Transformers Beast Machines – The Complete Series

  • The Beast Wars saga continues as the high-octane yet deeply layered series Beast Machines. The Maximals-led by a now troubled and soul-searching Optimus Primal-must battle the powerful Megatron and his new army of Vehicons while learning a whole new way of transforming that requires mind/body discipline. The future of their home planet of Cybertron is at stake! Get ready for a complex, spiritual,

The Beast Wars saga continues as the high-octane yet deeply layered series Beast Machines. The Maximals-led by a now troubled and soul-searching Optimus Primal-must battle the powerful Megatron and his new army of Vehicons while learning a whole new way of transforming that requires mind/body discipline. The future of their home planet of Cybertron is at stake! Get ready for a complex, spiritual, and action-packed chapter in the Transformers story!The animated adventures of the Transformers took a dramatic turn with the 1999-2000 series Beast Machines; the complete series set, which compiles all 26 episodes of its two seasons, will give fans either a chance to re-examine this controversial series, or more fuel for their particular likes or dislikes. Beast Machines picks up where the previous (and well-liked) Transformers series, Beast Wars, left off, with Optimus Primal and the remaining Maximal team returning to their home planet of Cybertron, and still in their animal forms. There they discover that the planet is without power, and a race of drone machines known as the Vehicons on the prowl for the surviving heroes. Optimus consults with the super computer Oracle, who reveals that Predacon villain Megatron is behind the power loss and the Vehicons, and is using two re-wired Maximals to uncover the Key to Vector Sigma, the mega-computer that gave life (“sparks”) to robots, and destroy the Maximals by transforming organic matter into “technomatter.” What follows is an epic (and often convoluted) struggle between the forces of Megatron and Optimus that, as with Beast Wars, frequently touches on decidedly mature subjects as spirituality and racial identity. However, the liberties taken with the depiction of many of the characters, as well as the somewhat downbeat ending (which were in part the sources of much division among fans during its broadcast) may turn off those who particularly enjoyed Beast Wars or carry fond memories of the original animated series, from which this is far afield. The four-disc set includes commentaries on three episodes, one with story editor Robert N. Skir and legendary Marvel Comics artist Marv Wolfman, who helped develop Beast Machines, and two with Skir and writer Steven Melching; Skir and Wolfman are also featured in separate interviews, as are voice director Susan Blu and voice actor David Kaye (who essays Megatron). –Paul Gaita

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3 Responses to Transformers Beast Machines – The Complete Series

  1. Roland "Tower" says:
    45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Clearly NOT a show for a “Fox Kids” network….., March 14, 2006
    This review is from: Transformers Beast Machines – The Complete Series (DVD)
    I could tell from the first episode when it first aired that this would be very different from both G1 and BW, which I and countless others had grown up watching, and cherished. The series as a whole touched home for me on many levels; I got and understood instantly what was trying to be said and done with the series, especially messages being sent concerning Primal and Rhinox. What really surprised me was the uses of the word “genocide” and “fanatasism” among others. Even more so were lines such as “No planet is alive, Optimus; merely INFESTED, and I intend to restore it to its natural condition”. And “The seeds of YOUR future lie in RUINS.”

    I still find it difficult to fully accept how DARK and DIFFERENT this show is. Ultimately, I feel that the series as a whole is a CRITICAL story that had to be told. There are very obvious references to what happened during WW2 concerning the ‘maximal shell yards’ as they’re called during “Revelations Part 1 and 2″, another name for the concentration camps. I experienced utter shock at what was exposed in those episodes, and the shock hasn’t completely subsided. Then there is Primal’s “shock revelation” during “Fallout”, another storyline that is minutely ever seen on “kids” networks. A cool G1 reference that I haven’t seen anyone else mention is from “Endgame 3″, right after Primal says “Say farewell to arms, Megatron.” He just stands in the background of the fire, missing half of his left arm down from the elbow. In the G1 episode “Dark Awakening”, Zombie Optimus’ arm pops off while he’s trying to fight Hotrod.

    I can easily understand and accept all the inherent “problems” this show had; I was one of them for a while. One thing I tell people who are always shocked by my description of the series, is that this is, for all intents and purposes, is a CGI/sci-fi version of Schindler’s List. I studied WW2 as a requirement in junior high, and the connections are unmistakeable between the that time period and what happened during the course of this show. There is even an obvious connection between Megatron and Hitler. They both wanted to eradicate a part of themselves in others that they couldn’t face in themselves: Hitler’s particular religion he was born into, and Megatron wanted to eradicate his Beast Mode, something he clearly shared with his enemies.

    I am very glad I decided to get this on DVD; it’s too important a story to not view and learn from. Most of the episodes were written by the head writers of the Fox Kids X-Men show from the 1990s, and that series has tons of references to WW2 and other issues throughout the series. It’s no surprise that the writers incorporated those elements and amplified them.

    I highly recommend this series.

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  2. Tim Janson says:
    32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    NOT BEAST WARS BUT STILL QUITE GOOD., February 23, 2006
    By 
    Tim Janson (Michigan) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Transformers Beast Machines – The Complete Series (DVD)
    While Beast Machines was not as Good as Beast Wars, it’s still a good series and better than a lot of people are giving it credit for. Beast Wars was pretty big shoes to fill. After years of no new transformers animation, Beast Wars came out of nowhere to be a bigger hit than anyone ever expected. It was able to capture even the support of original Transformers fans by making a strong connection to that original series and even having a few G1 transformers show up.

    Beast machines is decidedly darker and grittier than Beast Wars. Here the Maximals find themselves back on Cyberton (somehow) and further they are locked into their beastmodes, and also suffering amnesia. To make matters worse they’re pursued by an army of tank drones who attack relentlessly. Thus would begin the running theme of the Maximals on the run and trying to find out what exactly happened to their homeworld. Throughout they encounter old friends and enemies and old friends in new guises as they eventually learn to transform (or perhaps morph is the better word).

    I consider Beast Machines a very good entry in Transformers lore and continuity. Yes some changes were made to character’s personalities but it fit perfectly well with the whole plot of the new show. All 26 epsisodes are included and I’m really happy they put out the entire series in one boxed set.

    Reviewed by Tim Janson

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  3. James Ballenger says:
    18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Bipolar reactions, February 21, 2006
    By 
    James Ballenger (San Jose, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Transformers Beast Machines – The Complete Series (DVD)
    I am amazed by how opposite each review is. I grew up on the G1 shows, I saw the movie the day it opened, I love me some Transformers. I passed on the Beast Wars initially because I feared anyone treading on my precious memories. However after catching an episode after Starship Troopers, I was hooked. Great show, passable animation. I dug on how the G1 characters were still referenced, making the show canon with what I was familiar with. Then I saw Beast Machines! This is what I had been waiting on; a well written plot driven story line. Having a cherished character (Rhinox) become a bad guy, brilliant! The really sinister manipulation of our heroes. Stunning animation. My biggest problem was that I wanted more. The current crop of Transformers shows are simply painful to watch. I think that anyone that enjoyed Beast Wars but hated Beast Machines, should not buy this; you already know who you are. But for the casual Transformers fans, (gearing up for the Michael Bay movie) I whole heartedly recommend this.

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