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Addl
2013-04-29, 01:51 AM
I finally found the DVD collection named matrix edition to once again see some tf cartoons since childhood days (of course really owning th, no download.

Nice package next to the gi joe box.

But, alas, I picked a random show from season 3, got a beer and wanted to have a childhood memory, but the choice of " nightmare planet" was do bad, I stopped watching it after about 5 minutes... Just could not stand it. So awful.... And a giant robot kneeling next to a kids bed to calm him down?

I forgot that a lot of these 80s cartoons are not watchable. Tf: the movie is so much better.

Skyquake87
2013-04-29, 05:41 AM
Agreed. A lot of the original cartoon is just trash. There's a handful of genuinely good episodes, but the majority is just terrible. Season 3 is off the charts with allsorts of silliness. I just own the Maverick R2 Season 1 set (bought for 89p off amazon!) and the movie. Season 1 contains most of the decent episodes for me (well, aside from 'The Ultimate Doom') and is pretty much all I can remember seeing on UK TV when i was small, so scratches the nostalgia itch. But I can't say its something I rewatch a lot.

Of the old school stuff, the three Japanese series are more tolerable to watch through adult eyes, I find.

inflatable dalek
2013-04-29, 02:25 PM
Nightmare Planet is three quarters of the way to being a great episode. It's full of imagery that should be burnt into the minds of a generation (giant robots fighting giant clowns, the hall of mirrors that fights back) and the dialogue is generally pretty sharp. It's also probably the only episode with an inbuilt excuse for the internal logic flaws.

But there's something off about the execution, and it's hard to be sure what. It certainly looks cheaply animated but then so do a lot of episodes that year. I remember as a kid thinking my VHS must have had some cut out so it was mildly surprising when years later I discovered that no, Razorclaw and Springer really do escape between scenes.

Possibly intentionally (the writer having the faith in the audience to know the cliché well enough to not need to see it meaning it can focus on the more novel to the series bonkers imagery) but it's not done well enough to come across as feeling like anything other than someone forgetting to animate a scene. Not helped by the show seeming to badly unde run.

Auntie Slag
2013-04-29, 04:20 PM
Ooh, Underrun sounds like a good name for a rubbish Autobot.

Denyer
2013-04-29, 06:32 PM
Dark Awakening isn't bad if you get the version that wasn't edited to lead into The Return of Optimus Prime. Fight or Flee is also worth a watch.

And City of Steel is hilarious.

Tetsuro
2013-04-30, 04:53 AM
I have to admit, I never actually saw the G1 cartoon as a kid; all my memories of it are based entirely on watching it as an adult. I guess that's why I'm far more forgiving towards it, no rose-tinted glasses to watch it through.

Notabot
2013-04-30, 05:03 PM
I first re-watched it with the mistaken notion that they were "good tv". I was disappointed. But when I watch it just looking for hokey nostalgia and kids cartoons, they're still pretty good. Some are definitely cringe-worthy, but that's true of most everything from the '80s.

Beast Wars, however, I had never seen in its first run, so didn't watch until just a few years ago. I very much enjoyed that. And I really liked Beast Machines as well.

Addl
2013-05-01, 04:51 AM
Zep, the rose tinted glasses apply to me for all the 80s toons (Gi Joe, He Man, Bionic Six, Inspector Gadget, Thundercats, ...), but of all, I onlz wanted to own Joe and TF... So the disappointmed is still there.

Still have to watch Beast Wars and Machines, as they seem to be good, but I never watched any cartoons for that matter since beginning of the 1990s.
So I am frightend of what I may get to see with BW, BM, HM, Victory and so on if I ever buy this.

Skyquake87
2013-05-01, 07:37 AM
Headmasters and masterforece are the best of the Japanese shows, Masterforce in particular is great and stands up well through adult eyes. Victory is only good from about half way through. The Japanese shows seem much stronger just because there's an ongoing plot and a solid story structure, so even some of the silliness doesn't drag things down.

Beast Wars has a surprising amount of depth for a kids show, but this I put down to TFs largely being in a bit of hole at the time so Mainframe got a fair amount of creative freedom to tell stories as they saw fit, which is probably why its such a strong animated show. It may also have been a sign of the times, a lot of animated shows were growing up in the 1990s, stuff like Ren & Stimpy, Reboot and Batman: The Animated Series seemed to be much smarter than a lot of '80s shows. I do wonder what triggered this big change in western animation.

Tetsuro
2013-05-01, 03:53 PM
The leap from season 3 to Headmasters proved a bit too big for me when I first watched Headmasters and it just made me angry...but on hindsight and judging it on it's own right (not to mention discovering Victory is so much worse) has made it grow on me.

Ryan F
2013-05-01, 07:42 PM
Hello. First post. Yay!

The thing with cartoons is that storytelling methods change. Transformers may seem shoddy, looking back on it now, but then again most cartoons from that era are similarly weak when watched nowadays.

Even a couple of years after TF ended, you had Visionaries; it was made by the same people as TF but was light-years better in terms of tone, intelligence and wit.

You have to remember that when Beast Wars came out, everyone was crazy about The X-Files, the first real mainstream cult hit to have story arcs and a 'mythology'. The Beast Wars writers can't have failed to pick up on that.

Comics, too, were getting braver. 2000AD made it big in the 80s, and suddenly kid's stuff wasn't so silly any more. Doctor Who began doing stuff like "Ghost Light"... I think audiences were just generally more sophisticated in the late-80s and nineties, probably even more so than they are nowadays even.


By the way, Carnage in C-Minor is the bees knees.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-01, 07:46 PM
I think BW was also very influenced by DiTillo having come straight off Babylon 5, hell the Vok might as well just be called Vorlons and be done with it.

Securis
2013-06-21, 06:00 PM
Was Nightmare Planet season 3? I always found that viewing season 3 even through rose tented spectacles was less than rewarding, because the aesthetic seems so gloomy and it really lacks the sense of fun that seasons 1 and 2 had. Optimus having just been killed had left a very depressed mood upon us kids at the time, and even in '86 and '87 I can remember seeing the reruns and being happy every time they happened to be showing a "pre-movie" episode. Optimus' death really hurt the show's standing in a lot of our eyes, and it only made matters worse that after the movie, the show tried to change its tone so drastically. It resulted in a product lacking all the familiar charm that the original fans expected, and the animation company they had changed over to was inferior to boot. As many errors as Sunbow had, the post movie episodes are even worse.

Thunderwave
2013-06-21, 11:39 PM
I always enjoy my time with the G1 cartoons. Yes they are poorly written at times, and poorly animated, but they are your prototypical 80's cartoon. Cheesy action, no one really gets hurt, and the show trucks along. Maybe because I set aside expectations of particularly good cartoons.

As for Beast Wars, watch it. It's frickin' amazing. I skipped it as a teenager (girls where, at the time, more interesting). So I sat down and forced myself to get pass the now really dated and crappy CG and focused on the story and the characters. It was surprisingly dark and well written. Then again this is also the time period (early-mid 90's) that gave us Batman: The Animated Series, Darkwing Duck (don't laugh, the show is genius), and Gargoyles (a damned fine example of storytelling). Cartoons seem to go through phases when it comes to storytelling.

Skyquake87
2013-06-22, 06:21 AM
Its interesting still to see the divide between US and UK viewers. Over here, the cartoon wasn't widely available and had less impact. I certainly don't have much emotional attachment to the cartoon as I do the UK comic. And i do wonder if part of that is down to the UK comic having to constantly explain away the inconsistencies between the comic book and the cartoon, to the point where editorial end up selling the cartoon as a fiction based on real events.

Funny to think that there was once such a gulf between animated and print counterparts. You wouldn't get that today.

In terms of cartoons, Beast Wars resonates much more deeply with me and is much closer to my heart. Mainly because its awesome, but also because it taps the same vein as Animated, Furman's Marvel work and the current MTMTE comic by properly breathing life into a bunch of tin boxes. It shows how good Transformers can be when someone with some passion and genuine enthusiasm is at the helm (which is why I find Prime so disappointing by comparrison).

Thunderwave
2013-06-22, 10:19 AM
Its interesting still to see the divide between US and UK viewers. Over here, the cartoon wasn't widely available and had less impact. I certainly don't have much emotional attachment to the cartoon as I do the UK comic. And i do wonder if part of that is down to the UK comic having to constantly explain away the inconsistencies between the comic book and the cartoon, to the point where editorial end up selling the cartoon as a fiction based on real events.

Don't use my current location as a guide. ;) I was born and lived a goodly portion of my younger years in the UK. My father was in the US Air Force out of RAF Lakenheath many moons ago. I think where I was living gave me better access to US television then a lot of other people. It's also, I think, part of why I get blank stares when talking cartoons and mention Visionaries. Never did much in the US but I remember them being all over the place in the UK as a kid.

Which also explains some of my eating habits. I've lost my accent though with how long I've been in the US, but if I talk to anyone with a UK accent I pick it up for a few hours again.

Skyquake87
2013-06-23, 07:29 AM
:p Ah, you Americans and your special little annexes of UK soil... We had some friends in the US Air Force lived up at Memwith Hill (big spying golf balls visible for miles around, but it's a secret so doesn't show on Ordanance Survey Maps) and I can still recall visiting the place and it was strange, like some small American town plonked in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors (well, not quite, but it is hilly and has shrubs - so close enough) and I remember having my mind blown trying Dr Pepper (not available in the UK at the time) , Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (ditto) and some slightly weird tasting stuff called Root Beer. Which is made out of Mouthwash Roots, apparently. The kids had all these fancy American toys - the big Lion Voltron and other assorted fancies that hadn't come out over here.

It's got mega security now, but When we went up there were no fences and whatnot, just some slightly saggy RAF men on the gate whom checked you out and let you through.

Hmm. Because I've mentioned this, will the US Government now be onto me, seeing as how we are foreigners and therefore ripe for internet snoooping..?

Hold that thought, there's a knock at the door... :swirly:

Auntie Slag
2013-06-23, 11:32 AM
I always found that viewing season 3 even through rose tented spectacles was less than rewarding, because the aesthetic seems so gloomy and it really lacks the sense of fun that seasons 1 and 2 had.

I had the opposite reaction to you Securis; a few years ago I bought the Season 2 and 3&4 box-sets. After watching Season 2 I wasn't expecting much for the post movie episodes, but I much prefer them.

From what I saw of Season 3 (on VHS tape back in the 80's), I remember Rodimus being a whiny bitch. Now however he comes across as a slightly rude, sarcastic type. He also relies on people to help him through (Magnus, Kup, Springer) whereas Optimus pretty much WAS the autobots, whilst the Autobots themselves were mainly cheerleaders (I know I'm generalising, but just in a very basic way to draw the comparison with Season 3 & 4).

I also liked the episode where Rodimus was beaten by two Stunticons. I find it more credible that all Transformers can be beaten by others, rather than the Rodimus/Optimus being impervious to everyone except Gavatron/Megatron.

And you got more interesting characterisation; the Galvatron/Cyclonus madness and carer dynamic. A nice change from the Megatron/Starscream plotting & backstabbing schtick.

None of it is a work of art, but I appreciated they tried to do something a little bit more interesting than merely goodies vs. baddies plus plot device and reset button.

Cliffjumper
2013-06-23, 01:20 PM
Aye, I hate it in the early-ish one (Divide and Conquer?) where Prime's out of action for some reason and without him the Autobots are getting reamed (well, hiding behind rocks and taking shots which don't do any damage). Then Op gets repaired and beats everyone up.

Sades
2013-06-23, 05:24 PM
I'm a little late to the party- but I thought the order was "get drunk first, then watch G1 cartoon"?

Then, everything will be entertaining. If it's still shit, you aren't drunk enough. Right?

What was the episode involving Chip Chase saving the day with a floppy disk again? There was probably more than one.

Securis
2013-06-23, 08:15 PM
I had the opposite reaction to you Securis; a few years ago I bought the Season 2 and 3&4 box-sets. After watching Season 2 I wasn't expecting much for the post movie episodes, but I much prefer them.

From what I saw of Season 3 (on VHS tape back in the 80's), I remember Rodimus being a whiny bitch. Now however he comes across as a slightly rude, sarcastic type. He also relies on people to help him through (Magnus, Kup, Springer) whereas Optimus pretty much WAS the autobots, whilst the Autobots themselves were mainly cheerleaders (I know I'm generalising, but just in a very basic way to draw the comparison with Season 3 & 4).

I also liked the episode where Rodimus was beaten by two Stunticons. I find it more credible that all Transformers can be beaten by others, rather than the Rodimus/Optimus being impervious to everyone except Gavatron/Megatron.

And you got more interesting characterisation; the Galvatron/Cyclonus madness and carer dynamic. A nice change from the Megatron/Starscream plotting & backstabbing schtick.

None of it is a work of art, but I appreciated they tried to do something a little bit more interesting than merely goodies vs. baddies plus plot device and reset button.

I might have had a different reaction if not for the timing of the show as it correlated to my life experience. I was a 5 year old kid whose parents had just divorced, and my mom was shortly thereafter engaged to a cocaine pusher. Not that he was trying to get me to do coke, but that aspect of his life is pretty indicative of the rest of his personality. In a way, I was alienated from my natural father and his "replacement" was someone I don't think any kid would ever have looked up to, so I (like many other boys at the time) saw Optimus in a very paternal light. He was honorable, truthful, heroic, and self sacrificing; he was pretty much unlike any real life man I had ever encountered at that age. To have him killed and replaced by a brash, unsteady sort of character like Rodimus was a lot more upsetting than it should've been because of my situation.

Though I certainly take your point about the writing becoming relatively more mature. My earliest impressions of the post movie era were so inexorably colored by my life at the time that amazingly, after all these years that same emotional reaction still seems to come forth in some ways.

Auntie Slag
2013-06-23, 08:50 PM
Oh wow, sorry to hear that Securis. For my part I'm from the UK. We only saw the cartoon in stunted five-minute bursts and only during school holidays. Seeing cartoon footage of our heroes was like mana... and very much on the periphery.

Here, marvel created a weekly Transformers comic and Optimus was portrayed as very doubtful, worried for the safety of his troops and sometimes berated by other Autobots for not doing a good job. This made Optimus seem realistic to me, as opposed to the John Wayne Optimus I saw in the Arrival From Cybertron VHS tape (which is now often called 'More Than Meets The Eye: Parts 1-3'). Also, when Optimus cleared his mind and kicked ass or developed a grand plan in these comics, it felt more vital because he'd submerged his own demons for a while.

When Optimus died in the movie I was unfazed because he seemed at peace with things. Starscream crumbling to dust was just cool... but seeing the light go out of Prowl's eyes, followed by smoke and the almost delayed fall to the floor, that was the truly shocking bit for me.

I've never bought the concept of leaders being rock solid. But I like it when they try. Magnus in the comics was a bit of a muppet, he's nearly at Optimus level & he tried his guts out against Galvatron. Seeing Magnus in a mild shock at actually having beaten Galvatron through sheer spirit was a brilliant idea. Similarly Blaster was incredibly good in the Smelting Pool saga, and Ratchet in Warrior School. Guys who may not have all the power of an Optimus or a Magnus, or as clean cut... but they've got spirit.

My heroes were Hound and Jazz at the time, rather than Optimus. Also I've always had a soft spot for Bluestreak (Mr. comedy-masking-trauma guy) and Smokescreen, who was an excellent proto-Hot Rod in the Demolition Derby story. Incidentally, Smokescreen's been robbed of an having an unbelievably good character ever since (he also did the hot-headedness matched with rational thought, and displayed good leadership skills. Honestly, the guy was robbed).

Sorry for waffling on. I can only imagine your side, I've not experienced anything like it. From my cosseted life as a kid I've had the luxury (fantasy?) of never imagining anyone to be a perfect archetype. Maybe that's my Britishness; I like flawed things, just like I like the bad weather. Not trying to be glib of what you've experienced in any way :)

Securis
2013-06-24, 12:15 AM
Oh wow, sorry to hear that Securis. For my part I'm from the UK. We only saw the cartoon in stunted five-minute bursts and only during school holidays. Seeing cartoon footage of our heroes was like mana... and very much on the periphery.

Here, marvel created a weekly Transformers comic and Optimus was portrayed as very doubtful, worried for the safety of his troops and sometimes berated by other Autobots for not doing a good job. This made Optimus seem realistic to me, as opposed to the John Wayne Optimus I saw in the Arrival From Cybertron VHS tape (which is now often called 'More Than Meets The Eye: Parts 1-3'). Also, when Optimus cleared his mind and kicked ass or developed a grand plan in these comics, it felt more vital because he'd submerged his own demons for a while.

When Optimus died in the movie I was unfazed because he seemed at peace with things. Starscream crumbling to dust was just cool... but seeing the light go out of Prowl's eyes, followed by smoke and the almost delayed fall to the floor, that was the truly shocking bit for me.

I've never bought the concept of leaders being rock solid. But I like it when they try. Magnus in the comics was a bit of a muppet, he's nearly at Optimus level & he tried his guts out against Galvatron. Seeing Magnus in a mild shock at actually having beaten Galvatron through sheer spirit was a brilliant idea. Similarly Blaster was incredibly good in the Smelting Pool saga, and Ratchet in Warrior School. Guys who may not have all the power of an Optimus or a Magnus, or as clean cut... but they've got spirit.

My heroes were Hound and Jazz at the time, rather than Optimus. Also I've always had a soft spot for Bluestreak (Mr. comedy-masking-trauma guy) and Smokescreen, who was an excellent proto-Hot Rod in the Demolition Derby story. Incidentally, Smokescreen's been robbed of an having an unbelievably good character ever since (he also did the hot-headedness matched with rational thought, and displayed good leadership skills. Honestly, the guy was robbed).

Sorry for waffling on. I can only imagine your side, I've not experienced anything like it. From my cosseted life as a kid I've had the luxury (fantasy?) of never imagining anyone to be a perfect archetype. Maybe that's my Britishness; I like flawed things, just like I like the bad weather. Not trying to be glib of what you've experienced in any way :)

Not at all. I am happy that you freely share your experiences. In fact, I feel very damaged for having the point of view that I do. Britishness aside, I also like flawed things. I guess there could be no doubt that I admire your point of view for being so very detached and steady. It is a very powerful characteristic. But you are quite right in saying that to me, Optimus was an archetype. His decisiveness was a model for my development. If all british folk are so detached and strong minded, I have much to learn from the UK.

Skyquake87
2013-06-24, 08:58 AM
i suppose we are like that in the UK, which is reflected in some extent in the 'build 'em up and knock 'em down' press and our cynical outlook. and voter apathy. we don't accept what's presented to us as the real deal. which is a very healthy attitude, but makes it difficult to believe in say, individuals and government. i find question time quite an interesting watch (its a political debate show where the public ask questions from a broad spectrum of politicians from those in government and opposition, along with assorted journalists and other professional persons) to gauge how people think and feel about things. i think our outlook is down to how much our institutions and leaders fail us and have this inability to apply commonsense to any task at hand.

as with auntie slag, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences growing up securis, trite though this may sound.

Securis
2013-06-24, 05:39 PM
i suppose we are like that in the UK, which is reflected in some extent in the 'build 'em up and knock 'em down' press and our cynical outlook. and voter apathy. we don't accept what's presented to us as the real deal. which is a very healthy attitude, but makes it difficult to believe in say, individuals and government. i find question time quite an interesting watch (its a political debate show where the public ask questions from a broad spectrum of politicians from those in government and opposition, along with assorted journalists and other professional persons) to gauge how people think and feel about things. i think our outlook is down to how much our institutions and leaders fail us and have this inability to apply commonsense to any task at hand.

as with auntie slag, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences growing up securis, trite though this may sound.

I appreciate your condolences. There are those out there who would offer nothing but derision; I've experienced that too. The way I see it, though, the bad things that happened to me prepared me for life as much as (or perhaps more than) it damaged me. It may sound strange, but I will often tell my friends in graphic detail some of the things that happened when I was a kid in a very matter-of-fact tone because I'm amazed, and perhaps a bit amused, at their shocked reactions. I am actually a very joyful, well adjusted adult. I have my demons, but don't we all?

But as the whole thing applies to Transformers, it has allowed me to see the intellectual property in a way not many people can. When something does come along in the TF universe that has some real emotional gravitasse, I can really feel it and really get into it on a deep level.

I suppose I have noticed that aspect of British culture, the whole "stiff upper lip" thing, and the natural suspicion toward authority that was embodied in the punk rock era mentality. I agree it's a healthy attitude. Us sensitive saps here in the US can sometimes be manipulated through the use of emotions, which I struggle against all the time.

I can relate to a lot of the stuff Auntie Slag was saying about the other characters. I used to love Hound because he suffered from what so many people do, a sort of "grass is greener on the other side" complex, where he always lamented not being able to experience what it would be like to be human. It's an interesting and relatable characteristic for a peripheral player in what was, at the time, "just a kid's show/comic".

Skywarp the Seeker
2013-08-13, 06:35 PM
I actually find the campiness of seasons 1 and 2 endearing on some level. It's when I watch the 3rd season that I find the show genuinely excrutiating.

Tetsuro
2013-08-19, 11:11 AM
Season 3 is the best one.

Though I guess you could argue that while the good episodes are better, the bad ones are so much worse than the previous two seasons. I mean, for every "Web World", you get one "Surprise Party".

Skywarp the Seeker
2013-08-19, 02:38 PM
Season 3 is the best one.

Though I guess you could argue that while the good episodes are better, the bad ones are so much worse than the previous two seasons. I mean, for every "Web World", you get one "Surprise Party".

There are things I like about that season. Even though Rodimus is seen by fandom as a crummy leader (and they're probably right), I do enjoy the sarcastic, cynical take on the role of Autobot leader (being an a**hole to Spike, who was legitimately worried about his son and the oxygen supply in the escape pod while in the middle of space in "Dark Awakening" is probably the best example of this). I also like the attempt to build on the Transformers' backstory and expanding the mythos in a few key episodes.

But the things I hate, I haaaaaaate. Such as nonsensical episodes like "Madman's Paradise" (with an ancient portal to a Medieval, Earth-like dimension on Cybertron, and where Grimlock is a butler (or just basically the way Grimlock is used in Season 3 in general)) or really dull episodes like "Face of the Ninjika." Or, well...Unicron being built by a 4' monkey.

I guess I'm not a fan of the "Star Trek" style of plotting where a glut of episodes feature exploration of an unkown planet of strange, potentially-dangerous creatures. My personal preference maybe, but I feel the show lost some of its charm on its move away from Earth.

And it doesn't help that the quality of the animation in Season 3 somehow got worse for the most part. With a couple key exceptions, it's just ugly to look at.

I do appreciate the attempt at a darker tone, but the situations and characters need to be compelling to make that work, and that has never been the strong suit of the series' writers. I just can't bring myself to care about one-note gimmick characters like Blurr and Wheelie or generic baddies like Scourge (which make the "toy-of-the-week parade" characterizations of Seasons 1 and 2 look like fully-realized characters in comparison--not sure how Season 3 managed THAT--yet keeping in mind that "Sea Change" is a spotlight on a gimmick character from Season 2 and a serious contender for worst episode of the entire series, in my opinion. I guess that just fits in with my stated personal preference of hating those "weird magic planet" episodes.)

I also can't shake the feeling that competent, initiative-taking Autobot leadership could have stomped out the reeling Decepticon forces and put an end to the war, as the insane Galvatron is hard to see as a legitimate threat at times, and his own troops tip their toes in the water of mutiny several times during his rein. They're on the cusp of being a non-issue, a strange choice for a series basing itself on that conflict to sell a toyline. You could argue that the real threat are the Quintessons, who are physically weak and defenseless (save for easily-dispatched Sharkticons), number no more than perhaps 10, and whose home/sole possession/resource is their flagship, thanks to being masters of manipulation, scientific geniuses, and have knowledge of Cybertronian history on their side. Again, moving the Autobots' entire Cybertronian forces against them could have ended that threat, but Rod just can't be bothered, even though it is their stated goal to re-conquer Cybertron. Maybe that's why I feel like Season 3 simply spins its wheels until Optimus' return. Not that Optimus does much either after draining the Matrix. Even he's a shell of his former self, it seems. I'm surprised Rod's "I just can't be bothered; leave me alone. Why me?" leadership didn't inspire any coup attempts on the Autobot side. I feel like there are times when Magnus' frustration with Rod was palpable. I don't know if that was intentional, stellar voice acting, or just complete conjecture on my part. Kudos if it was intentional, and not just my own speculation.

But if you notice, none of the Autobots ask Hot Rod "what should we do?" or even look to him to be a de facto field commander when they're stranded on Nebulos. Nor does he take the initiative to step up. It makes me wonder what his former subordinates, now seeming peers, think about his time with the reins.