LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return

Transformers News: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 6:26PM CST

Categories: Cartoon News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Qwan   Views: 14,906

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Not too long after the last interview with Peter Cullen about his role as Optimus Prime in Machinima's Titans Return animated series, we have another one with the great man, coming from the LA Times! The questions cover how he first landed the role back in the days of Generation One; the changes to the voice-acting process over time since he started his career; his bond with frequent (though not present in Machinima's series) voice of Megatron, Frank Welker; and even more!

The article doesn't touch too much on Machinima's series specifically, but it nonetheless contains a fair few interesting tidbits about Cullen's role, and his feelings on the current acting environment in animation. Check out a couple excerpts below, and of course read the full interview here! And as always, stick around Seibertron.com for more news and coverage of Machinima's series (like our review of the recently-released third episode) as it happens!

Did you ever think you'd see the Transformers characters as characters in a live-action/CGI movie?
No. Not really — especially after the 1986 [animated] movie because I was killed off. Frankly I didn't pay much attention to the show after that. I may have checked out a few [episodes] while I was doing it, but I had a family of my own. And my kids — my son — was not interested in cartoons and animation. He was a motocross and jet ski guy. He was not a sit-at-home-and-watch-TV kid. So I didn't get any feedback for years!

Your animation nemesis — voice actor Frank Welker — isn't in this latest Transformers iteration, but playing against his Megatron for so many years must have created a special bond.
A great bond. There's something about voiceover actors ... they're really underestimated and taken for granted. When I'm in a room with these talented guys ... they're really talented people and humble people. They're just marvelous people. Judd Nelson, who did Rodimus Prime or Hotrod in the newest series, what a great guy. Sensational human being and great talent. A great intellectual approach to a lot of his characters. And Frank — that's a bond that has lasted decades. It's such a privilege to be in a room with those people.

A lot of voiceover now is done, as you said, on a microphone in someone's home nowadays. Most would imagine that performing in-studio with other actors adds a different tone as opposed to being strictly digital.
The way I would express it would be like if you played on a football team and you weren't in the main locker room getting ready for a game around all the other players. You were just put in a room with your uniform and told to meet up on the field. You're missing 98% of the whole thing. You're missing the team, the camaraderie , the energy, the spirits, the willingness to combine efforts together and produce something good. When you're with a full group, you're inspired. And not only that, but the amount of laughter that ensued was just — you can't describe it. If it was school, we'd all be staying in detention.

Because it is so recognizable, have you ever thought of your voice as a liability in terms of getting other roles?
No. I never use Optimus Prime's voice for anything else. I studied voice, so I know I can get down and [lowers his voice] add the timber. It's just something I was capable of doing and I've never looked back.The voice is an instrument like any other. It's just about how you play it.

Transformers News: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return
Credit(s): LA Times
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Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923059)
Posted by o.supreme on November 21st, 2017 @ 7:03pm CST
so, my son wanted to get caught up so I gave episode 3 a second viewing this afternoon. There was one part I'll admit that intrigued me a bit.

When Op and Megs are conversing and the Requiem Blaster is referenced along with the Enigma of Combination, as powerful ancient relics,...I wonder what this is in reference to? Has the Requiem Blaster ever been mentioned outside of Armada?...maybe it will be a super weapon in PotP?

Also I know this is in some *alternate* OG continuity...but I cant think of any continuity off the top of my head that this would be remotely based on whereby, after Optimus Prime is Resurrected, that Megatron, Starscream, and the original seekers would still be around in the distant future...But I guess that's a good thing. Distancing this from the actual original series as much as possible.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923068)
Posted by Sunstar on November 21st, 2017 @ 8:20pm CST
Does anyone know how a canadian can view these series? Or where i can find them...
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923079)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 21st, 2017 @ 9:16pm CST
o.supreme wrote:so, my son wanted to get caught up so I gave episode 3 a second viewing this afternoon. There was one part I'll admit that intrigued me a bit.

When Op and Megs are conversing and the Requiem Blaster is referenced along with the Enigma of Combination, as powerful ancient relics,...I wonder what this is in reference to? Has the Requiem Blaster ever been mentioned outside of Armada?
Yes. The Aligned continuity reimagined a terrible weapon of devastating potential called the Requiem Blaster as the personal weapon of Megatronus. The novel trilogy and the Covenant of Primus went into more about it.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923086)
Posted by King Kuuga on November 21st, 2017 @ 9:59pm CST
The official Transformers Facebook page lists https://transformersprimewars.tumblr.com/ as the official host of the series for non-US viewers.
https://www.facebook.com/transformers/v ... 319446655/
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923132)
Posted by Big Grim on November 22nd, 2017 @ 4:25am CST
Tried to give this a shot on their tumblr. It kept reloading itself, so screw it. I care not.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923143)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 22nd, 2017 @ 7:35am CST
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923285)
Posted by King Kuuga on November 23rd, 2017 @ 3:38am CST
The amount of posts I'm seeing on the Facebook ads asking where to watch the show, when said ads have links to both go90 and the Tumblr in them, is kind of timing my faith in the human race.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923289)
Posted by Burn on November 23rd, 2017 @ 4:51am CST
King Kuuga wrote:The amount of posts I'm seeing on the Facebook ads asking where to watch the show, when said ads have links to both go90 and the Tumblr in them, is kind of timing my faith in the human race.

Actually they're legitimate questions. go90 isn't available to anyone outside of the US (unless they're using a VPN) and the Tumblr has no controls other than Pause/Play. You can't go full screen or anything. (At least that's how it is in my browser)
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923321)
Posted by Sunstar on November 23rd, 2017 @ 10:33am CST
when the mistress said she was going to the chamber, I thought "thoughts and prayers" And she was the one who had the gall to consider Perceptor ineffectual because "he's not a warrior". I would consider Perceptor more effective than the mistress - or anyone who locks themselves up in a chamber to pray.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923364)
Posted by King Kuuga on November 23rd, 2017 @ 4:33pm CST
Burn wrote:Actually they're legitimate questions. go90 isn't available to anyone outside of the US (unless they're using a VPN) and the Tumblr has no controls other than Pause/Play. You can't go full screen or anything. (At least that's how it is in my browser)

What I'm seeing are people who see the video ads, go "okay this looks neat", and go to the comments to ask where they can watch it.... even though it says right there in the post where they can watch it. Neither service is ideal but the information is right there.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923374)
Posted by Burn on November 23rd, 2017 @ 5:20pm CST
King Kuuga wrote:
Burn wrote:Actually they're legitimate questions. go90 isn't available to anyone outside of the US (unless they're using a VPN) and the Tumblr has no controls other than Pause/Play. You can't go full screen or anything. (At least that's how it is in my browser)

What I'm seeing are people who see the video ads, go "okay this looks neat", and go to the comments to ask where they can watch it.... even though it says right there in the post where they can watch it. Neither service is ideal but the information is right there.

If it's Facebook, some people need to be replied directly to. They're incapable of reading other comments.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923407)
Posted by King Kuuga on November 23rd, 2017 @ 7:45pm CST
See, I kinda get not reading the other comments, especially with FB not showing everything all the time. But not reading the original post which contains the video and promo blurb about where and how to watch....
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923928)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 27th, 2017 @ 11:50pm CST
Episode 4 - https://www.go90.com/videos/4H177OeLiXt

Somehow, Overlord sounds really goofy and yet delightfully so at the same time.

Whereas Emissary ends up sounding like a dime store version of Will Friedle.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923951)
Posted by o.supreme on November 28th, 2017 @ 9:31am CST
Well I watched it last night. I guess we can put that Overlord rumor to rest. I give the series makers 1/2 gold star for not revealing all the surprises before the series premiere. I wonder if there are any more to come...? However, the information was leaked on Wikipedia before the series came out (we can say that with confidence now that it was not fans making false entries...) I just wonder where said info came from...?

Wow...Misrtress of Flame can fight?!? It was an Attack of the Clones Yoda moment heh...Too bad she went up against a bot that evidently can really take a beating without flinching.

While this Overlord is closer to IDW than Masterforce #NOTMYOVERLORD, it was still interesting to see. I guess all we can hope for is to see at some point a throw down between Megatron and Overlord. :PRAY:

I guess the missile being "our salvation or our ULTIMATE DOOm" was pretty much...all for nothing :lol: Still it was cool to see the titans finally use some weapons. Starscream is in control, and he knows it, and is happy about that. Metroplex is Cyclops from X-Men evidently.

I'll have to go back and watch the beginning. I saw all the prime symbols in the chamber, but Mistress dialogue was hard to hear over my sons constant rambling (he was excited heh...) But I thought I heard her mentioned Sentinel Prime (?) He's not one of the 13, also being an overall baddy, I'm thinking praying to him wouldn't be such a good thing.

Finally
Sabrblade wrote:Whereas Emissary ends up sounding like a dime store version of Will Friedle.


I knew it was supposed to be Jason David Frank, but my son said the exact same thing (well he said, why does Emissary sound like Bumblebee)...but you get my meaning. Pretty good catch for an 11 year old.

No Windblade in this episode, and some decent Combiner dialogue, plus everything I previously mentioned makes this episode probably the highlight of the series so far. Am I ready to say it's *good* yet...no but at least it's trending in the right direction.

R.I.P. Staff Doinks
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923964)
Posted by Madeus Prime on November 28th, 2017 @ 11:46am CST
Well, at least they did Overlord a good turn. Not perfect, but close enough to make me want to actually finish the series now. At least they nailed the OP-ness of Overlord.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923989)
Posted by Bronzewolf on November 28th, 2017 @ 3:58pm CST
WOAHHH WE'RE HALF WAY THERE, WOAH-OH! LIVIN' ON A PRAYER.

That's right! Somehow we're almost half way through the second Machinima Transformers series, Titans Return. The episode brings new threats, the loss of old freinds, and the appearance of some new ones. So, heat up some Turkey Day leftovers, and let's dive into the fourth episode of Transformers Titans Return!

We open with the Mistress of Flame in her Prayer chamber, where she prays to the original 13 Primes. This scene, again, is sort of teasing the next animated series, Power of the Primes, with the name dropping of the Primes and the use of their symbols on the floor. I'd prefer this method of tying the shows together over throwing it in at the last second like the previous series did with the Titans.

Her meditation is interrupted by who she thinks is Megatron, but is really Overlord, a new addition to the series. It is then we are introduced to one of the biggest issues with this episode...


...SPLIT FRAMES!!!

They're so bizarre and out of place, and haven't been used at all in this show (or the previous show, if memory serves), but are suddenly in every other shot. They're not very well framed, either, with the direction of each section being really confusing and not focused on a specific thing. They're quite distracting and I hope this isn't a running change.

Anyway, back to the plot. Overlord arrives, bringing his extremely goofy voice with him. It's this weird sort of Colonel Sanders/New Orleans accent mix that is just so ridiculous for this character it almost kind of works.


He sounds like he's about to play some ragtime in the steamship down by the Bayou,
or offer the Mistress a 5 dollar Fill-Up


The Mistress tells this new threat he's not supposed to be in the sacred chamber, and then just gets punted across the room. She retrieves her hammer and just starts wailing on him to no avail. It is by far the funniest moment of the series so far, and, matching Overlord's character overall, is just ridiculous and incredible at the same time.


This is the equivalent of that old Cartoon cliche where the bigger character yawns while holding the smaller character back with a hand on their forehead

She finally gets one good hit in, but then returns to the inconsequential wailing. She calls in some security drones, but their shots do nothing. I understand what kind of fight scene they were going for here, sort of a Star Wars-like "Bad-ass new villain character comes in and just dominates other character who makes their final stand against him" scene, but it just doesn't work. Whether that's because I'm unable to take it seriously, or some of the direction, lines of dialogue, and movements are just a beat or two off, I don't know. I think it would have been a more emotional scene had we actually seen the Mistress getting injured. Every time she gets tossed around, she just gets back up, looking good as new. Some damage here or there, some energon dripping our of her mouth, anything like that would have gotten the emotion and tone I think they were trying to convey across.

Overlord tosses the Mistress into the light of the Prayer Chamber, which electrocutes her, and she eventually dies, in a pool of Energon, on the floor.


Ooh, she's smokin' and crispy, just like my Nashville Hot chicken tenders, with 11 herbs and spices!

While this is all going on, it's revealed that the missile launched by Fort Max actually has Emissary inside of it. He jumps off the rocket and takes control of Metroplex, telling the titan he's here to help. Metroplex says he's too late to aid in the battle, but Emissary insists, giving him LASER EYES. No, seriously


All I want is Metroplex with frickin' LASERS coming out of his eyes.

While the battle rages on anew, the combiners are still working to fix up Fort Max. Computron discovers that, while all his weapon systems are functioning, his Transformation cog is destroyed. Victorion decides to fire all weapons systems at Trypticon, even though they have the potential to hurt or kill Metroplex in the process. While the lasers are sill soaring through the air, the episode ends.

This episode was...interesting to say the least. I'd be inclined to call it the worst episode so far, but I honestly don't think it is. I mean, sure, it's goofy and ridiculous, but it at least feels like there's something actually happening. That's a quality that past episodes have been lacking, and I've mentioned that all through-out the reviews. When looking at the episode as a whole, the pacing is by far the best of the series. Everything chugs along, with a satisfying amount of action, conflict, and story. New characters are making their way into the story which is a nice change, as well. Very little felt awkward or unnatural. The split screens were annoying, yes, but they're tolerable. It will be interesting to see where the plot goes from here.

...and that's episode four! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, and I'll see you in December following the release of episode 5! Thanks for reading!
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923991)
Posted by o.supreme on November 28th, 2017 @ 4:07pm CST
Bronzewolf wrote:That's right! Somehow we're already half way through the second Machinima Transformers series,


Hate to burst your bubble there Bronzewolf, but there are 10 episodes to this series, your pain is going to have to endure a little longer, were not quite half way there yet.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923992)
Posted by westjames/notirish. on November 28th, 2017 @ 4:21pm CST
There are 11 episodes... 4 is not the halfway point, 5 is.
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923994)
Posted by Bronzewolf on November 28th, 2017 @ 4:28pm CST
o.supreme wrote:
Bronzewolf wrote:That's right! Somehow we're already half way through the second Machinima Transformers series,


Hate to burst your bubble there Bronzewolf, but there are 10 episodes to this series, your pain is going to have to endure a little longer, were not quite half way there yet.


westjames/notirish. wrote:There are 11 episodes... 4 is not the halfway point, 5 is.


...what?!


Post edited accordingly. Thanks guys. ;)
Re: LA Times Interviews Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime, His Role in Machinima Transformers: Titans Return (1923999)
Posted by MrBlack on November 28th, 2017 @ 4:49pm CST
That episode was...pretty weird.

[spoiler]Overlord just shows up out of nowhere and casually murders the Mistress of Flame in an action sequence straight out of Dragon Ball Z. Why? Who knows!

We get more Titan fighting, which was fine. I can even buy the laser eyes given that Titan Masters are supposed to provide power ups to their hosts. What I don't get is why Victorion unilaterally decided to potentially destroy Metroplex along with Trypticon. We already know that the combiners are out of communication with anyone else. Why was Victorion so sure that Metroplex was losing the fight if she isn't receiving any updates on it? And why is MENASOR of all bots the voice of reason?[/spoiler]
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