Beast Machines Transformers: The Complete Series


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Rating: Not Rated

Kathleen Barr as Botanica
Jim Byrnes as Thrust
Gary Chalk as Optimus Primal
Ian James Corlett as Cheetor
Paul Dobson as Tankorr
Patricia Drake as Strika
Brian Drummond as Jetstorm
Christopher Gaze as Diagnostics Drone
Alessandro Juliani as Nightscream
David Kaye as Megatron/Noble/Mainframe
Scott McNeil as Rattrap/Waspinator/Silverbolt
Richard Newman as Rhinox-Tankorr
Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff as Predacon Computer/Oracle
Venus Terzo as Black Arachnia

Special Features:
Interview with actor David Kaye (“Megatron”)

Interview with Series Developed Marv Wolfman

Interview with Story Editor Robert N. Skir

Interview with Voice Director Susan Blu

Commentary with writers Marv Wolfman, Robert N. Skir, and Steven Melching

Other Info:
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 700 Minutes

This series originally aired in 1999-2000. The following text is from the DVD cover:

“The Beast Wars saga continues as the high-octane yet deeply layered series Beast Machines. The Maximals—led by a now-troubled and spark-searching Optimus Primal—awaken to find themselves on Cybertron with no memory of how they got there. There is little time to celebrate their defeat of Megatron, however, because that big bad bot is back and stronger than ever. Now he controls Cybertron and commands a new breed of Transformers, the Vehicons.

As if the Maximals didn’t have enough to contend with, their bodies also have undergone a strange reformatting that alters the way they transform between beast and machine, forcing them to learn, practice, and perfect a new form of mind/body control. The future of Cybertron rests in the hands of Optimus Primal and the Maximals, who are committed to liberating it from Megatron and his mindless minions. Get ready for a complex, spiritual, and thrilling chapter in the Transformers story!”

Beast Machines Transformers: The Complete Series is not rated

I should start out by saying that I’m an old school Transformers fan. In my mind there’s just Autobots and Decepticons, Megatron and Optimus Prime, and robots turning into vehicles (and tape recorders). I don’t care for them transforming into animals at all. (Well, except for robotic dinosaurs.) It just doesn’t work for me. So I went into this series with a bit of a bad attitude.

Sure enough, as I watched this series I just never got into it. The plot never hooked me or made me want to stay on board for the entire ride. I had no emotional investment or nostalgia for the characters. I also found the animation to be just a little too crude. Most people could do equivalent work on their home computers today. In short, it didn’t have much going for it. I did like the fact that they kept a low number of characters. It made things a bit less confusing. I also thought bringing on Marv Wolfman, who I am familiar with from his Marvel Comics, was a good strategy. Despite this, there was very little resemblance to the Transformers that I know and love.

All that being said, though, I showed Beast Machines to my four year old son who is a budding Transformers fan. He loves the old school characters that I love and he has a talent for transforming the toys into…well…a pile of broken parts. But he’s learning. Anyway, he absolutely loved Beast Machines. I sat him in front of the TV and he didn’t move for three episodes. This kid can’t sit still for 1 minute much less an hour or so, so that was quite a feat. Because of that I think this DVD is most appropriate for die-hard Beast Machines fans and young kids. Older fans might just want to stick to the original series.

There’s a decent selection of bonus features here. There are interviews with the cast and crew. An interesting bit of trivia is that Voice Director Susan Blu was the voice of Arcee in the Transformers movie. Marv Wolfman also talks in depth about the development of the series. He and some of the other creators also provide commentary on two episodes.

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Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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