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Transformers Animated: intro Movie Review

Posted by:
Perceptor at 2007-12-15 3:34 pm
As mentioned, we were fortunate enough to receive a press kit from Cartoon Network on Friday which included an advance DVD of the Transformers Animated movie (front jacket, inside, back jacket) and t-shirt (front, close-up, back, close-up).  Now, while we're not going to ruin the fun by providing a blow-by-blow description, we would like to share our general impressions and answer Q's we've been sent.  We'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum (but be warned).

"What did you think of the Animation?"
Maybe it's because I spent too much time trying to find a redeeming quality in (TF: Energon) Kicker!   But generally, I've become not real fond of cell animation.  I went in just hoping TFA would be at least visually tolerable and thinking I would have to make an effort to get used to it.

What we saw caught us by surprise.  We *loved* the animation and found it took very little getting used to.  I'm sure the development team realized the challenge in pleasing today's TF fans.  Thanks to the movie, we're used to seeing a real vehicles turn into real looking robots...  There is just no way you can make an animated show "real" enough to compare with the film!  So, I think they made a smart decision.  Instead of going for "real" they went with an original, very stylized animation look.  I know, it's shocking the first time you see it.  I remember my reaction the first time I saw that still image of OP w/ that long jaw... "Yuck!"  But I'll tell you what, it's different when you're watching it in motion.  It took no effort for me to get used to.  It's so new and so different, I enjoyed it a lot.

How long is it?
Without commercials, the movie is an impressive ~69 minutes long.  You'll be surprised how much story they cram in!

How bad does it butcher existing Transformers story continuity?
Here is the most wonderful thing!  At least so far, it doesn't butcher TF story mythos at all!  As people who frequent this site know, I like to imagine ways that all the various TF universes fit together, from G1, G2, Beast Wars/Mach, Unicron Trilogy....  For me, it is very easy to fit Animated into continuity, but the writers don't force it.  If you're interested, I've listed some the basic ground-rules in the (SPOILER filled) Allspark discussion forum.

What about human super villians, do we have them? Is it painful or is it not as bad as one would think? 
The movie doesn't have human super villians.  Episode 1 does and so far, I'll say, he's not as bad as one would think.  (However, I reserve the right to change my mind!)

How about Sari?  How's she stack up to our past nightmares of Kicker, Carlos, Daniel...

Sari, didn't bother me.  She's not Shia LeBeouf funny but she's not bad.  I think her presence in the show will be much more appreciated than that of previous human companions.  (Which I know isn't saying much!)  I REALLY liked Capt. Fanzone.  He is great and as David Kaye said at Botcon, he sounds just like Dennis Franz in NYPD: Blue.

What else stood out??
Brian/stampy:  The voice acting, sound effects, and score surpassed my expectations, They were all notably good (at times, notably great). Between them, I thought the whole thing could stand on its own just with its audio.
> Great story-telling. I don't know why this wouldn't last the whole season.
> *Plenty* o' nods to G1. But I probably shouldn't talk about that. ;-)

Alright, if you've got more questions shoot them over in the Allspark forum (SPOILER WARNING) and we'll answer as time permits.

Blasten Blaster said,  - 2007-12-15 23:11:48
I havent evn seen it yet and i give it these two words... aww-some!
Byrer prime said,  - 2007-12-15 23:12:11
You've still got my address, right? j/k I think I can wait 10 days, 19 hours and 45 minutes, but who's counting?
Blasten Blaster said,  - 2007-12-15 23:14:11
I am. i literally have a counter on my desktop and cell phone til 8 pm (PST)
TriPredRavage said,  - 2007-12-15 23:54:57
...I want it...
TriPredRavage said,  - 2007-12-16 01:11:40
No, the DVD. And the Shirt.
Norcinu said,  - 2007-12-16 03:43:40
Well, tons and tons of fans are complaining about it which has been getting my hopes down, but this has really fueled my excitedness again!
Silent_Magnus said,  - 2007-12-16 07:28:44
Since I'm not a member of the Allspark can I ask a question here?

Do Ultra Magnus and/or Sentinal Prime show up anytime during the movie?
Perceptor said,  - 2007-12-16 08:20:38

yes and yes
Perceptor said,  - 2007-12-16 08:27:37
Well Norcinu, I'm guessing the vast majority of complaints came from fans who hadn't seen the show yet. I admit, I was very skeptical too. But the intro movie gets things off to a great start and I'd say there is a ton of potential for this to be pretty fantastic show.
Luketroop said,  - 2007-12-16 08:43:22
I will watch the show, but the show is geared for little kids (shown by the drawings)and hasbro wants little kids to grow into the show.
megagalvacron said,  - 2007-12-16 09:56:55
So from what i've seen and can tell (maybe a spoiler) after Megatron gets blown out of the Ark, the Decepticons look for him and he's missing for the majority of the first season. maybe Starscream'l have his wish
Jumpercliff said,  - 2007-12-16 11:45:13
deceptifan said,  - 2007-12-16 13:20:23
Sounds good!
EHH said,  - 2007-12-16 13:47:30
I will think about checking it out.
Tyscream said,  - 2007-12-16 14:42:46
I really can't wait till Christmas break. Since I'm in school it's the holy break to us kids. Also can't wait till Christmas day and the day after because of Transformers Animated. But, why is the show is starting it's first season so early and the figs come out mid 2008? WHY!? I want animated Starscream figure so much right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, another episode 3 Darth Vader moment. ^_^
Sabrblade said,  - 2007-12-16 15:11:19
Look on the bright side, Tyscream. The longer it takes for the toys to be released, the more time you have to save up to buy as many figures as you want.
Chaos Bringer said,  - 2007-12-16 15:26:32
I won't be convinced of the tolerability of the humans until I see it for myself.
Knightwing said,  - 2007-12-16 15:32:12
I have hope for Sari. Since she has "super powers", she should be fighting along side the Autobots. I'd much rather have another Kicker that actullay did something than a Coby/Lori/Bud who stand aroud waiting to get steped on.
Byrer prime said,  - 2007-12-16 16:56:00
Off topic, but if you think Lori didn't do anything you stopped watching half-way through. She single-handedly brought Scourge over momentarily, turning the tide against Megatron.
Blasten Blaster said,  - 2007-12-16 18:18:01
Ya she did but in the end it was Bud who did it with his "leader ship skill training".
Silent_Magnus said,  - 2007-12-16 21:14:36
Don't forget Coby actually MADE a transforming mech.
albeit he only used it in I think two episodes, BUT he still had it.

I wonder if Sari and her transforming tri/bi?cycle will get a toy?
Blasten Blaster said,  - 2007-12-16 22:09:56
ya that he salveged from a dead scrappmetal
Tyscream said,  - 2007-12-17 05:11:04
Whew baby! Todays my first snow day of the year! Yeah! Snow day!
Knightwing said,  - 2007-12-17 05:32:43
I realize that all the humans in each seires did something of note in one or two episodes. I was trying to point out that aside from those few the humans were gennerally worthless. Except Kicker who turned out to be a skilled and accepted Autobot warrior and an integeral part of the whole series. Even if he did yell every line.
Luketroop said,  - 2007-12-17 06:51:01
Humans are worthless for the Transformers series. I watch TRansformers to see the fights not the kids. That is why I like Beast Wars, NO KIDS!
Perceptor said,  - 2007-12-17 09:25:36
Beast Wars had kids! The little neandertal kids. What were their names? Jack and Eva?

Anyway, I think people will like Sari.
Sabrblade said,  - 2007-12-17 10:29:26
Jak/Jack/Chak and Una
lord megatron said,  - 2007-12-17 12:46:34
hey is anyone going to answer me! how do I post my custom battlestar "classics" super megatron on your customs board?!?!?!? must know. please help me.
Luketroop said,  - 2007-12-17 13:59:58
Those were primates and they were not in Beast Wars that long. I still don't like them, you can tell I am a Decepticon.
Knightwing said,  - 2007-12-17 16:22:24
Lord Megatron send Perceptor an email off site. I don't know if they do much with that section anymore.
Chaos Bringer said,  - 2007-12-17 18:28:01
Sigh, I'd love a modern (but faithful) remake of Battlestars. It had a lot of potential.

BTW everyone Ben Yee just posted his review of the Animated Aovie and it has a blow-by-blow synopsis for those who just can't wait. I have to say I'm not thrilled that they're still going with the downplayed Decepticons approach. If the Decepticons get beaten every time then it doesn't matter how infrequently they show up. If they sometimes win then they can show up in every episode but still be a significant threat. Why don't they get that?
Perceptor said,  - 2007-12-17 23:08:28
Listen CB, there's a reason we chose not to put up a blow-by-blow, event-for-event description of the movie. And this is it. Trust me when I tell you, the Decepticons are a threat. You will like them... You just have to see it (maybe a few times) before you make that kind of judgment. By the time this is all said and done, I predict that at minimum fans will be calling this the best series of the last 10 years (easy) and depending on how things go... maybe ever... Sit tight!
Blasten Blaster said,  - 2007-12-17 23:20:29
Mabey not the best series of the last 10 years, just after Beast Wars
lord megatron said,  - 2007-12-18 08:18:57
Ok thanks!
Bumblebee said,  - 2007-12-20 20:20:54
Oh my gosh, I can't wait to see this movie, Its staring me, Bumblebee
BossMan said,  - 2007-12-25 16:30:02
I'll be watching with a big tub of pop corn (yum), and a beverage of some sort- I haven't decided yet. I hope this movie rocks to the extreme, happy viewing.
transformers boy said,  - 2008-02-26 13:40:45
cool! i wished i had that on dvd.
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