Saturday, 8 March 2014

DVD Review - Transformers Armada: The Complete Series

Transformers Armada: The Complete Series
Voice Cast: Michael Dobson, Terry Klassen, Ward Perry
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Retail: $44.99
Running Time: 1140 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Its almost hard to believe the Transformers' franchise is thirty-years-old. Yes, there are probably a few people who think Michael Bay created the franchise with his over-bloated CGI/live-action films, but it was actually created by the American toy company Hasbro and the Japanese Takara Tomy toy company. Takara already had two transforming toylines, which were later re-branded as Transformers. Of course most adults in their 30s' remember the popular Hasbro animated series (aka - Generation 1), followed by an animated movie and countless spinoff animated series.

From 2002 to 2006, Japan aired a "Unicorn Trilogy"Transformers animated series (Armada, Energon and Cyberton), featuring a '90s design to the characters. When the trilogy was brought over to the United States, the series was dubbed with American voices. Despite getting a mixed-reaction from die hard fans upon its debut (especially with the trilogy ignoring the previous series), over time the series has been accept as part of the Transformers' lore.

This Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Shout! Factory will be releasing Transformers Armada: The Complete Series on an eight-disc DVD set, featuring all 52 episodes (three seasons) from the first installment of the "Unicorn Trilogy." Transformers Energon will be released in May, followed by Transformers Cyberton later in the year.

Typically, I would list the episodes on a DVD set, but that's a little time consuming with 52 episodes on this set. There's between six to eight episodes on each disc; so it isn't as crammed as one might expect it to be.

Like I mentioned above, Transformers Armada ignores the previous series and is considered a reboot or a retelling of the Transformers. The series focuses on the Mini-Cons that fled from Cyberton and scattered across Earth. A couple of kids discover a Mini-Con and activates it, which automatically sends a signal to the Autobots and the Decepticons. The two alien-robotic races arrive on Earth to locate each Mini-Con that will increase their power and possibly win the Cyberton war.

The dubbing on the Transformers Armada was rushed into production before airing on the Cartoon Network with the dialogue not matching the action; resulting in the first few episodes being a little childish. The Autobots and Decepticons have a different design, which some characters look great and others look a bit silly. The series is basically action-oriented; rushing the characters to find the next Mini-Con; though towards the end of the first season, the series focuses on non-Mini-Con related plots. There are no extras on the DVD set. It takes several episodes to get use to Transformers Armada: The Complete Series, especially with the dubbing and different animation style. Yes, the plots are a bit silly at times, but it is all in good fun.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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