Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

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Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Is the G1 cartoon the best place to start?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:01 am

blackwasp wrote:Is the G1 cartoon the best place to start?



Not really. It hasn't aged well, at all. I'd recommend The Movie as a jumping on point, it is a self contained story for the most part. It is the best the G1 cartoon has to offer too.

Depends on what you're going for. I'd recommend Beast Wars, set in the "future" of Transformers or Animated, if you'd prefer a more traditional series.

Avoid The Unicron Trilogy though, that isn't a decent gateway to get you into Transformers.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby Chibi Starscream » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:05 am

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blackwasp wrote:Is the G1 cartoon the best place to start?



Yes, if you like watching cartoons from the 80's. It's definately my favorite, but ignore the 3 part ending called The Rebirth if you do watch it, and skip to Headmasters (watch in Japanese with subtitles).
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:37 am

I wouldn't recommend the Takara Series for people trying to get into Transformers through cartoons. It would only confuse the issue.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:53 am

The Beast Wars cartoon looks weird. The bad CGI is hard on the eyes and difficult to get past. Talk about not aging well.

Didn’t the Transformers Energon cartoon have really cool toys? You could connect robots together, and the characters could connect with each other?

I’ve been enjoying the 2001 Robots in Disguise cartoon. It’s kind of funny. I have not heard anyone talk about this series.

What cartoon was Takara?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:02 pm

blackwasp wrote:The Beast Wars cartoon looks weird. The bad CGI is hard on the eyes and difficult to get past. Talk about not aging well.


:lol: There is a bit of a difference.

Beast Wars' CGI isn't bad, it's just basic. Now considering it came out in 1996, it was actually ahead of it's time and aside from Pixar, there was no one else with anywhere the technical ability displayed in the CG of Beast Wars.

"Hard on the eyes" is a bit of an overexaggeration, even for 22 year old CG. Plus, BW features some of the best writing in all Transformers.

In comparison, the G1 cartoon was animated (for the most part) by Akom & Toei, it is also notorious for animation errors and other mistakes throughout the entire series. More so than many of it's contemporaries. The writing and stories are equally below par.

blackwasp wrote:Didn’t the Transformers Energon cartoon have really cool toys? You could connect robots together, and the characters could connect with each other?


Unfortunately, the cartoon was terrible, regardless of the toys and the Powerlinx feature.


blackwasp wrote:I’ve been enjoying the 2001 Robots in Disguise cartoon. It’s kind of funny. I have not heard anyone talk about this series.


RiD aka Car Robots isn't necessarily bad, it's just a bit of an oddity. It was a side-series that was put out to bridge the gap between Beast Machines and Transformers: Armada. There is nothing really to say beyond that.

blackwasp wrote:What cartoon was Takara?


The Takara Series were: Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, Victory and Zone.
Tonally, they are very different to most other Transformers series.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:43 pm

The three-part Rebirth series was weird too.

I think they should have ended the G1 cartoon with the “Return of Optimus Prime.” That was an epic two-parter.

Why is Rescue Bots so popular? It seems too kiddy.

I’ve seen some Armada episodes, but the humans in that show and in Cybertron take me out of the cartoon. It’s too much.

I heard the Transformers Prime series was Emmy-award winning but the robots looked too creepy to me. The humans in that show are also too annoying and invasive.

I wish I could get into the comics but I don’t like to read. It’s a pity.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:48 am

blackwasp wrote:The three-part Rebirth series was weird too.

I think they should have ended the G1 cartoon with the “Return of Optimus Prime.” That was an epic two-parter.

Why is Rescue Bots so popular? It seems too kiddy.

I’ve seen some Armada episodes, but the humans in that show and in Cybertron take me out of the cartoon. It’s too much.

I heard the Transformers Prime series was Emmy-award winning but the robots looked too creepy to me. The humans in that show are also too annoying and invasive.

I wish I could get into the comics but I don’t like to read. It’s a pity.



The ending to the (US)G1 cartoon is a point of contention for many people. Personally I don't think they should have brought Optimus back at all and while "The Rebirth" isn't great, I would have liked to have seen where the series would have gone from there. The Takara series are Japan's exclusive continuation of the G1 cartoon, following on from "Return of Optimus Prime" and ignoring "The Rebirth" altogether. It quickly becomes it's own thing though

I can't really comment on any show after Animated, to be fair. I tapped out following the Unicron Trilogy. I only watched a handful of Prime episodes and didn't like that either. I found the designs almost as ugly as Beast Machines.

Humans have always been a love/hate thing in Transformers. I've always felt the series was better without them and/or in very small does IE The Movie only had two (Spike & Daniel) and that was perfectly fine. Some people seem really interested in reading about regular people in a series named after Giant Alien Robots :???:

I'd suggest searching out the most recommended episode from each series and watch it, see what you think.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby ScottyP » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:52 am

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blackwasp wrote:Is the G1 cartoon the best place to start?
The three-part pilot episodes are, absolutely. So many tropes established that are homaged or repeated to this day. I think startkng anywhere else, cartoon-wise, would be like starting Star Wars with anything besides Ep 4
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:39 am

Transformers Energon seems to have a lot of action and the fighting seems really epic. Armada and Cybertron seem kind of boring in comparison.

One of the Energon toys even got voted the hottest toy of the year.

And I think there’s really only one human character to deal with.

The character designs seem to really showcase the Energon toyline. It makes you want to buy them.

Plus, they don’t kill off Optimus Prime. Why do other series keep killing Optimus Prime?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby ScottyP » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:00 pm

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Those are fair positive points to Energon but the story and dialogue and man I could just go on! It's the worst. I love the toys but that show is just awful.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby misfire19d » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:16 pm

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blackwasp wrote:Is the G1 cartoon the best place to start?

Yes.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:01 pm

I can see why fans don’t like the Energon cartoon, particularly the dialogue.

It’s just that it has the most elements of G1, since G1. So it awakens that nostalgia factor.

It has gestalts/combiners (ie. Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus), it has Rodimus exactly how he looked in g1, it has Omega Supreme, it has reformatting of Transformers. It upgrades Optimus Prime into a full five member gestalt team that combines. What’s not to like?

Energon gives us the story we would have liked from the 1986 movie. Optimus Prime is the top dog, and Rodimus is a hero in his own right.

Energon gives us the Shockwave we saw in the G1 Marvel comics.

It kept Megatron basically still Megatron even though he was upgraded to Galvatron.

It made the human character Kicker equal if not in some ways superior to the robots. He wasn’t helpless, and constantly in need of rescue. He could hold his own with and against the Transformers.

The action kept me on the edge of my seat, and a lot of the episodes ended on cliffhangers. It had way more suspense and excitement than Armada and Cybertron combined.

Energon showed us the power of Omega Supreme, able to subdue and defeat Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus, and conquer Unicron.

Is the Energon Omega Supreme toy as good as the G1 Omega Supreme toy?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:35 am

Rose Tinted glasses off, the only thing the G1 cartoon has going for it is the voice cast IE Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers, Gregg Berger etc etc There is no real overarching narrative, deep characterisations or subplots The Movie doesn't summarise in the first 20 minutes or so.

Which is why I would recommend The 1986 Movie to someone first trying to get into the cartoons and not the series, it just doesn't hold up.


blackwasp wrote:Plus, they don’t kill off Optimus Prime. Why do other series keep killing Optimus Prime?


Because of the notoriety gained the first time they did it. No one really cares if you kill off Outback or Reflector, but Prime and Megatron are arguably the lead cast members, so it always makes an impact.
Of course, it's also led to a lot of cynicism now by fans. Because after the almighty backlash of whining and complaints after the first death, we are all well aware any death of Prime or Megatron won't stick. So it's just novelty shock value now. It's just treated as a cue that particular series is ending.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:10 am

It seems like the Transformers series that are praised as having good writing and stories like Beast Wars and Animated are not successful with selling toys because the character designs are ugly.

And the Transformers cartoons that are criticized for bad writing like G1 and Energon sell a lot of toys because the character designs and engineering are so bad-ass.

Is this a fair statement?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:59 pm

blackwasp wrote:It seems like the Transformers series that are praised as having good writing and stories like Beast Wars and Animated are not successful with selling toys because the character designs are ugly.

And the Transformers cartoons that are criticized for bad writing like G1 and Energon sell a lot of toys because the character designs and engineering are so bad-ass.

Is this a fair statement?



Not really. Because if Beast Wars wasn't successful as a show and line of Transformers, the series probably wouldn't still be here. As the success of BW resurrected Transformers as a whole. Beast Machines, on the other hand, was the series with ugly character designs.
BW & BW combined lasted for five seasons. Arguably the longest running Transformers series to date.

Animated was just stylised. Some people like that, some don't. Again it was successful enough that it lasted three seasons, same as the G1 cartoon and Transformers Prime (technically).


G1 character designs were popularised through the cartoons and comics, not the toys alone. The toys are in hindsight, simple from an engineering standpoint and well just google G1 Ironhide's toy for an example of the disparity.
It started the franchise and created its staples, but the toys are the least engaging.

The Unicron Trilogy toys were as hit and miss as any other series. Some good, some bad, some horrendous. No more noteworthy than any other show.

Most Transformers cartoons usually last between 3-5 seasons, which would indicate about the same level of success in viewers and toy sales. Otherwise they would have been cancelled. That's how the cartoon business works.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:16 pm

blackwasp wrote:I can see why fans don’t like the Energon cartoon, particularly the dialogue.

It’s just that it has the most elements of G1, since G1. So it awakens that nostalgia factor.

It has gestalts/combiners (ie. Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus), it has Rodimus exactly how he looked in g1, it has Omega Supreme, it has reformatting of Transformers. It upgrades Optimus Prime into a full five member gestalt team that combines. What’s not to like?

Energon gives us the story we would have liked from the 1986 movie. Optimus Prime is the top dog, and Rodimus is a hero in his own right.

Energon gives us the Shockwave we saw in the G1 Marvel comics.

It kept Megatron basically still Megatron even though he was upgraded to Galvatron.

It made the human character Kicker equal if not in some ways superior to the robots. He wasn’t helpless, and constantly in need of rescue. He could hold his own with and against the Transformers.

The action kept me on the edge of my seat, and a lot of the episodes ended on cliffhangers. It had way more suspense and excitement than Armada and Cybertron combined.

Energon showed us the power of Omega Supreme, able to subdue and defeat Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus, and conquer Unicron.

Is the Energon Omega Supreme toy as good as the G1 Omega Supreme toy?


AllNewSuperRobot, what are your thought on my above post?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:34 am

A Transformers series has to do more than merely homage G1.

There has to be more to any show than "do you remember this?" or "isn't this cool?!". 'Style over substance' becomes dated and maligned very quickly. As was the case with The Unicron Trilogy. The fact is by the time Energon came out (2004) The Movie was 28 years old, when the writing and visual of a show is clearly aimed at a younger audience, who is that reference aimed at?

A better use of the platform would have been to build on the world of the Unicron Trilogy, as opposed to aping what came before.

As for Energon providing "The Movie story we would have liked" that's arguable. As a Decepticon fan, I felt vindicated by The Movie. which removed the moral handicap that nerfs the Decepticons in TV series. That being the only reason little cars defeated tanks and jets.

I would recommend anyone reading this to give this link a view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9iab0z6Kyg
It's a film critic that discusses The Movie, in context. Some of the points he raises are quite interesting IE who died and why, being based on archetype.
Ultimately, Prime had to go. Megatron had to go. For the story to move forward. Some people embrace change, the rest couldn't.

Humans, as I've said, are love/hate in the series. Clearly some writers struggle to convey their story through the titular characters, so they use humans as the Easy Option. There hasn't been a single human I ever liked, in any Transformers comic or show. That said, I barely notice they exist as the Giant Alien Robots should be what you are focused on.

Lastly, I'm told Energon Omega Supreme is one of the best toys in that series and superior to the G1 toy (who some, even on here, show disdain for).
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:28 am

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At the rate this thread is going, you're better off just watching GoBots. :P

Which, IMHO, had a much better written pilot mini-series than the G1 Transformers cartoon had.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:54 am

I heard GI Joe is in the same universe as the Transformers.

I could not get into GI Joe because there were just too many characters and they kept introducing more characters every episode. It was too much I think because they were all human. The only thing I really remember getting into is the story arc with Seargent Slaughter and Serpentor. And just when I was getting into Duke and Scarlett, the show tops them with Flint and Lady Jay who outshined them.

GI Joe has a lot more 80’s cartoon episodes, content, characters, toys, comics, and media than the Transformers. Am I missing out by not getting into GI Joe?
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:45 pm

Can't help with that one. Never got into GI Joe. It was one of those series I found that didn't really resonate outside of the US.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:58 pm

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blackwasp wrote:I heard GI Joe is in the same universe as the Transformers.

I could not get into GI Joe because there were just too many characters and they kept introducing more characters every episode. It was too much I think because they were all human. The only thing I really remember getting into is the story arc with Seargent Slaughter and Serpentor. And just when I was getting into Duke and Scarlett, the show tops them with Flint and Lady Jay who outshined them.

GI Joe has a lot more 80’s cartoon episodes, content, characters, toys, comics, and media than the Transformers. Am I missing out by not getting into GI Joe?
You are not missing out. I myself tried to get into the 80s G.I. Joe cartoon but couldn't. I did watch G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, G.I. Joe: Resolute, and G.I. Joe: Renegades, and enjoyed those cartoons for what they were at each time, and now consider Renegades to be the most decent of those three. I've also seen the two live action films and they are what they are and nothing more. In the end, though, G.I. Joe is pretty much a dead franchise at this point.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:19 pm

I’ve been enjoying Transformers Animated and Transformers Energon. I think I have less than 10 episodes to go on each.

I’m concerned because I heard Transformers Animated ended abruptly and we did not get the ending we should have gotten. Does that mean it fell flat?

How about Energon? Can I look forward to an epic ending? Does the show end on a strong note? I just feel these shows are more mature and G1-esque than mini-cons which seem like something created to appeal to little kids, same with Beast Wars since kids like fuzzy animals.

The G1 Dinobots, Predacons/Predaking, Terrorcons/Abominus, Skylynx, and all the robot beasts in the G1 episode “Call of the Primitives” are way more cooler.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:51 pm

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blackwasp wrote:I’m concerned because I heard Transformers Animated ended abruptly and we did not get the ending we should have gotten. Does that mean it fell flat?
On the contrary. Plans for a fourth season were made, but the show was not renewed for a fourth season for a number of internal reasons.

First, the show was airing on Cartoon Network, who had had a history of being unkind to the Transformers cartoons that aired on that channel. However, as Animated was actually co-produced by Cartoon Network this time, it fared a bit better on the channel than its predecessors, but the fact that it was a co-production with Cartoon Network also played into the next reason it was canceled.

That next reason being, at the time, Hasbro was about to partner up with Discovery to create their own cable channel, the Hub (later renamed Hub Network). Since Cartoon Network would be a competitor to the Hub, Hasbro wanted all their shows to be made in-house by their own new TV company Hasbro Studios, so Animated had to be put to a halt since it was being made by a competitor company. Why didn't Hasbro Studios just pick up the show and continue it without CN? Well, therein lies the third reason.

That reason being, at the time, Hasbro was looking to reinvent the brand one more time and create an all new, singular, unified continuity that all forms of media would draw from and tie-in together with each other, and which was meant to be the very final mainstream continuity of all Transformers fiction. That new continuity being what has come to be known as the "Aligned Continuity", whose backbone was as big production bible called the "Binder of Revelation" (and obvious nod to the Book of Revelation being the final book of the Holy Bible). Animated's continuation would have interfered with that goal, since it A) wasn't part of this new continuity, B) predated its conception, and C) was the product of other parties not involved in heading the Aligned Continuity.

Hasbro really wanted to push the Aligned Continuity with all new fiction based directly on its lore. The video game Transformers: War for Cybertron and the novel Transformers: Exodus were the first pieces of Aligned media to be released, but the main focus was to be a new cartoon series, the one called Transformers: Prime. Since Animated was already so popular, its continuation would have undoubtedly competed with the Prime cartoon, and so rather than Hasbro have its audience split between the older beloved cartoon and the newer cartoon that they really wanted people to like more, they had Animated killed so Prime could live and thrive.

Naturally, the fandom was very divided on all of this at the time.

blackwasp wrote:How about Energon? Can I look forward to an epic ending? Does the show end on a strong note?
Energon... is one of the biggest disappointments in the entire history of the brand. Not because of how it ended, but because of how it was executed overall from start to finish. Energon does its best to pretend like it's telling a story, but in actuality, it is nothing more than 52 episodes of mindless nonsense. Nothing of real value really happens over the course of its run. Things happen, sure, but the majority of all that happens just makes one ask "What was the point of any of that?"

Character traits that are established early on are eventually forgotten and ignored. Characters get killed off and resurrected for no real good reason. Those that get resurrected tend to either come back brainwashed (thereby having had any and all of what little character development they had had before they died get completely erased and undone) or they come back only to play no role of importance for the rest of the series. And the combiner characters near the end are likewise dead weight, being there just to shoot more guns at each other, rather than being there to be interesting or cool.

While the hand-drawn animation of the humans and backgrounds looks good, the cel-shaded CGI animation is horrendously dated even by the standards of the year that it aired in, 2004. Facial expressions are virtually nonexistent, limited to a single blank "Uhh" expression used for every emotion. The simple act of walking is often rendered in such a clunky manner that many bots often look as though they aren't even moving forward, but are instead just sliding across the environments as their legs move back and forth without believably touching the ground.

The acting ranges from passable at best to ungodly mediocre at worst, even from the likes of veteran Transformers voice actors Garry Chalk, David Kaye, and Scott McNeil (the latter of which probably did the best job of the three), with Ironhide's voice actor Matt Hill being the standout worst of the bunch. And the dialogue scripts were so poorly and painfully adapted from the Japanese scripts that the majority of all the lines are rendered as utter nonsense that reeks of the translation having been a rush job. Entire conversations make no sense to baffling degrees and are littered with contradictions and bewilderments across episode after episode.

And then there is Kicker. Argubly one of the most hated human characters in all Transformers fiction. Though he showed potential of being interesting at first, and proved himself capable on the battlefield, his personality was regarded by many to be immensely annoying and irritating, to the point of being insufferable and loathesome. His father, Dr. Jones, is also considered one of the worst father characters ever, being so absent-minded that he can't understand why his son despises him so much (he willfully put Kicker in life-threatening situations as a child all in the name of science and research) and blindly writes off his son's irateness as just being typical teenage angst, completely missing the point that he made his son hate him. :BANG_HEAD:

But don't worry. This little spat between father and son is also soon forgotten by the show, along with all the other interesting story bits, like I said before. :BOOM:

Long story short, Energon wasted so much of its potential... Energon SUUUUUUUCKS!!!

blackwasp wrote:I just feel these shows are more mature and G1-esque
Energon is only "G1-esque" in that it had a lot of visual designs based on those of G1 (because it was the 20th Anniversary series), and that its story did nothing important for so long. There's nothing "mature" about it.

Animated, however, was like a well-made love letter to not just G1 but to all of Transformers in general, as it was the 25th Anniversary series. It was good, competent, well acted, well written, solidly crafted, and yes, even a bit mature at times, but never shied away from just having a good fun time with lot of laughs.

blackwasp wrote:than mini-cons which seem like something created to appeal to little kids,
Mini-Cons came about at a time when Pokemon was at the height of its popularity, and Transformers needed some new angle to compete with that. Transformers: Armada was a powerhouse franchise and a smashing success with children. Though its cartoon started off pretty BAD, it eventually grew into a much better series around its halfway point, and culminated in a critically-acclaimed final story arc called "The Unicron Battles", in which the Autobot, Decepticon, and Mini-Con armies were all forced to unite against the new threat of Unicron coming to destroy them all. By that point, the Armada cartoon had become dark, epic, and an all-out space war spanning several episodes.

blackwasp wrote:same with Beast Wars since kids like fuzzy animals.
They sure weren't fuzzy in the Beast Wars cartoon, since fur couldn't be animated in CGI properly until Pixar did it in Monsters, Inc.

Also, they later got upgraded into metal animals and then mutant animals.

Image
Image

blackwasp wrote:The G1 Dinobots, Predacons/Predaking, Terrorcons/Abominus, Skylynx, and all the robot beasts in the G1 episode “Call of the Primitives” are way more cooler.
Opinion, not fact.
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Re: Best cartoons to help get into Transformers?

Postby blackwasp » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:14 pm

If you believe the goal of these cartoons is to sell toys, then by that criteria and using that as the measuring stick Energon was the most successful, next to G1, at doing that.

The way the Energon toys were designed and engineered was innovative and frankly brilliant.

These cartoons don’t have to have a coherent story. They just need to sell the toys. Our imagination will do the rest. The Energon cartoon did a great job at showing and advertising the awesomeness of the toys.

The Energon Omega Supreme toy was animated in the cartoon doing all the things the toy was capable of doing, using all of his modes. The cartoon realistically animated the Energon Optimus Prime toy power-linking with Wing-Saber. The cartoon showcased the Omega Supreme Headmaster. It taught us how exactly to combine Optimus Prime with Omega Supreme to form Optimus Supreme.

Energon was the perfect marriage between toys and cartoon. The cartoon sold the toys and that’s what really matters. We can create our own stories using our imaginations.

I’m watching Energon wanting to see more of Optimus Prime combining with Omega Supreme to defeat Unicron. I want to see the Omega Train and Omega Crane in action. I want to see how Optimus Prime swaps his leg with his arm so that he can use his driller to drill through solid rock.

I don’t need the cartoon to have a great story. I want the cartoon to show me what the toys are all about and the cool modes, combinations, action features they have. All I need to know is what the toys can do and my imagination will fill in the blanks, deficiencies, and plot holes in the cartoon.

I’d rather have that than a critically acclaimed cartoon like Beast Wars, which I’m just starting to watch, that supposedly has great story but whose visuals and character designs leave so little to be desired that I have no inclination to go out and look for the toys to buy and play with them.

The Energon cartoon makes me want to seek out the toys. The Beast Wars cartoon makes me want to stay out of the stores because they’re ugly and have no innovative gimmicks, even though I may end up liking the cartoon.
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