Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime"

Transformers News: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime"

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 3:31AM CST

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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

Executive Producers:
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."

Main cast:
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.
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Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150511)
Posted by Didicos on November 25th, 2010 @ 4:07am CST
Great review!! :APPLAUSE:

Seibertron wrote:
Bumblebee 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.


I think that the fact that Bumblebee can't speak is explained in Exodus and especially the "Bumblebee at Tyger Pax" story(which probably doesn't count as "canon").Maybe there is a connection between Exodus/WfC and Prime afterall... :P
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150518)
Posted by _Anshin_ on November 25th, 2010 @ 6:28am CST
I for one am glad that Bumblebee can't talk. From this review it looks like everything I wanted from the Transformers since I was a child and enjoyed G1. Personally I really hope they made Starscream a bad ass instead of a whiner. I always hated Bumblebee, in any form (G1, Bay, etc.). I never saw the appeal to his character. I do hope they make Soundwave much like his G1 self and not like the animated though.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150540)
Posted by Mindmaster on November 25th, 2010 @ 8:30am CST
Didicos wrote:
Variety wrote:Alas, there's no animated Megan Fox for, er, considerably older kids.


:lol: :lol: :lol:


-sniff- :-(
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150561)
Posted by Oilspill on November 25th, 2010 @ 9:19am CST
So on Friday, will it just be part 1 of the 5 parter that is aired? Do we have to wait a week for part 2?

Edit: Googled. Looks like episodes 1 & 2 on Friday.

Then episode 3 on Wed, 4 on Thurs, 5 on Fri.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150563)
Posted by Rodimus2006 on November 25th, 2010 @ 9:21am CST
I love Prime it is a lot darker to me which is always nice considering that Transformers is geared towards little kids.

I am quite suprised that they are going in this dark direction. It is unique and diffrent which is always welcomed if done right. I like new ideas and new stories long as they dont suck and are done right.

I am now 29 years old and I still enjoy Transformers. Me being a old-school G1 Fan-boy is quiet pleased with Prime and thinks the show has tons of potential.

I cant wait to learn more on "The Blood of Unicron" and how Megatron will create this army. If you remember back in TF-Cybertron Megatron has something similar called the
shadow spark of Unicron and the Black Mist which can create or corrupt like he done with Crumplezone and how he created Nemesis Breaker.

I cant wait to see more on the "Blood of Unicron" remember just cause this is something about Unicron dosent mean he will necessarily be in the show.

I hope if he is he wont be a Planet Killer Gaint robot but something new and diffrent.

I like the humans my fav being Jack but we havent seen Miko or Raf in action yet so I cant judge on them yet.
They arent aggrervating or get all your nerves like SARI was but then again SARI eventually grew on me and i liked her alot. So maybe the same will happen with these 3 new humans at least they dont suck like Kicker & Mischa.

I cant wait for more Prime I see lots of unique story twists and turns and lots of startling revelations. I hope the humans have something unique about them like Sari did but not that they are really Preteneders like Sari but still a huge revelation about them.

Overall I like Prime it feels like Movie-verse, WFC, Exodus, and Animated all rolled up in one neatly done package.

I can get over the fact of thier mouths as long as the show is done goood and has decent stories and action i really dont care about little nit-picks like those as I done usually pay attention to thier faces anyways.

Overall I give Prime a 4 out of 5 or a 90 out of 100 and a Silver Rating.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150565)
Posted by Didicos on November 25th, 2010 @ 9:32am CST
Rodimus2006 wrote:I cant wait to learn more on "The Blood of Unicron" and how Megatron will create this army.


[spoiler]If I got it right "The Blood of Unicron" is the Dark Energon.[/spoiler]

Rodimus2006 wrote:Overall I give Prime a 4 out of 5 or a 90 out of 100 and a Silver Rating.


4 out of 5 means 80 out of 100 :???: :P
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150616)
Posted by Rodimus2006 on November 25th, 2010 @ 11:07am CST
Actually you are wrong 3 out of 5 is 80, 4 out of 5 is 90 and 5 out of 5 is 100.

It seems similar towards Dark Energon now that I played WFC again it seems like Unicron Blood are both one in the same.

It reminds me of the Hate Plague in G1 were it corrupts and causes people to go insane but it didnt mutate them it just caused them to beat the snot out of everyone.

This show is really dark i like it bring it on I want more of Prime.

People you are still confused: Look let me explain it, part 1 & 2 comes on this Friday on the Hub that is 4 & 4:30 then Renegades thereafter at 5 & 5:30 with Deep Descent.

Then on Monday and the rest of the following next week which is November 29th will show Prt 3 on monday and then prt. 4 & 5 there after.

Then 21 remainding episodes of S1 of Prime will resume on thier regular schedual time which will be about 6 or 6:30 every week day.

Prime is scheduled to have I repeat 65 EPISODES which I caculated to be about 4 or 5 seasons.

There I hope that clears up the confusion on Prime.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150619)
Posted by Fit For Natalie on November 25th, 2010 @ 11:22am CST
[quote]but they're as forced together as Transformers Cybertron was forced into the Unicron Trilogy.[/quote] We know that Hasbro, Takara and We've Inc. originally developed Cybertron as a direct sequel to the Energon series, though.

(Scroll down to 22 Oct 2004)
http://www.fantofan.jp/newsarchive2004.htm

The press release PDF is long gone, but there you go: Galaxy Force was originally a continuation of Superlink (Energon). But then by November, Newtype was reporting that the series was a new stand-alone series.


Besides, Alexis, in her Energon digs, made a cameo appearance in both the last episodes of Galaxy Force and Cybertron (during the press conference with the president and Colonel Franklin). And then TakaraTomy decided to follow Hasbro's lead anyway and incorporated Galaxy Force into what they call the Micron Trilogy.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150623)
Posted by Diem on November 25th, 2010 @ 11:40am CST
Rodimus2006 wrote:Actually you are wrong 3 out of 5 is 80, 4 out of 5 is 90 and 5 out of 5 is 100.

And 0/5 is 50?
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150630)
Posted by Samsonator on November 25th, 2010 @ 12:27pm CST
Seibertron wrote:
Bumblebee 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.
Beeps and boops that only one of the humans can understand? I've got an explanation! Bumblebee's a really big Mini-Con!
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150645)
Posted by Mindmaster on November 25th, 2010 @ 1:35pm CST
Didicos wrote:
Rodimus2006 wrote:I cant wait to learn more on "The Blood of Unicron" and how Megatron will create this army.


[spoiler]If I got it right "The Blood of Unicron" is the Dark Energon.[/spoiler]


You are absolutely correct. If you reread Seibertron's review of the second episode, it says it in bold print somewhere around the first, second, or third paragraph. Well, not bold print, but you get what I mean. :lol:
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150663)
Posted by Hairball178 on November 25th, 2010 @ 2:33pm CST
I'm really hoping for good things from this. Any info about if Prime will be available to watch on the Hub's website for those of us who can't get the channel?
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150687)
Posted by Galvatron X on November 25th, 2010 @ 3:54pm CST
Man, I am so friggin' impatient for this show and Renegades as well! The next 18 hours or so are gonna drag!!
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150696)
Posted by Cobalt Prime on November 25th, 2010 @ 4:36pm CST
Unfortunately, my already outrageously priced Dish Network "extended basic" package isn't "extended" enough to warrant including the Hub, so unless the episodes come out on You Tube or Hulu, I'm pretty much s.o.l. :-x

Glad to hear it doesn't suck, though!
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150714)
Posted by Rodimus2006 on November 25th, 2010 @ 5:26pm CST
18 hrs is nothing to kill considering how long I been waiting for this i can do 18 hrs standing on my head.

When it comes to waiting on things I am usually patient cause I have other things to do anything anyways.

Prime is going to be better than Animated it is better cause it is a lot darker also it wont focus on the human element as previous shows did.

Prime focus is the story and the action and concentrating on the Bots and thier conflicts.

I am done over the fact of the bots mouths at least it isnt as messed up as Beast Machines where Megatron was a giant floating head which was also in CGI.

I can not wait for new characters to be shown in. Remember each new TF series begins with a skeleton crew then later on that number increases dramatically either as cameo's or full fledge memebers.

I hope we get more characters such as. Warpath, Slipstream, Rodimus, Elita-1, WheelJack, Iron Hide, Strikka, Cyclonus, Srourge.

I am also ok with new characters always welcomed if they are cool and have a decent personality and look.

Use my team i created called the Crimson Mauraders to be used in Prime they can be Decipticons these guys are animals diffrent one some are triple changers and some are female ones. Or use my other team called the Galaxy Racers who are an Autobot sub-team and then finally my last team called the Train Depositors I am unsure if they would be decipticons or autobots i havent figured them out yet.

I dont know if Prime will have Combiners but these sub-teams I have created do have awesome powers were they dont need to combine.

Be cool if who ever works on Prime would use fan created ideas such as mine.
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150784)
Posted by Spiritimus Prime on November 25th, 2010 @ 10:17pm CST
I've got my fingers crossed for this new series. I really, really hope that we'll get something out of it. The pictures are great from the summaries we've seen. I've already got a few fanfiction ideas swimming around in my head.

[spoiler]Anyone notice the possibility of an Arcee/Cliffjumper OTP going on there?[/spoiler]
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150820)
Posted by Anonymous. on November 26th, 2010 @ 4:25am CST
Spiritimus Prime wrote:I've got my fingers crossed for this new series. I really, really hope that we'll get something out of it. The pictures are great from the summaries we've seen. I've already got a few fanfiction ideas swimming around in my head.

[spoiler]Anyone notice the possibility of an Arcee/Cliffjumper OTP going on there?[/spoiler]

[color=teal]
Me too! I think this is going to be a great series to watch... and thank goodness, it's been too long since Animated. [/color]
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1150927)
Posted by Mindmaster on November 26th, 2010 @ 10:53am CST
Blurrz wrote:
Spiritimus Prime wrote:I've got my fingers crossed for this new series. I really, really hope that we'll get something out of it. The pictures are great from the summaries we've seen. I've already got a few fanfiction ideas swimming around in my head.

[spoiler]Anyone notice the possibility of an Arcee/Cliffjumper OTP going on there?[/spoiler]

[color=teal]
Me too! I think this is going to be a great series to watch... and thank goodness, it's been too long since Animated. [/color]


I agree too... [spoiler]If I knew what an OTP is.[/spoiler] :lol:
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1151006)
Posted by Pontimax 01 on November 26th, 2010 @ 2:38pm CST
I just finished watching episode one on Hub. I really like the show and the scripting.

But man, do they ever need to work on the sound quality of the show. The speech is fine between characters, mostly. But the sound effects need turned way up.

It's like the output fades in and out of stereo and mono. :SICK:
Re: Seibertron.com reviews "Transformers Prime" (1151013)
Posted by Seibertron on November 26th, 2010 @ 2:48pm CST
Pontimax 01 wrote:I just finished watching episode one on Hub. I really like the show and the scripting.

But man, do they ever need to work on the sound quality of the show. The speech is fine between characters, mostly. But the sound effects need turned way up.

It's like the output fades in and out of stereo and mono. :SICK:


It has something to do with the sound being in surround sound or something. It sounds perfect on my DLP TV upstairs but my old school TV downstairs I heard the exact problems you mentioned. Can anyone else shed any light on this?

Glad to hear that you liked it.

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