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Transformers Prime: Darkness Rising Out Tuesday, December 6
December 3, 2011

When the Transformers Prime CGI animated series began on The Hub at the end of last year, it did so with a five-part miniseries.

Now, Transformers Prime: Darkness Rising is available on DVD in a special format. The miniseries has been edited together into one uninterrupted movie, and it’s available starting Tuesday from Shout! Factory. Bonus content will include animatics and concept designs for characters and backgrounds.

The Autobots, including favorites Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and Bumblebee (no credit, because he doesn’t talk), are still fighting the Decepticons, led by Megatron (Frank Welker), although this series provides a fresh start for new, younger fans, as represented by three teenage characters. In Darkness Rising, the Autobots, including Arcee (Sumalee Montano), Ratchet (Jeffrey Combs), and Bulkhead (Kevin Michael Richardson), have to stop Megatron from conquering Earth. Here’s the DVD trailer:

A series about robots fighting is a great choice for CGI, since the computer-generated animation suits the metallic content well. From this clip, I learned that Arcee is the female Transformer (a motorcycle in her other form):

And in this one, Optimus Prime explains the premise of the series to the three teens. The girl, Miko, is the sassy one.

3 Responses  
Thad writes:  

Actually, nearly every Transformers series has featured teen or preteen human sidekicks (even Beast Wars, set on prehistoric Earth, had one episode where the Maximals had to babysit some man-ape children — it was not one of the better episodes).

Anyhow, I caught…I think the first 3 episodes of Prime and had trouble getting into it. Nice having Cullen and Welker back, and I liked Josh Keaton basically reprising his Peter Parker role, but overall the whole thing seemed awfully bland. I don’t understand why current CG cartoons can’t have more diverse settings than 1970’s Doctor Who — you can make any location you want, guys; you’re not limited to rock quarries and metal corridors! (See also: the new Green Lantern cartoon. Quite well-written, but suffered from the same sort of drab sets.)

On the whole I found that Prime didn’t look as good as Beast Wars, which is embarrassing given that Beast Wars ran 15 years ago. Prime’s got a higher poly count but suffers from Transformers with more mechanical designs — they’re more angular and they don’t emote as much. It uses a drabber palette, and as I mentioned it doesn’t seem to have nearly the diversity of locations that BW did.

Then again, I only made it a few episodes in — maybe it gets better later on.

 
Johanna writes:  

Thanks for the more detailed review, Thad.

 
Transformers Prime: Complete First Season Announced ยป DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[...] I guess the Transformers Prime: Darkness Rising set that came out this week did pretty well, since Shout! Factory has just announced [...]

 

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