Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return

Transformers News: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 5:34AM CST

Categories: Cartoon News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 21,872

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You should be aware by now that the second animated series from Hasbro and Machinima featuring the Transformers, Titans Return, is being released in the US on the go90 app platform - and surely soon to follow for non-US viewers by other means, like its predecessor Combiner Wars. Our review of the first episode can be read here, and a review of the second will be making its way to the front page later today, too.

With that covered, you may want some more behind the scenes material, and Collider is here to provide the content - namely, an interview conducted and coordinated via Twitter with the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, returning to the franchise once more after the live-action movies and the animated shows Robots in Disguise and Rescue Bots. Check out some selected parts below, and read the whole piece here - which touches on a lot more than Titans Return, but always in a Peter Cullen and Optimus Prime shape!

It’s impossible to separate you from Optimus Prime, having voiced the character for over 30 years, but looking into the far-off future, what would make you step away from voicing Optimus?

Cullen: Yeah, well that’s been done before. I’ve already rehearsed that scene. [laughs] I’ve only done five movies since then, so it’s not like we’re talking, in terms of expansive years, since 1986, I’ve done a few games, Machinima, the second series now with them. Other than that, it’s been a very frugal way of making a living as Optimus Prime. What’s in store for him, I don’t know. But I’m not willing to give it up as long as it’s popular and people care for it. I would respect that part and continue on without much debate. But whether or he’s going to? I don’t know. I can’t speak for the multitude of people who are behind the steering wheel of this huge machine. If it all goes well, I’ll be doing it for years to come!

What was his reaction to being approached to play Optimus prime



Cullen: Elation, because I had waited a couple of weeks, which is not uncommon when you’re auditioning for a series and when they inform you that you have that role or that part. But more to the point, I had no idea who Optimus Prime was outside of the small audition that I did. In those days, back in the 80s, we were constantly doing cartoons, Frank Welker and I. We would meet at auditions sometimes or end up on a show and say, “Hey! You got a gig? So did I! That’s great!” That’s how we met by the way. Over the years, you try to add up all those feelings and say, “What actually happened?”

I remember the audition, I remember doing an impersonation of my brother who was a Marine, and heeding his advice, not to be an a-hole. Be real, don’t be Hollywood, that kind of thing. An audition that lasted perhaps a few minutes ended up changing my world, my life. That character has affected many different people’s lives in many different ways; I’m always overwhelmed by that, humbled by it, to tell you the truth.

[...]

What’s his favorite moment or scene as Optimus

Cullen: I would probably have least-favorite scenes. [laughs] I would include, the most important one, when I did the death scene. The other ones are doing all the screaming, yelling, blood-throat scenes; those are my least favorite. My most favorite scenes, which they don’t do enough, are when he’s written to express compassion and understanding. They never really want to express that level of Prime, which I thought was his most important, valuable trait.


Transformers News: Interview with Voice of Optimus Prime Peter Cullen on Machinima Transformers: Titans Return
Credit(s): Collider
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Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921789)
Posted by Stuartmaximus on November 15th, 2017 @ 8:09am CST
Double post ^
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921790)
Posted by Kroenen on November 15th, 2017 @ 8:38am CST
Really says a lot when even the voice of Optimus is telling you that the aggression needs to be toned down. I agree wholeheartedly. I haven’t seen a truly compassionate side of Optimus in years. I hope that, should Peter be signed on for Cyberverse, they write him with a more gentler side.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921791)
Posted by MagicDeath on November 15th, 2017 @ 9:22am CST
I think it’s pretty cool that he really loves voicing Prime.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921792)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on November 15th, 2017 @ 9:27am CST
Kroenen wrote:Really says a lot when even the voice of Optimus is telling you that the aggression needs to be toned down.



Not really what he said.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921796)
Posted by o.supreme on November 15th, 2017 @ 10:42am CST
Burn wrote:One thing I find really odd.

"We need to find fighters".


The entirety of the Original Transformers character Library, other than the few you see on screen are apparently off world on missions. (IRL-Budget)

But Hey, Seeing Tundecracker, Skywarp, Sunstorm, and um..miscellaneous seeker (I know it probably has a name, but if it wasn't named in the original series I would not know it) crash & burn to their deaths was cool I guess... ;)
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921842)
Posted by Qwan on November 15th, 2017 @ 3:33pm CST
And the episodes still aren't up in any official capacity for the rest of us non-USians to watch, as far as I'm aware. Machinima, mates, if you're gonna make an exclusivity deal with a service that only works in the US, maybe you should also find a way for the entire rest of the world to watch it too without resorting to piracy. Come on now. :roll:
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921845)
Posted by Burn on November 15th, 2017 @ 3:57pm CST
Qwan wrote:And the episodes still aren't up in any official capacity for the rest of us non-USians to watch, as far as I'm aware. Machinima, mates, if you're gonna make an exclusivity deal with a service that only works in the US, maybe you should also find a way for the entire rest of the world to watch it too without resorting to piracy. Come on now. :roll:

It's not piracy if it's on YouTube. :wink:

Besides, you're Australian, we're the biggest digital pirates in the world. :lol:
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921849)
Posted by Qwan on November 15th, 2017 @ 4:21pm CST
Burn wrote:
Qwan wrote:And the episodes still aren't up in any official capacity for the rest of us non-USians to watch, as far as I'm aware. Machinima, mates, if you're gonna make an exclusivity deal with a service that only works in the US, maybe you should also find a way for the entire rest of the world to watch it too without resorting to piracy. Come on now. :roll:

It's not piracy if it's on YouTube. :wink:

Besides, you're Australian, we're the biggest digital pirates in the world. :lol:

Oh believe me, if it wasn't technically against the forum rules, I could go on for hours listing all the shows I totally should've paid for and maybe didn't actually do so. I'm quite a firm believer that a series should earn my money before it receives it :-P

But suffice to say, I had been waiting for them to go up officially on Machinima's Youtube or something, but given the situation at this point I will be watching the first two episodes of Titans Return this afternoon. Draw your conclusions.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921855)
Posted by Kroenen on November 15th, 2017 @ 4:51pm CST
Carnivius_Prime wrote:
Kroenen wrote:Really says a lot when even the voice of Optimus is telling you that the aggression needs to be toned down.



Not really what he said.


Maybe not directly, but you can tell he doesn't like playing hyper-aggressive with Optimus. I think he's even mentioned this in other interviews. Saying stuff like "I'll kill you" is clearly betraying who Peter believes Optimus should be.

That's not to say Bayverse Prime is bad or anything (or that Peter's view is the only valid one), just that he clearly isn't comfortable with the direction it's taken.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921856)
Posted by Burn on November 15th, 2017 @ 4:58pm CST
Qwan wrote:Oh believe me, if it wasn't technically against the forum rules, I could go on for hours listing all the shows I totally should've paid for and maybe didn't actually do so. I'm quite a firm believer that a series should earn my money before it receives it :-P

As long as you don't provide links to downloads of stuff that's available commercially, it's all good.

And you're more than welcome to discuss whatever you watch, that's what General Discussion is for ... people really should take a look at it, it has lots of cool stuff!
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921859)
Posted by Bronzewolf on November 15th, 2017 @ 5:14pm CST
The first two episodes of the Machinima Titans Return series premiered yesterday, picking up where the previous Combiner Wars series left off. We've already broken down Episode 1, and it, surprisingly, was not bad. So now it is time to turn the spotlight to Episode 2, "Our Heroes Respond". Let's just jump right in to it, shall we?

After being welcomed again by the overly-fancy title sequence, we find Windblade where we left her last episode, meditating with the newly reawakened Metroplex.

Meditating with Metroplex, coincidentally, is my favorite holistic workout tape

During the mind-meld session, we get the lore of this version of Cybertron built out for us in the form of Metroplex telling Windblade his story and the purpose of the Titans overall. We actually learn quite a bit of useful backstory here, and I think it was executed very well. Not overly exposition-filled, and it succeeded in fleshing out the world quite a bit.

Narrationformers! Exposition in Disguise!

They both finally realize Trypticon has also risen, and Metroplex volunteers himself to go and defend Cybertron again after all those years. Windblade is opposed to this, as Metroplex is in no state to go and do battle with another Titan (even though we haven't seen, and won't see, these supposed injuries she mentions).

Scrud? Is...is that what she said? Does...does she mean Scrap? I've got nothing.

In trying to find another solution, she again goes to see Perceptor in his lab, who's currently studying some of the samples he's collected from Starscream's corpse. She discusses with him Trypticon returning, and the best course of action to stop him from continuing to tear the city apart. My biggest issue with this scene is just some of the animation feels really clunky. Like Windblade looking around Perceptor's lab looks like a video game cut scene. It just kind of pulls you out of the narrative.

They decide to take their case to the Mistress of Flame who, in turn, sends the "Eilte Air Resistance Squadron" to hold Trypticon off. These, we find out, are the seekers. The pretty much instantly die, which is unfortunate, as it would have been interesting to see them cope with Starscream going AWOL. There was also a chance to have an interesting subplot about how Starscream doesn't really want to kill his former comrades, but whatever piece of Trypticon is still within the shell of the giant titan takes him over and makes him do it. I consider that a missed opportunity.

While this is all happening, the Mistress of Flame discovers that Hot Rod has given up the Matrix when they needed it most, and for the first time so far in the series, we can hear Judd Nelson.

Heyyy, that's better!

It's nice to hear the original voice of Roddy return, and I think, while Judd Nelson is obviously older than he was when he originally did the voice for Hot Rod, it still feels the same. He does a great job.

Hot Rod says he'll come and help fight off Trypticon, just as Metroplex starts to move toward the oncoming Kaiju. We do get some nice action scenes here (None with Metroplex and Trypticon yet), and it's pretty much the best part of the episode. Perceptor makes a hint that he will go find Fortress Maximus to help in the battle, which again feels like they're dumping all their material in the first episodes, but we'll see. With a threat like they've never seen before just on the Horizon, Episode 2 ends.

Overall, I think the biggest issue was timing/pacing. There were lines here and there that waited a couple beats too long to be delivered, didn't have the right emotion or movement tied to them, and so on. It's a good episode, certainly better than a lot in Combiner Wars, but it feels underwhelming. It's not good enough to walk away with a sense of "Oh, that was amazing!" and it's not bad enough to be entertainingly so. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather it be the good than bad, but it felt like it just needed to move along a bit quicker. Anyway, that's my take on the (so far) enjoyable first two episodes of the Machinima Titans Return series. I'll be here with another review next Tuesday, when Episode three premiers over on Go90. Thanks for joining me, and thanks for reading Seibertron.com! See you next week!
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921863)
Posted by Deadput on November 15th, 2017 @ 6:14pm CST
Lol at the Seekers, did they at least get any lines?

This is better then CW but in the same way it's better to stub your toe then to lose your whole foot, you literately see and hear how much little effort was put in by Hasbro if they funded the show at all, I bet this series only exists in a failed attempt to keep the fan boys satisfied about making the best Adult Transformers show for them.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921867)
Posted by MagicDeath on November 15th, 2017 @ 6:58pm CST
Deadput wrote:it's better to stub your toe then to lose your whole foot.

I try not to point out grammar mistakes online, but this is just hilarious when taken literally and out of context.

Also, what do you think about the characterization of combiners across the whole franchise? Except for the toy bios, I feel that characters like the Stunticons and Aerialbots have kind of just been collective entities.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921871)
Posted by Whifflefire on November 15th, 2017 @ 8:13pm CST
Okay, got around to watching the episodes.
I was pleasantly surprised that the constructicons and Stormclash made individual appearances, as it means that the combiners are still able to become individuals, though other than Long Haul's "Hey!" I wouldn't bet on any more of them speaking.
It was a little jarring at first hearing Perceptor speak without a British accent, but he turned out to otherwise be the most faithful to his original counterpart. The visible legs on the back of his head lead me to believe we'll see some characters become headmasters. Or Perceptor is just a closet headmaster.
Starscream's scenes were almost entertaining, and while it's neat that they're revisiting Starscream's ghost, I doubt they'll discuss a mutant, immortal spark, nor whoever/whatever was controlling his spiritual journey to Trypticon. I'd bet it will probably be Scorponok.
While I never minded the animation, the voice direction is severely underperforming. Characters do take too long to respond and react to almost anything. Mistress of Flame in particular. I was relieved to find that the Rodimus/Primes scene was not just a problem with my computer's audio. I like Nelson's Hot Rod voice, and though his reasons for declining the Matrix seemed forced, I look forward to more of him.
All in all, not the best start, but I suppose not the worst either. As long as the character dynamics become more cohesive, and the action remains good and fitting with the story, it will be worth it.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921873)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 15th, 2017 @ 8:20pm CST
Did everybody here just forget that Scrapper, Scavenger, and Long Haul all appeared individually before back in Megatron's debut episode in Combiner Wars? Their reappearance here in episode 1 of Titans Return isn't some revolutionary thing. It's just Machinima recycling the same three Constructicon character models that they had already used before.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921876)
Posted by Whifflefire on November 15th, 2017 @ 8:45pm CST
Sabrblade wrote:Did everybody here just forget that Scrapper, Scavenger, and Long Haul all appeared individually before back in Megatron's debut episode in Combiner Wars? Their reappearance here in episode 1 of Titans Return isn't some revolutionary thing. It's just Machinima recycling the same three Constructicon character models that they had already used before.


True, but CW left it ambiguous if, once combined, the components retained individuality or became bonded permanently. The constructicons' reappearance proves that the individual 'bots are still there (though we'll probably never see them).
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921881)
Posted by Deadput on November 15th, 2017 @ 9:00pm CST
MagicDeath wrote:
Deadput wrote:it's better to stub your toe then to lose your whole foot.

I try not to point out grammar mistakes online, but this is just hilarious when taken literally and out of context.

Also, what do you think about the characterization of combiners across the whole franchise? Except for the toy bios, I feel that characters like the Stunticons and Aerialbots have kind of just been collective entities.


Yeah combiners as a whole don't get much characterization, I don't mind for the actual combined forms themselves since I view them more as living weapons then their own individuals although I personally like how some Combiners have different problems compared to others such as Menasor being a complete monster while Computron just takes a long time because he is too smart.

For component most of them suffer from a lack of character hell sometimes some random component gets more character then the leader of the team (First Aid to Hot Spot) (Breakdown to Motormaster) etc.

Still doesn't change my opinion on how much Combiners just..suck in this series and it's kinda ironic that they are getting more "development" in Titans Return then in their own show.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921930)
Posted by Tyrannacon on November 16th, 2017 @ 9:05am CST
I actually like this a lot more than the Combiner Wars series done, there's still some things I am kind of "meh" about that CW did though that have repercussions here; however, I do consider the run-time being 10 minutes instead of 5 minutes or so to be helping the Titans Return series most. So far it's decent and not completely terrible. I hope it stays good and takes the lessons learned from the CW series to heart still to continue to improve itself. So far it looks like it has in a lot of ways.
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921931)
Posted by o.supreme on November 16th, 2017 @ 9:09am CST
Sabrblade wrote:Did everybody here just forget that Scrapper, Scavenger, and Long Haul all appeared individually before back in Megatron's debut episode in Combiner Wars? Their reappearance here in episode 1 of Titans Return isn't some revolutionary thing. It's just Machinima recycling the same three Constructicon character models that they had already used before.


True, but they had no dialogue, only communicating with Star wars droid like beeps, so I figured they were little more than mindless drones. Hearing Long Haul actually have a line of dialogue was...something. ;)
Re: Fan Interview with Peter Cullen, Voice of Optimus Prime in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1921933)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on November 16th, 2017 @ 9:19am CST
I actually liked the first 2 episodes. Better than CW, still not amazing, but I did enjoy them
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