Monday, 2 March 2015

Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015)

Yeah so, I forgot about this, this means I'm a bit late in watching it.
At the time of writing (02/03/2015), only five episodes of this series have been released in English, and then only having aired in Australia (umm, weird move but yeah OK), so therefore the only way to view them is via bootleg methods, unless of course you're Chinese, where the series is being streamed through, in Chinese...yeah, er, OK.

Anyways, as "Transformers: Prime" and its later incarnation "Transformers: Beast Hunters" wasn't terribly popular, mainly as it was aimed at an older audience and had numerous references to G1 and Beast Wars in it, most of which were lost on the average kiddie viewer, but also because its accompanying toy line was, lets be honest, crap, there's been a bit of a gap in Transformery related shenanigans. Yes, there was the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014, which again didn't help but re enforce the concept that Transformers had completely lost its way by being little more than an explosion filled bit of summer blockbustery crap with numerous, and rather worrying, bits of commentary about jail bait squeezed in occasionally with a bit of robot on robot action.

It was announced that following the "success" (really?) of TF4, there would be a new cartoon series air, and, most importantly, a new toy line.

The series itself follows on from the events of "Transformers : Beast Hunters - Predacon Rising", and is set an unspecified time after this TV Movie. Cybertron has been fully rebuilt and repopulated, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bulkhead and Wheeljack etc are revered as heroes, and Bumblebee, bless him, now has a job as a policeman in one of Cybertrons busy city states.
One day whilst apprehending the "punk" Sideswipe with his partner "Strongarm", Bumblebee receives a telepathic message from Optimus Prime, who has long since disappeared, along with everyone except Bumblebee,  and thought to be dead. Optimus gives Bumblebee a very special mission, he is to use a mothballed space bridge at a museum to return to Earth and help recapture a Decepticon prisoners who have escaped when the ship they were on crash landed.
Bumblebee does this, but ends up having Strongarm and Sideswipe along for the ride. Once on Earth, they team up with the Minicon "Fixit" and Grimlock, who is a reformed Decepticon prisoner, and each week they track down and capture one of the escaped prisoners, with a little help from the human child "Russell" and his junk yard owning father...

Being as only 5 episodes have aired in English, and none of them thus far have been terribly interesting, I personally am not too fussed with this show, although from watching these 5 episodes, the following becomes dead obvious..

  • Bumblebee is now a forced meme. In this show, he takes over the role of Rodimus Prime from G1, as in, he is struggling to become the leader he needs to be. Similar in some respects to the version of Optimus Prime as seen in "Transformers: Animated", I suppose this is the way in which Hasbro hopes that they will finally manage to sell all those Bumblebee toys.
  •  Artwork wise, the series borrows heavily from TF:A, with the robot modes being all chunky, whereas vehicle modes tend to borrow from TF:P, with the vehicles being all angular and panelly.
  • The shows concept of "capturing" escaped Decepticons borrows a lot from "Transformers: Armada" and, yes ill say it, Pokemon.
  • The Decepticons themselves are generally non-threatening buffoons, and pretty much an aside to the Autobots "team building" exercises.
So yeah, I'm not terribly impressed with RiD 2015 thus far, and its dead obvious that it's a Cartoon Network show, with lots of bright happy colours, bumbling bad guys and poor attempts at slapstick comedy.
Hopefully it'll get better, hopefully...

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