Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From The Archives: The Transformers Are Back!

(originally published on July 27, 2010)

Last year Hasbro, the toy company who owns G.I. Joe, the Transformers, and My Little Pony among other franchises announced they would be partnering with Discovery Kids with the object of relaunching that channel as THE HUB!

That announcement was jointly unveiled with news that Hasbro would be creating it's own animation studio to produce a new series of cartoons based on their properties.

The big talk at first was that Lauren Faust who wrote and directed for both The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (to say nothing as having served as an animator on Cat's Don't Dance and The Iron Giant) would be retooling My Little Pony in an effort to make a cartoon aimed at little girls that little girls might actually want to watch.

Now, I'm a huge fan of animation and Lauren Faust is one of the best talents working in that industry so whether or not you like the Ponies, it's nice to hear that they're at least in good hands, HOWEVER, this is Hasbro we're talking about! These guys own Optimus Prime, Cobra Commander, and Stretch Armstrong! It was inevitable we'd be hearing more about some of (and maybe still hopefully all) these other characters.

Well that day has dawned! At Comic Con, Hasbro has premiered test animation for a brand new Transformers cartoon called TRANSFORMERS PRIME! Below is a clip of said test animation.

Okay, a couple of quick comments. I'm not crazy that the characters are being rendered in CGI, and the designs, while not exactly unappealing are clearly based off the films by director Michael Bay. I can see where that makes sense, as that's what most new fans are going to know, but I can't help but feel myself pining for the original character layouts.

That being said, the idea of the inhabitants of Cybertron in CG isn't exactly new. I still prefer my Autobots hand drawn, but Beast Wars was CG and that show was the last truly great entry in the Transformers series so far as I'm concerned.

There was however, one more little tidbit of news that got me VERY excited.
Hasbro has announce that Mr. Peter Cullen will be reprising the role of Optimus Prime!!!

... and Mr. Frank Welker will be reprising the role of Megatron!!!

The most recent Transformer's cartoon, Transformers Animated was voice directed by Susan Blu who provided the voice of Arcee in the original cartoon. That series saw several of the voice actors from the 1980's animated series return to their previous roles, but for some odd reason neither Mr. Cullen nor Mr. Welker were among them.

The news of their return sparks hope (in this Transfan at least) that other familiar voices will be joining the ranks of Transformers: Prime as well. Unfortunately hoping seems to be all we can do until further announcements are made, but as far as kick offs for new shows go, it's not a bad start! Not bad at all.

Transform and Roll Out!

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