Transformers: Season Two, Volume One Review

Like it or not, the Transformers motto “more than meets the eye” becomes a tad ironic when used in the theme song for the cartoon. The motto alludes to robots from another planet which take the form of familiar earthbound crafts like cars, jets, etc. but outside the show’s premise, the idea is just misleading. The series as a whole is incredibly simplistic in every way. The writing, the animation and the voice acting are incredibly formulaic and simple with little else to offer in terms of depth or beauty. Now, if you trust age old idioms about appearances, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For Transformers: Season Two, Volume One there can be only one interpretation of the intended beholden: a shelf prize for diehard fans. For anyone else this set is just an example of outdated cartoons offered for kitschy nostalgic purposes.

Have you missed the cackle of Megatron? Do you pine for the days when the conniving Starscream wanted nothing more than to usurp the oft-frustrated leader of the Decepticons? Be there a hankering for futuristic beings who speak like cavemen (the Dinobots) in your mind? Or maybe you just can’t get enough hammy dialogue paired to decent animation? Whatever the case this set is for you and only you, everyone else: back away slowly and let them have their fun.

Since the climactic ending of the first season, things have quieted back down and the Decepticons and Autobots are back to their unending struggle between reviving their home planet or protecting the one they’re on: earth. Lucky us. Fortunately the protection of earth seems to win out with damage only being inflicted upon fictional places of lore like Dinobot Island. What’s horrifically antiquated about this show that supposedly boasts aliens of higher technological intellect is that no one ever thought to install solar panels on the Decepticons’ energy storage devices. Oh no, why install solar panels which will draw already available energy from a giant nuclear reactor in space when we can wander about finding rifts in the planet’s crust and harvesting it into neat little cubes?

But wait…once the steam (packed full of energy like Kellogg’s cereal) has been released from the volcanic reactions below, why should that harm the planet? Furthermore, why is Megatron so hellbent on finding destructive ways to harness that energy when sustainable methods are not only available but at the top of his to-do list. Only, he makes them destructive by attacking a few factories and warehouses here or there. You’d think that humanity as a whole would just up and say: here, use one of our power plants for a week, get some power then go away for a month. Then come back and do it again. Isn’t it in everyone’s best interest to get interstellar, energy-craving zealots off of earth? Even if Megatron does laugh maniacally a lot and even if he has little regard for human life, many of the ways he chooses to harness energy aren’t destructive. Megatron actually seems to have a pretty good eye for the planet-healthy ways of getting energy – but the Autobots seem intent to disrupt him just on the general principle of it all.

Talk about holding a grudge.

Anyways, in terms of episodes, the second season sees a lot more Dinobot action. So much so that they have been given the front spot in the show’s opening credits. Outside of the Dinobots, you’ll see the return of other favorites like the Insecticons, the useless human friends (one of whom has his brain transplanted into a robot for an episode) and the Destructicons. There are quite a few good double parters in the mix, and the option to watch them without breaks is a nice little perk.

DVD Bonus Features

Sadly, you get nothing here. However, what’s most disappointing is the lack of the giant Decepticon magnet that I was almost positive would have been included in this release to keep with the inclusion of the Autobot magnet in the first set. But no. What the hell?

Peter Cullen and Frank Welker headline the cast as Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively. Peter Cullen has obtained a cult celebrity status and well, my love for Frank Welker has been made quite obvious. That man is everywhere. Other big voice actors also appear: Casey Kasem as Spike Witwicky; Dan Gilvezan as Bumblebee; Chris Latta as Starscream; Don Messick as Ratchet; Ken Sansom as Hound; and Michael Bell as Prowl.

"Transformers: Season Two, Volume One" is on sale September 15, 2009 and is rated NR. Action, Adventure, Animation, Children & Family, Comic Book, Sci-Fi, Television. Directed by Peter Wallach. Written by Roger Slifer. Starring Casey Kasem, Chris Latta, Corey Burton, Dan Gilvezan, Don Messick, Frank Welker, Ken Sansom, Michael Bell, Peter Cullen.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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