Nov 15, 2012

[TV] Transformers Animated: Season 3

Wow, that went by a lot faster than I had expected.

So I've finishing watching all three seasons of Transformers Animated, and at the end of things I can't quite say that I truly loved the series or anything like. It was certainly fun and had it's key moments but it wasn't quite the Transformers experience that I was looking for.

If anything, this third and final season of the cartoon was a pretty action-paciked one and it marks a conscious decision on the part of the creators to finally tone down on the human element. There's just something absolutely ridiculous about Transformers facing off against super-powered humans instead of fellow Cybertronians. It's just crazy.

If anything, this season certainly upped the ante on a number of fronts. Plus it featured a lot of fun cameos from other popular Transformers G1 characters, but presented in the distinct Animated style. and that was certainly a fun bit as well.

Synopsis: Transformers Animated is a Cartoon Network production independent of all other Transformers storylines / continuity. Matt Youngberg was the supervising director for the show and Sam Register was executive producer.

The last season ended with a few interesting plot threads hanging as leads for this season. Young Sari (Tara Strong) discovers that she is actually robotic in nature. Shockwave (Corey Button) remains in-disguise on Cybertron as the Autobot Longarm. And Megatron (Corey Button) and Starscream's head (Tom Kenny) become trapped on a constantly transwarping Omega Surpreme (Phil LaMarr). Thus our intrepid Autobot heroes on Earth need to find a way to warn Cybertron of Shockwave's true identity - and to do that they decide to continue Megatron's original plan of building a Space Bridge. And they know it's only a matter of time before Megatron finds a way to reassert control over Omega Supreme and thus continue his plans of conquest.

The season had a lot of interesting story arcs that ran across several episodes even though they weren't necessarily two-part specials. One interesting angle involved Wasp and his eventual transformation into their version of Waspinator, which is really the only reason why he was named that way at all from a creative standpoint. We had the introduction of Prowl's mentor, Yuketron, as voiced by the one and only George Takei. And together with that mention comes Prowl's need to master "processor over matter" which becomes a key skill later on.

Apart from the big finale, two particular episodes stand out as being particularly memorable. First is the unusual two-part episode Human Error where the Autobots wake up to find themselves in human form on Christmas day. Is this some weird lesson from the spirit of Christmas? Naturally it has nothing to do with the new Soundwave (Jeff Glen Bennett) action figures being sold by Porter C. Powell (Bumper Robinson). And of course there's This Is Why I Hate Machines where Ratchet (Corey Button) and Captain Fanzone (Jeff Glen Bennett) find themselves transwarped to Cybertron. Thus this one episode is filled with some many G1 Transformers cameos, it's almost surreal.

If anything, this season seemed to grow up a bit, perhaps in the same way that Sari ended up becoming a 16 year old girl as part of the discovery of her robotic nature. Thus we had the Decepticons enacting plans pretty much all over the galaxy and we had the Autbots trying to do more than just react to their next move. We had the leadership on Cybertron and the Elite Guard pretty much all over the place as well as they get sent on missions based on Longarm's faulty information. And yes, I totally got a kick out of seeing Alpha Trion and Perceptor, although I wasn't a big fan of their decision to go with the weird robotic voice

On the whole it was a fun show with a few choice moments but a lot of childish fluff. If more of the show was like this final season of the series, then I might have enjoyed it a lot more. But then again, it would have become Transformers Prime, when you really think about it.

Transformers Animated remains an interesting diversion from your typical Transformers fare and yet deserves its own unique place of honor in Transformers history. And thus the show rates 4 G1 character cameos and mentions out of a possible 5.

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