J.D. Lafrance
Transformers Season 1 Tin Edition Box Set DVD Review

Transformers Season 1 Tin Edition Box Set

April 21, 2005

Director: Jay Bacal,
Starring: Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Charles Adler, Jack Angel, Michael Bell, Gregg Berger, Arthur Burghardt, Corey Burton, Scatman Crothers, Dan Gilvezan, Casey Kasem, Chris Latta, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

The Transformers are one of the biggest selling toy lines in history and in 1984 they ventured from kids’ toys into their very own animated TV series. From this they spawned a variety of merchandise such as comics, a movie, bedspreads, more toys and several spin-off TV shows that are still going today; but this is really where it all began. The 16 episodes in this boxset were a marketing strategy designed to introduce us to classic characters such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee and Starscream and then make us buy the toys. Thus a loyal following formed and has never died.

The Transformers are giant robots from the far away planet of Cybertron and are entangled in a civil war between the Autobots (good guys) and the Decepticons (bad guys). During a space exploration mission to find more energon, their version of fuel, members of both factions accidentally crash land on prehistoric Earth. 4 million years pass and the transformers are reborn and given the ability to transform into earth based vehicles and blend into the local surroundings. Now on Earth, the villainous Decepticon leader Megatron, who can transformer into a gun, searches for more energon in the hopes to conquer earth and defeat the noble Autobot leader Optimus Prime, who becomes a truck with trailer.

This premise is set up in the very first episode, which is the first part of a three-parter called ‘More than meets the eye’ and one of two, three-parters, the other being ‘The Ultimate Doom’. These feature length stories are the highlight of the collection and show what the writers are capable of. However on the downside, the stories were written for a young audience and the method of employing many writers to create one series leads to many plot points that contradict what has been established in other episodes. And it really wouldn’t be a Transformers series with out the silly animation errors, like drawing the same character twice in one frame or placing the wrong voice on a character, but Transfans wouldn’t have it any other way.

Although this is season one, this is the final release of the original Transformers series as the other three seasons have already arrived on Earth. As you’d expect Metrodome haven’t strayed from the house style of the three separate boxes each holding a disc, and the lot surrounded by a silver slipcase. This time the slipcase bears the image of the greatest Transformer of them all, Optimus Prime. The separate disc covers hold some familiar artwork from the artists that worked on the previous sets, the two discs holding 8 episodes each and this time the extras get a whole disc to themselves.

If you’re looking for nostalgic pleasure from any Transformers DVD release then this is definitely the one to go for, these are probably the most recognised bunch of episodes and also hold the better known supporting cast. Within this series you will see the Transformers arrival on earth, the discovery of Skyfire, the creation of the Dinobots, and Megatron attempt to bring the planet Cybertron through a spacebridge and towards the Earth.

The time to relive your childhood is now!

Special Features

These really cater for the hardcore fan, as most of the features aren’t specific to season one of Transformers and tend to deal with the phenomena as a whole entity. The extra that stands out way above all others are the interviews with four of the writers of the TV show. The interviewees talk about the short-lived Season Four, the development during season two and after the movie and in total notch up about sixty minutes worth of talk. Impressive stuff, even if only three of the four lent a hand to the episodes in this set.

Almost equally as impressive is the convention footage from Transformerscon 2004 in Canada. It’s the best convention footage from any of the Metrodome releases, mainly due to the fact that in holds an interviews with those behind the current production of the Transformers comics. Plus a chat with David Kaye, who has voiced Megatron in many of the other incarnations of Transformers such as Beast Wars, Armada and Energon, but not the original Megatron.

Then there is a barrage of useless or repeated features for any long-term fan. The historical trailers are the vignettes taken from the end of episodes of Season 3. There’s a mistake reel, which is taken from season 2 part 1, but this time with pointless commentary. Next, some interesting character profiles but nothing special. Although it seems to be filler stuff, a new fan might get a kick out of them.

Ending on a high note, the set also includes some more exclusive postcards and a quiz that deals with all aspects of the Transformers line. You really have to know your stuff to score top marks.

And now that all seasons have been released, and all 98 episodes are available on DVD, those kind people at Metrodome have graciously created a limited edition metal tin, big enough to hold all four sets of the original series. This can now be displayed loud and proud within your DVD collection.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 75%



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