The Transformers: The Complete First Season

The Transformers: The Complete First Season
Out-of-print when the first Transformers film was released in 2007 due to restructuring at rights holder Sony, The Transformers' first season returns to DVD via Shout Factory just in time for the release of this summer's latest Michael Bay cluster-fuck, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Those who grew up with the cartoon will no doubt have fond memories of these episodes, which introduce the Transformers as aliens from the planet Cybertron, marooned here thousands of years ago while trying to suss out new energy sources. Awakened in 1984, they take the form of planes, trains and automobiles and move their centuries-old battle to Earth. The first spat of 16 episodes introduces Optimus Prime and the Autobots and their foes, the Decepticons, led by Megatron. Along with mainstays from the first two seasons (Bumblebee, Jazz, Starscream, Soundwave, etc.), the Dinobots and the Constructicons make their debut in this initial run, as do the Autobot's human companions: Sparkplug Witwicky and his son Spike. But those who have recently watched the 1986 animated Transformers film will be disappointed in how formulaic the episodes are when compared to that fairly sophisticated and violent (for a kids' cartoon) opus that killed off Optimus and Megatron. Included on a third disc of bonus features are a series of classic commercials, a one-off PSA where Bumblebee rips-off the famous G.I. Joe PSA line "…and knowing is half the battle" and for God knows what reason, a printable script for the episode "Transport to Oblivion." But by far the most fascinating addition to this collection is the 20-minute documentary "Triple Changer: From Toy to Comic to Screen," which recounts through those involved how a group of disparate toys from Japanese company Takara were (ahem) transformed into a generational-defining toy, comic and cartoon series. (Shout! Factory)