The Transformers Original G1 Cartoon Turns 35
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 1:35AM CDTCategory: Cartoon News
Posted by: Stargrave Views: 16,053
35 years ago today the original 1984 The Transformers cartoon debuted. For many fans of the Transformers their love is rooted in the original series. For all its charming and at times humorous animation flaws, it brought the Transformers into the homes of children all over the world whether they had the toys or not.
It was the voice of Peter Cullen that breathed more life into the character of Optimus Prime than any depiction in the comic books or other media. So too for Frank Welker's sinister gravelly depiction of the emperor of destruction himself, the original Megatron. Welker also provided one of the most recognizable voices in all of Transformers history providing the dialogue for the monotone master of sonics Soundwave. Peter Cullen also pulled the iconic Southern drawl of Ironhide out of his voice actor's tool box making it a staple of the character. The legendary Chris Latta who lent his utterly unique shrill scream not just to Cobra Commander, but the Decepticon lord of the skies Starscream. He also voiced Wheeljack and even Sparkplug, but it was his voice that drove home Starscream's slippery character more than any line of dialogue written for him, and that essence has carried on throughout all of Starscream's incarnations.
These voices very much made the characters, and have resonated through all the generations to the point where the fan cry out for Welker and Cullen to be in the live action movies was so great even the steely Michael Bay crumbled and cast them. Maybe not initially for Megatron but hey, nobody's perfect. Even when we read these characters, it is often we hear these voices, or other actors emulating these originals, in our heads.
It was through the original cartoon that life was also breathed into the toy line. Although the comics were always there, and of course the fan bible the original tech specs would be rubber banded together and safely kept in a drawer for hardcore fans to reference, the original cartoon depicted the characters in motion and action, able to interact and battle their foes in ways that the toys made more challenging with their highly limited articulation.
35 long, and yet so very short years have passed since the original cartoon aired. It spawned multiple other cartoon series, to where we now all expect and wonder as fans when and what the next Transformers cartoon will be, will it have Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, who will they include, who will voice whom, and so on. Cartoons and comic books and Transformers have always been the undefeatable unavoidable undeniable trifecta of fun for fans of these noble and nefarious robots in disguise. And as Transformers Cyberverse enters its second season, and with a new Transformers War for Cybertron Siege series on the way, it seems the animated future of the Transformers is looking brighter than ever.
Share your favorite Transformers cartoon memories in the forum, and not just G1 you Seibertronians! All cartoon series from all years, share your memories and what makes Transformers cartoons special for you. Make sure to stay tuned to Seibertron for the ultimate in Transformers news!
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Posted by Decepticon Stryker on September 18th, 2019 @ 2:05am CDT
Posted by Stargrave on September 18th, 2019 @ 2:24am CDT
Decepticon Stryker wrote:Y'know what I'd like to see? The first three episodes redone by various animators. A Reanimated collab. would be very interesting to see.
That totally reminds me of the Animatrix. I'd love to see the first three episodes done that way or like a whole season of spotlights done by different animators. Give me both ok just give me both now I need both those things.
Posted by Bumblevivisector on September 18th, 2019 @ 2:52am CDT
The cartoon was the most accessible, yet most elusive of the three. I could hold onto the toys and comics, but not having cable or enough tapes to record every single ep, I couldn't access much beyond season 1 for two decades. That's why it faded in importance for me during that stretch, Furman's U.S. run being a far more potent promise that TF might stand the test of time and regain its former glory if it could just keep adapting. But with no internet back then, for all I knew there'd been a full season 4, and maybe even some equivalent of the DIC seasons of Joe that my local stations just weren't airing. Even the G2 CSC-repackaging didn't clear this up, but did allow me to see a handful of especially lousy eps from early-to-mid S2 that I'd been fortunate to miss in my childhood. But that's also how I first saw Ghost in the Machine as well, reminding me that I always did prefer the post-Movie eps, which made it that much more awesome when I went to TransCon 2 in '97 and learned that Japan had indeed continued their version of the 'toon further and further into the future like TF always deserved, an international torch-pass that I don't believe any other '80s cartoon achieved.
I think I've watched the whole series twice, and appreciate it more and more now that I've seen Sunbow Joe, Inhumanoids, and Jem all the way through and understand just what an awesome universe the show's creators fleshed out. This summer, I learned that my trio of 3rd cousins in far-off Illinois are somehow really interested in Transformers despite not having cable or internet, having only seen the Bumblebee movie, and apparently only handled my PotP Battletrap and the Crash Combiner I gave the boy this year. Kind of like the knowledge of TF I had prior to seeing the 'toon, though the movies have made it more omnipresent today. So next year, I think I'll just leave my Shout! Matrix box at my Aunt's so they can see it all too. Though not permanently, of course.
I'll get 'em into the comics once the youngest can read.
Oh hell, even I keep calling Siege Jetfire Skyfire, no matter how much I prefer Marvel continuity or how much of a literal tool he became after switching sides. (RIR FIB though; I trust the Japanese dub)
Posted by BW Megatron on September 18th, 2019 @ 9:09am CDT
Posted by o.supreme on September 18th, 2019 @ 10:15am CDT
Posted by Stargrave on September 18th, 2019 @ 10:38am CDT
Any extra bits or scenes to see odd random characters teaching you how to survive basic situations I just ate it up.
Posted by Stargrave on September 18th, 2019 @ 10:44am CDT
Posted by KTRfan224 on September 18th, 2019 @ 10:54am CDT
Posted by Rodimus Knight on September 18th, 2019 @ 12:03pm CDT
Posted by Dominus Prime on September 18th, 2019 @ 1:08pm CDT
Posted by bluecatcinema on September 18th, 2019 @ 1:55pm CDT
My absolute favorite episode of G1 was "Call of the Primitives". The story, the animation, and the characters were all top-notch. And Grimlock saving the day didn't hurt.
Posted by Dominus Prime on September 18th, 2019 @ 4:14pm CDT
Posted by shocksound96 on September 18th, 2019 @ 6:12pm CDT
Posted by skywarp408 on September 18th, 2019 @ 9:13pm CDT
Congratulations to the greatest cartoon of all time! I was 8 years old when it debuted and saw the 1986 movie in the theater last year.
I remember paying a ton of money for the whole series on vhs(bootleg of course)before they went on to dvd a couple years later.
Transformers will always be a part of me...
Posted by Bumblevivisector on September 18th, 2019 @ 9:24pm CDT
I'll third that, not only for the animation, but the story which injected a little more mystery into the mythos, implying that the Quintessons weren't the entire origin. Some Matrices are best left mysteries.Dominus Prime wrote:I agree with you on that one. Definitely one of my faves and best animation of any if the episodes. They had to have paid extra for that one
But as to who they paid extra, has any official word ever cleared up which studio it was? I've read theories ranging from Studio Ox to TV Tokyo, but lately I've wondered if it was Pacific Animation Corp. or some entity connected to them. My reasoning being that in all the close-ups of Primacron's hands operating his console, they look like tweaked models from Thundercats: based on Monkian's hands wearing Jaga's gauntlets if I had to guess.
But perhaps that shall also be an eternal mystery, enhancing the legend.
Posted by Sebstreak on September 19th, 2019 @ 8:34pm CDT
Posted by o.supreme on September 20th, 2019 @ 5:24pm CDT
I'd love nothing better for Hasbro to work together again with Toei and get as close to as possible a look form the 1984-87 show (I know 100% is not possible now with all animation being rendered digitally but...), get as many of the still living actors together (with respectable replacements for others), and do a miniseries, or movie that either fills in the gaps between 1985-2005, or continues the story after *The Rebirth*. It's been my dream for a long time, and for many original series enthusiasts. But sadly doubtful.
I've come to accept the Japanese Series Headmasters-Victory as my true seasons 4-6, and disregard The Rebith as just a little odd side adventure.
Posted by Dominus Prime on September 20th, 2019 @ 7:19pm CDT
Posted by RK_Striker_JK_5 on September 25th, 2019 @ 4:08pm CDT