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Old 2010-10-29, 07:10 PM   #10
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Okay, Cliffy, I over-reacted and I'm sorry about that. So I'm going to ignore the tone and just reply straight.

You have to keep in mind that Transformers came out at a time where syndicated cartoons consisted of recycled shorts of Hanna Barbera cartoons deemed unfit (too old) for Saturday Morning Networks, Popeye shorts, Bullwinkle, and the like. If you were very very lucky, you might get Battle of the Planets or Speed Racer.

Hanna Barbera had a stranglehold on western animation during that time, culminating on 3 hours of Smurfs, endless Flintstones riffs, and so on. Other studios (such as the fledgling Sunbow) could only get on slots that Hanna Barbera dictated to the networks. This meant that shows like Spider Man and his amazing fans were often thrown into the slots which would get pre-empted for sports on local affiliates.

So Sunbow went into the syndication market. Here's the bitch, though, Syndication meant HUGE front-loaded packages to get shows out there at the time. You could have a pitch (a movie), but if you were bought, you had best get your episodes out en masse for the distributor. This meant you did them in a hurry, and farmed out animation to who you could.

Sunbow, of course, wasn't the only animation company sick of the networks, so package deals for syndicated cartoons (the after-school blocks) came out of the floodgates. To get funding, of course, these companies linked up with toylines in a symbiotic relationship which makes Tipper Gore cry to this day. Thundercats, Brave Starr, and a whole schlew of shows under this formula were rushed out. Some were better than others.

This trend resulted in a lot of action-oriented toy-shows. While Transformers was plagued with errors, it was far from alone in this aspect. Awful animation, bad dubbing, and 'rejected Superfriends scripts', was the rule of the day. Transformers didn't escape all this, of course, but a lot of shows were mired in it.

The fact that Transformers can hold up, reasonably well, with most animation released now is a stunning feat. But to look at 1984 and the extremely limited options that kids had on television at the time, it's not too hard to realize just WHY it was so amazing.

Sure, it wouldn't be the legend that it is, of course. But you have to keep in mind the times.
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