TRANSFORMERS The Complete First Season

Animated by Toei Animation
Based on a story by Jim Shooter

1984/360 mins/Color/Dolby Digital Stereo
1.33:1/English/US/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Shout! Factory DVD

More then meets the eye!

Four million years after crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet, sentient robots with the ability to disguise themselves as common vehicles awaken on present-day Earth. Engaged in a crucial race to find a new energy source for their home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots must defend the innocent people of Earth against their archenemies, Megatron and the power-hungry Decepticons.

Without a doubt one of the most beloved animated series of the 1980s transforms itself into a superb three disc DVD set containing all sixteen episodes of the first season. After being first released on DVD years ago in a less then satisfactory set from Rhino, Shout! Factory has released the best possible version of the classic TV series now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Written and recorded in America, the series was animated in Japan and South Korea. The entire series was based upon the line of transforming toys originally created by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara, which were developed into the Transformers line by American company Hasbro. As for the TV show, it all started with the "More Than Meets the Eye" pilot. The three-part mini-series was animated by Japan's famous Toei Animation studio.

Here's the complete episode listing which are spread across two single sided discs:

Disc One
"More Than Meets The Eye, Part I" (22:52)
"More Than Meets The Eye, Part II" (22:52)
"More Than Meets The Eye, Part III" (22:53)
"Transport To Oblivion" (22:50)
"Roll For It" (22:51)
"Divide & Conquer" (22:52)
"Fire In The Sky" (22:51)
"S.O.S. Dinobots" (22:51)

Disc Two
"Fire On The Mountain" (22:52)
"War Of The Dinobots" (22:51)
"The Ultimate Doom, Part I" (22:51)
"The Ultimate Doom, Part II" (22:52)
"The Ultimate Doom, Part III" (22:51)
"Countdown To Extinction" (22:51)
"A Plague Of Insecticons" (22:52)
"Heavy Metal War" (22:52)

I have to admit that I was surprised of just how great the image looks. Each episode is presented in its original 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio. The image features crisp and bright colors but does contain some dirt and artifacts. The new stereo soundtrack created from the original audio sounds very good. Each episode is separated in five chapters. Thankfully a very useful "Play All" feature is included which makes watching multi episodes seamlessly. Each disc features some well-designed animated menus with music.

The third disc features lots of very cool extras. First of all is 'Triplechanger: From Toy To Comic To Screen: The Origins Of The Transformers' which is a highly interesting 20 minutes featurette on how the Transformers came to be. Most of the persons originally involved in the project are actually interviewed, which make it all the more interesting. We also get a couple of Hasbro Toy Commercials, a printable "Transport to Oblivion" script, and a very cool limited edition Autobot magnet. Finally, there's a very nice 12 pages booklet. This three-disc set comes in two slim keepcases, which are inside a neat metallic slipcover.

This is a must have for all TRANSFORMER fans.
"Roll out!"





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Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2009. ©