Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Overview: Transformers Prime

Transformers Prime. The new animated Computer Generated series based on Hasbro's infamous toy franchise. If there's one thing to be said about this series, I never expected it to be THAT GOOD, and the plot consistency of each episode coupled with so much kick ass action deserves the praise and love it gets from its viewers. The show, produced by Transformers movie writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, obviously takes a cue from the movie franchise with its dark look and alien robot tone, but it also draws inspiration from several other TF shows, namely Transformers Animated and Beast Wars, with this new toon also bearing similarities to latter, which was also a dark themed CG animated series that took some time for me to get used to. I'll admit, I grew up with the tried and true "Generation 1" era of Transformers, and nothing has stood the test of time or surpassed the fandom that series has amassed to this day. However, there have been several exceptions with the other TF related shows over the years, and I'd like to include this one on that list.

Transformers Prime Launch Trailer

So what's great about the new show? Plenty I must say. Five episodes have aired since its November 29th premiere, and it can be called one heck of a season premiere at that. The story is not so much a part of the movie continuity, but it takes heavy inspiration from that timeline, so you can call this show a "spiritual successor" of sorts. The Autobots remain the minority and continue to safeguard humanity from the evil Decepticons, who are bent on conquering the everything to achieve total domination in the universe. Old favorites return of course, andOptimus Prime and Bumblebee in particular look like their movie counterparts, so as not to alienate the new kids who appreciate the film franchise. Also, legendary Prime voice actor Peter Cullen returns to the role that defined his career, so that's gotta give plus points to this show that old school TF fans like myself will enjoy watching once we hear that familiar heroic voice boom in our TV sets. To add icing in the cake, another familiar name returns as well - namely Frank Welker, who once again assumes the role of Optimus' greatest nemesis, Megatron! That's two voice acting legends back in the Transformers universe, so how can you not be curious about Transformers Prime?

There's a lot of familiar names in Prime to get the fans excited for this show. Arcee and Ratchet from the old guard return with new personalities that will definitely intrigue viewers. Anyone who enjoyed Animated will be glad to see that Bulkhead made the cut too. Fortunately, he's not as dumb as he was in that show, so rest easy with the major comedy relief thoughts. Humor is still in this show, but there's a huge layer of dark storytelling present as well, and the Decepticons are not adversaries to be taken lightly. Heck, this may be a SPOILER to some, but Cliffjumper, one of the most recognizable names in Transformers history, is killed off early on in the first episode, and he was voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson no less! The 'cons don't mess around, and Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and the gang have as much dark intentions as they have superior numbers to overwhelm the Autobots in a bot fight. Fortunately, our heroes don't go down that easy, and they have new human allies to count on as well. While I don't really care for the latter group, they do ground the storytelling and make the Autobots more involved with earthly affairs.

Since five episodes just premiered, it's too early to tell how they fair in the grand scheme of things. Right now, one thing is certain - Transformers Prime has impressed me so far, and I can't wait to see the rest of the show in its 26 episode season run!

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