widescreen, though (unfortunately) most of us won't get to watch it in widescreen because most of our Cable companies haven't started airing The Hub in HD yet. Here's hoping for a quick release of this show on DVD, or at least when the toys inevitably come out.
- This show has an actual musical score along the lines of the music from the live action Transformers films. It's complex, not repetitive, and it always seems completely appropriate for the scene. Beast Wars suffered greatly in this department whereas it seems to be one of Prime's greatest strengths.
- The voice acting is superb in my book. I was pretty geeked about Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprising their rightful roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively. The rest of the voices seemed appropriately cast. None of the voices seem out-of-place. Everything seems natural. It definitely feels like the animation was done to the voice acting instead of the other way around, which was one of Beast Wars greatest strengths.
- The kids weren't as annoying as I had expected. I'm one of those fans that understands the purpose of having humans in the Transformers cartoons. Without humans, there'd be little point to Transformers being "robots in disguise". They're a necessary evil and, in this case, they're handled fairly well. The show is about the Transformers and not the kids -- there seems to be little confusion about that.
- "Prime" is dark at times -- some themes that might not be appropriate or suitable for young children. They might even be getting away with some of what happened in the first two episodes because what occurred happened to "robots" and not humans and because it's airing on a cable channel half-owned by the same people who own the Transformers (*ahem* that'd be Hasbro folks). If you question whether or not the show is dark, just ask yourself this ... has the word "cadaver" ever been used in an episode of Transformers before?
- The overall mood of the show, or at the very least the first two episodes, is far more serious than we've seen in a long time. I guess this is what makes me keep thinking of Beast Wars. But not all of Beast Wars. Think "The Trigger", "Dark Voyage", "Law of the Jungle", "Other Voices", "Other Visits", and "Code of Hero". Not on an epic scale like Other Voices or a heart-wrenching scale like Code of Hero, but in its own unique way.
- The animation has grown on me. There are some things that I don't like. This might be the show's weakest link and one of its greatest strengths. The backgrounds, the complexity of each scene, the transformations, the alternate modes, and the Transformers robots themselves all look incredible. Yet at the same time, I get this feeling like I'm watching the cut scenes in a video game. Something's not quite right and I can't pinpoint it. For the most part though, the show looks incredible. I really like the overall style of the animation even though I have a few issues with it. It is definitely unique, as unique as the style of Transformers Animated is and the style of the live action Transformers films.
- Speaking of transformations, they're very fluid -- more along the lines of the live action films. To be honest, I really had to think about this because none of the transformations really stood out to me -- but that's actually a good thing because it means they didn't waste a lot of time forcing the transformations upon you. It just happened and the show went on.
- As I've said before, War For Cybertron/Exodus and Transformers Prime are a "forced" continuity meaning that they weren't originally intended to be the same continuity despite what Hasbro tells us. There are a few things that contradict what's already been established in the WFC universe, not to mention a flash back scene in Transformers Prime that uses the Prime animation models and not anything that looks like the WFC designs. I'll consider them the same continuity to humor everyone but they're as forced together as Transformers Cybertron was forced into the Unicron Trilogy.
And now for my thoughts on the characters ...
- Optimus Prime - he's basically the same as his movie counterpart. As much as I love Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, I sometimes feel that he takes the role a little too serious. Everything always seems so epic and heavy with him voicing Optimus. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just looking for something to complain about like a typical fan boy. Or maybe he does need to loosen up a little bit.
- Megatron - I'm not usually on the Frank Welker-voicing-Megatron bandwagon like many fans are. Every time I've heard him do his "Megatron" voice in recent years, I kind of cringe. His recent Megatron voice is definitely not his G1 Megatron voice, whether it's him or how it's vocoded I don't know. So I was a little reluctant about him reprising the role of Megatron. His voice at the end of the first episode is like his recent Megatron voice that I don't particularly like. However, his voice in the 2nd episode is unlike any other Welker/Megatron voice I've heard before. It's unique to this character and very appropriate. This Megatron is EVIL, a true villain, something that has been missing from Megatron for a very long time. Sometimes I wonder what the difference is between Megatron and Optimus because we rarely get to see Megatron be evil. You do in Transformers Prime and that's why this Megatron has got me wondering if this could be my favorite Megatron since the Beast Wars Megatron.
- Arcee - She's a pretty major character in the first two episodes that gets a lot of screen time. She's the bridge that basically brings the humans into the Transformers storyline. She's a very serious Arcee. This isn't your Headmasters "secretary" Arcee or Susan Blu's Animated Arcee. This is an Arcee with an attitude. Not IDW's Furmanized Arcee, but definitely more of a serious warrior Arcee
- Starscream - not a wuss. Voice is different than previous incarnations. More like the first live action film than the second. It's unique and not the "screaming" high pitched voice either. I wasn't quite sure what to think of it at first. I liked it, but I just kept thinking that it's not a voice for Starscream. I was sold pretty quickly on it when I saw Starscream being a complete badass in the first episode when he does something we haven't seen in a Transformers cartoon in a really long time (if ever). Give this Starscream a chance. He might just give previous Starscream incarnations a run for their money.
- Ratchet - Jeffrey Combs does an incredible job with this really fun character. This might be the best rendition of Ratchet to date. Picture a cross between G1 cartoon, comic, and Transformers Animated Ratchets -- and the best of each to boot. He's not fond of the human kids, has a sense of humor, grumbles, complains, and still gets the job done. I'm rooting for a Starscream versus Ratchet battle, they both might be worthy of revisiting Simon Furman's Marvel Comics battle between these two characters.
- Soundwave - Megatron's here because of him basically, no thanks to Starscream, but we really don't find out too much about him. We don't even really hear him speak, he just plays back a recording of something Arcee said. Hopefully he's more than just a drone.
- Bumblebee - more-or-less like his movie counterpart with some added bits from his Animated self. He can't talk, which is one of my few complaints about the show, especially with no explanation about why he can't speak other than via beeps and boops, which Raf can oddly understand. He surprisingly didn't get as much screen time as Arcee did, which I thought was a little odd. I'm sure he'll get his moment in the spotlight in the near future though.
- Bulkhead - basically like his Animated character, but without the goofy clumsiness. All muscle it seems. Voice is similar but different. Lots of fun potential with him. Minimal screen time but enough to get a taste of him.
- Cliffjumper - seems like a cool character. Not sure that they needed to bring in a Hollywood name to do his voice. His design is one of my favorites in this show. Definitely a risk taker. He was portrayed very well in IDW's Transformers Prime comic and his characterization carried over to the cartoon show.
"Transformers Prime" Production Credits:
Produced By Hasbro Studios
Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Kline are executive producers. Kurtzman and Orci served as co-writers of the feature films "Transformers," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Star Trek." Kline was also executive producer of the animated series "Jackie Chan Adventures."
Optimus Prime - Peter Cullen
Arcee - Sumalee Montano
Ratchet - Jeffrey Combs
Bulkhead - Kevin Michael Richardson
Megatron - Frank Welker
Jack - Josh Keaton
Miko - Tania Gunadi
Raf - Andy Pessoa
Starscream - Steve Blum
Agent Fowler - Ernie Hudson
June Darby - Markie Post
Well, that's it for me for tonight. Please make sure you stop by to share your thoughts after you watch Transformers Prime. I look forward to hearing what other Seibertronians think of this show.