My TF: Animated first impressions (just watched)

Discussion in 'Transformers Animated Discussion' started by Paradigm-Shift Prime, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ok so I just took in the opening episodes of Animated.

    My overall impression is mixed, which I'm not surprised with. I am 26 and not really into kiddy cartoons such as Ben 10 and Teen Titans so it's all 'transformersness' that draws me in.

    I feel I can state some pros and cons from my perspective, I find the extreme/polarized arguments (where there is usually no substantive critical debate) over 'totally rocks' or 'totally sucks' to be of no use.

    Firstly, I read some others' reviews here and I think the props given for how 'G1-like' the show is are a bit overdone, or maybe I just read into them too much. Some reviews focused greatly on the opening scene where Prime is watching the G1 history clips, when really that is an isolated moment that they don't seem likely to connect to (G1 world) much in the show. There are a couple of G1 nods, but I lost the impression reviewers had given me about what to expect G1-wise once I watched it myself.

    That said, I do like how the series takes place in more of a 'normal' human world with a more classical cartoon environment. In that sense it reminds me a bit of G1, i.e. compared to Cybertron with its large blocky alien structures and never ending 'anime' style transformation/motivational-talk scenes.

    To make this shorter, I will now just list my pros and cons:

    Pros:
    -the characters have character (though we'll let time tell if they end up being too one dimensional, i.e. Prowl)
    -Liked Starscream's voice and character
    -liked the creative use of weapons, not just showing you what the toy gimmick is (and yeah to no cross-toyline gimmick!)
    -I like the autobots landing in the 'present' and being awoken in the future instead of the past/present. Enables for more creativity with the world.
    -quick but decent transformation scenes
    -overall I thought all the bot-only scenes were decent

    Cons:
    -I hate the humans! Especially the 'cry', 'yeah', etc. emotions expressed by them in very 4 year old cartoon childish ways (remember I said I'm 26 and not into kiddy-cartoons) that just annoy me and make me forget that this is a Transformers cartoon
    -following from that point, at times the Transformers don't seem like they fit into the human world, which is uber-hehe-sillytastic when they are not
    -I really dislike Optimus' voice
    -the animation style, though I don't dislike this as much as others, there are elements of its surrealism that are somewhat appealing and I might get used to it (far less of a problem that the humans' behaviour and annoyingness to me).

    I think that's mostly it. The plot itself so far rests in between a pro and a con for me (i.e. the slug thing was stupid, especially as an account of how the autobots get woken up, but the Starscream battle was very cool). I'll have to see more episodes to say more about that.

    Overall I am slightly more impressed that I thought I'd be. I will be watching all the episodes but maybe while doing other things at the same time (like my laundry...or transforming transformers!).
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  2. shroobmaster

    shroobmaster Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% with that.
    I mean... what the hell? Hippies with communist children?
     
  3. Longhaul53

    Longhaul53 Guest

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    I think that's kind of the point with this story. The transformers are literally 'Fish out of Water' and really don't fit into the human world. If used properly as a story device, this will give numerous opportunities to build more personality into the Bots... At least, i hope that the people behind this cartoon will continually work to further develop the characters as the story progresses...
     
  4. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Exactly what I thought. That's what being "aliens" is all about. It'd be pretty weird if they did fit in.
     
  5. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks for a constructive post. There is too much "great/sucks" with no discussion. Instead of saying why it sucks all I see is quips about a witty thing it is compared to that often makes little sense.


    But you make some good points.

    The humans did feel very alien. I am unsure if it was intentional or not (wait for DVD commentaries I suppose) but did it feel to anyone else that the TRANSFORMERS looked more human than the humans?

    The communist babies and some of the 'background' humans seemed odd to me too. All of the core humans I am pretty much OK with. I am waiting until the episode 4+ to see what sticks and what was just 'pilot' cheap animation.

    And IMHO, the monster was supposed to be an updated version of 'the dweller' from G1. The quints first made trans-organics and there was a large bug creature with tentacles and a spikey round mouth who ate mechanical creatures. It felt like an example where we would see other series stories re-told in single episodes.

    Yeah it was cheesy but it felt like it was supposed to be like the dweller.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. axiant

    axiant Autobot paper pusher!

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    I think it must be because they're aiming for a younger generation than what G1 was for. And don't forget times have changed. Cartoons these days are more kiddy 'tame' compared to what we're used to. If the Transformers were armed with guns and rifles like in G1, I wonder if they would be showing it on Adult Swim instead.
     
  7. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks nkelsch!

    To clarify, I meant that they didn't fit into the human world in a different sense than Split Lip and Longhaul are responding. I didn't mean 'don't fit in' like a grade 9 student on the first day of highschool (aliens in a foreign world), i.e. 'little girl why are you leaking coolent?'...'no I'm crying, you have a lot to learn about humans!'

    That sense of not fitting in and then gradually integrating has been done in pretty much all TF cartoons and generally works well.

    I meant more on an character/aesthetic level (not 'the human world' in general but the human world as drawn and acted out in Animated, demonstrated by characterizations, actions, dialogue, behaviours, etc.). Sort of like I'm watching two different cartoon worlds blended together. nkelsch suggests that the transformers looked more human than the humans, I feel along similar lines as that, that the transformers are sort of like humans and the humans are like they are on ecstasy mixed with caffeine. The characterizations, the ways of acting and interacting, seem like there's an awkward gap between the Transformers and the humans. So, for example, the general social environment is one way with the Transformers, another with the humans, and then when the two are together it doesn't mesh well.

    Just trying to further articulate that thought and identify that I didn't mean 'the tfs don't fit into the human world' in the integration sense I describe first in this post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  8. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    If there were no G1 clips in the show, or shots of Spike Carly and Daniel, I would have still given the show props for being G1-like.

    What made G1 what I remember it being and something that has not been touched on since Beast Wars is the simple fact that the robots have a certain interaction with each other that makes them more than just cookie-cutter characters like the Armada trilogy where discussion deals more with how to handle the specific crisis.

    "What about my Paint!??!" "Don't worry, nobody will notice, just make left turns"
    "I shouldn't have fired on Megatron." "You shouldn't have missed you mean."

    You could tell that these guys had been through a lot together before we ever jumped into their story. Their dialogue conveyed a comraudery, even on the Decepticon's side.

    "I've got a diagnostic Program that can wipe that feeling like a line of bad code" Ratchet

    "All things considered lad, you did an amazing job... amazing...... you even got rid of a nasty bar in my rotator." Kup

    "Optimus Prime... You mean they still let you command other Autobots??" Sentinal

    "Megatron is strong, he's merciless, and you'll never be our leader" Rumble

    "Megatron is Wise, Megatron is Bold, Megatron will lead the Decepticons back to Cybertron"

    Any of these lines and expressions could be interchangable between series and no one would know the difference or feel that they were out of place.'

    To me, that is more G1 than any nod or visual reference, or even visual style.

    edit: I'd like to add something I thought about in retrospect. Armada, Energon and Cybertron did have some of these elements ie. Wheeljack's past with Hotshot, etc etc... but it is more about the pacing than anything. And not adhering to fitting lines of dialogue into Japanese content. Pacing goes a long way in the delivery of lines, and said lines are not delivered at 100 miles per hour in Animated.... Well except for Sari, but she's a hyperactive child... like my own kid.
     
  9. Razorclaw

    Razorclaw Are ya gonna draw pistols

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    I agree with your post Windcharger. In Animated we have a BW character interaction mixed with G1, as well as G1 banter and humour. This series really feels like G1 reimagined.
     
  10. aussiehippy

    aussiehippy Au contraire, Blackadder.

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    Ah, a discussion, instead of bickering about chins! Excellent.

    I managed to find a copy of the show to watch the other day (I'm English so couldn't watch it on CN), and I generally agree with most of the points raised here so far.

    My favourite aspect of the show is how the Decepticons are portrayed as extremely powerful, Starscream was only beaten after all 5 Autobots and the AllSpark itself ganged up on him, and I'll wager he's not destroyed either.

    I liked the dialogue, it was funny and made sense, very refreshing after the dry, stilted delivery of the A/E/C dubs. The voice actors were generally good choices as well.

    The animation style is growing on me, I haven't watched many shows in that style, never seen Ben 10 or Teen Titans, which seem to be the most common comparisons. It's not my idea of "perfect" style for TF animation, but it seems to work and I imagine it will seem a lot less weird by the end of the first season.

    The only thing I was unsure about is the use of Sari's key. If it can heal any injury, even Death for the Autobots, then there isn't really any danger to them is there? They don't need to worry about fighting anyone because they will always be alright, which takes a bit of the drama out of it. But then, we will just have to see how the use of the key plays out throughout the series.

    Overall, I'm fairly impressed and looking forward to watching the rest of it!
     
  11. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I think saying cartoons are more 'kiddy tame' these days is abit of our insecure adult nerd selves trying to justify our continuing devotion to the cartoons we grew up with.

    As for guns and rifles..... you mean like the four previous Transformers cartoons where they ran around armed with guns and rifles?
     
  12. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    I think that the writers have something up their sleeves for that one. It might lose its power after being overused, like the fountain of youth, or simply just be taken away from her. Who knows, but judging by how badly Starscream beat their asses, I'm sure it will not be an easy run for the bots.

    Indeed.... I have all 3 seasons of G1, and no character has ever died in that show, no character has ever had his arm ripped off. Part of the reason why Transformers the original movie shocked us, because characters were dying left and right, and the "kiddy tamed" toon that was G1 wouldn't show that sort of thing. Beast Wars has to be edited during Code of a Hero in some places because of how violently Dinobot disposes of the Preds, and Megatron was all but disentigrated in this premier episode (not to mention was hanging onto the shuttle with a limb instead of a hand). Aside from the comedic episode on G1 when Prime's body parts are all over the city, no autobot or decepticon was ever disfigured in any way in the old toon... Well except for Autobot Spike, but he doesn't count. Not to give too much props to Energon, but Hot Shot's arm was ripped clear off right in front of us, and in Armada Starscream let himself get run through, and was disentigrated by Unicron. Honestly, Cartoons have gotten even less tamed.

    edit: Not to derail, but on the last episode of Return to New York, in the Newer Ninja Turtle toon, Leo beheads Shredder. Now we later find out that he is a robot (we don't find out until episodes later), but at that point in time, he is very human and Leo lobs his head right off. Any parent walking in isn't going to say "oh but he's a robot honey". So I can't really agree that cartoons are more kid friendly and tame now.
     
  13. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

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    This show was great. I think the guys who made this really looked hard at what not only appeals to kids but to the 20s/30s fan base that grew up with them. The G1 intro was phenomenal, and there were a lot of nods to that era. While the show had a ton of kiddie moments, it was great to see a new TF cartoon that was not anime, or 3d, or gimmicky. Very well done, nice story and enjoyed it immensley.

    TFs: Animated is like the cartoon version of TFs: Classics. Old material re-imagined.
     
  14. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thought I'd add in that it's crazy how polarized the "totally love it/hate it, I'm going to fight against anything said against my stance and if you think otherwise you're mentally ill" arguments are in the threads 3 episodes and a handful of still images into the series without much actual talk of the details of the cartoon itself. (if someone strongly likes or dislikes without any substance to back it up, where do those opinions even come from?)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  15. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    3 episodes isn't enough? :/
     
  16. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    hehe, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not.

    If sarcastic: Of course not! We need 3 and 1/2 episodes! (sarcasm)

    If not sarcastic: I guess 3 eps provides a starting point for forming opinions (especially animation-wise), but there is so much they don't provide too, i.e. characterization of any decepticon other than SS (knowing that Blitzwing has a German accent doesn't count), the characters past the first 5-6 on each side, the plots, degree of G1 homages, the use of the key, etc.
     
  17. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    That's why it's an opinion - the same way somebody only has to have one bite of anchovy pizza to know they hate it, while another person will love it from that same single bite. It's not hard to understand the utter love/hate from a couple of episodes.

    Personally, I love animated, but I can understand why someone else might hate it, and I don't need to hear 100 reasons from them why before I believe them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  18. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    I guess in saying that I was thinking of everything leading up to the opening episodes where all we had was a couple of stills and concept art (sort of like as happened with the movie), but as you say opinions could still be formed there too.

    I guess I'm more so wondering how often opinions go straight to the total love vs. hate level instead of being located somewhere in between (that zone where points pro and con can be made without having to be a reflection of defending a total love or hate, and giving reasons to each other can be more meaningful and substantive). That is just where I am coming from though, so if others see total love vs. hate as the way to go then all the power to them I suppose, but as the threads show it doesn't lead to much in terms of discussion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  19. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    And speaking of Pizza. I can eat a Pizza and say "This Freekin Rocks" without going into detail about the spices and the types of cheeses and tomato sauce used. It's just an expression of approval, and there's nothing wrong with people expressing something brief and to the point here.
     
  20. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    Though if the chef who made the Pizza wanted to know why 'This rocks' (what elements of the pizza made you enjoy it) so he could replicate it for repeated enjoyment, he would need a little more substantive of a response to do so.

    I mean, opinions are very often very relative (I think the point you guys are trying to get at), but there could be certain opinions, left unsubstantiated, that a large majority of people would question and beg for more details of, say "Drinking Drano Rocks!" or "failing the 6th grade again is awesome". I'm not saying anyone is doing that with Animated but sometimes some info detailing an opinion sure helps in the understanding of an opinion. And I'd rather have my opinion be understandable to others (regardless of their degree of disagreement) than have each person post a one liner 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' and then that's it (wouldn't be much of a forum) or to have people saying they love or hate without any account as to why and then calling each other stupid back and forth for endless pages.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007

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