November 29, 2010

Transformers Prime

Cartoons are just great, aren’t they? Esspecially right now when there are so many cool new ones. I want to talk about that in more detail later, but right now I’m going to share my thoughts on the newest Transformers series, Transformers Prime. And since I’ve updated around here, I can now add pictures to this blog a lot more easily, so this will be a lot more exciting to look at than just another wall of cyan text.

This new show is airing in the US on a new network called “The Hub“, which Hasbro has a big stake in. Of course, that puts me and other International fans at a slight disadvantage when it comes to watching this stuff, but only a slight one. I’m not sure when the show will air in Canada but that doesn’t really matter as I have now acquired and seen the 2 episodes that have aired in the States.

So far, so good.

Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprise their classic roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron. Optimus sounds and acts much like one would expect, which is great but slightly predictable. Megaton, on the other hand, is a little different. It’s still sounds like Welker, but he’s not the same raspy voiced idiot from the original Transformers, he’s a colder, more understated character. I like it. Also of note is Steve Blum‘s Starscream, which is also a lower sounding, darker portrayal of that character, and the great Jeffery Combs as Ratchet, who is quite a cranky doctor.

Although it’s not a sequel to any other Transformers show, it’s good to see Bulkhead back from Transformers Animated. I hope to see other characters from other versions of the franchise appear, not just the same old batch of G1 mainstays.

Cliffjumper is totally The Rock. Seriously. He’s not around for very long but it was crazy hearing The Rock’s voice coming out of a Transformers character, if you smell what I’m cooking.

When the show begins, the Transformers are already active on Earth and have been their for quite some time. I think this is a great idea as it adds potential for both exploration into the future and the past of this story down the road without bogging down the beginning moments with the same dry sequence of showing them wind up on Earth and choosing their alt-modes that several other Transformers series have started off with.

 The animation isn’t mind blowing for a CG show but it’s good enough. My copies of these episodes are not great so I can’t judge too much. Some of the artistic choices in the show are a bit… unique, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. The look of the robots is sort of a combination between Animated and the movies. I know any time any new show comes out there are people who appear out of no wear just to say “I don’t like the designs!” without really knowing what they are talking about , but those people are lame.

It’s a really serious show thus far. I wonder how it will develop.  The visuals are dark, the music has got a kind of foreboding atmosphere, and the plot seems to be going in a surprising direction. Will it always be this grim?

What really struck me most about the show is that, in my opinion, the best character thus far is definitely Arcee. I’m very surprised about that, but it’s welcomed all the same. She is a cool, blue, tough biker chick in this version, and she gets more attention in these first 2 episodes than even Bumblebee. She’s also the one who hangs out with the lead human character so I’m assuming the spotlight will be on her quite a bit.  That’s perfectly fine by me, and I think it’s interesting that a girl character gets put into such a prominent spot in what is typically perceived as a “boy’s” franchise. Times are changing for the better.

Anyway, when it comes to this stuff, I’m pretty easy to please most of the time. I have enjoyed and will even stick up for Transformers series that many loud (and obnoxious) members of the fandom absolutely hate. But it’s still good to be able to say that I like what I’ve seen and I’ll be looking forward to more.

November 1, 2010

Am I done?

Am I? Am I really?

I think so. There’s new stuff here. More changes yet to come as I continue to tweak things, but for the most part… I think I’m done.