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Transformers: Season 1 Boxset (1 - 16)
Intro:
   A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, there was a planet by the name of Cybertron. There lived two forms of inhabitants: The peace loving Autobots and the evil power hungry Decepticons. The Autobots have been fighting the Decepticons for centuries, trying to prevent them from taking over the planet. However, Cybertron relied on energy and that was the one thing it was lacking. So, after discovering a new power source, the Autobots boarded their spaceship only to be intercepted by the enemies. The ship crash landed on planet Earth and the two former inhabitants of Cybertron lay dormant for nearly 4 million years.
   Today [well in the 1980s that is], they have reawakened and the Decepticons have made it their objective to extract all the energy out of Earth, so that they can refuel and save Cybertron. What the Earth needs now is a hero to protect them from Megatron [leader of the Decepticons] and his followers. Luckily, Optimus Prime [leader of the Autobots] and his men are here to save the planet. With the help of a few humans, they are all that stand between Megatron and the survival of Earth. And just think, all of this is just in the first episode of The Original Transformers: Season 1!

Packaging:
   The Original Transformers: Season 1 comes in a 3-DVD gatefold case. The case is smaller than your typical DVD in both height and width. On the cover, there is a shot of Optimus Prime and Megatron each pointing forward in a similar manner. At the bottom, there is the title of the series, but it does not mention the season.
   As you turn the DVD to view its spine, you will be surprised to know that there is no text whatsoever. This was a disappointment because it would have been nice to have the title of the show displayed when you put the DVD on the shelf. Now, as you flip it onto its back, the title of the series is in the middle. The symbol of the Autobots is in the background. There is also the FX logo as well as the specs of the DVD. They are as follows:

Bilingual (English). Not Rated. Color. All-Coded Version.

    I would just like to point out that from here on out, every part of the case that I mention includes the title of the series. As you open up the case, there are two flaps: the left one has a picture of Optimus Prime and the other has just the title. The inside spine also has the title. When you open up the left spine, you are once again greeted with the same shot of Prime that was on the right flap, as well as the first disc. The picture behind the plastic holding of disc 1 is of the Decepticon, Rumble. A section of that picture is on the first disc.
   Now, as you open up the right flap, you will see discs 2 and 3. Disc 2 has a picture of the Decepticon Starscream holding an energon cube. The picture behind disc 3 is a mixture of the screenshot of Megatron that was shown on the cover, and of the Optimus Prime picture that was on the flaps. Megatron is the only one featured on the disc itself. Also, each disc has the MAC logo on it. And for those wondering, the DVDs are held in place by a secure plastic holder.

Video:
   The show is from the 80s so don’t expect crystal clear quality. While the video seems to be a rip off of the official, the age does show. Think of watching a movie in the theatres and you see random little spots pop up and disappear; that happens here. Or just think of watching an old 80s cartoon on DVD, but with better quality than when it aired on TV, just not perfect. Overall, despite its age, the picture is really quite good!
   Also, during the closing credits, the final few seconds where they show the company’s information was cut abruptly. Instead of the credits fading to black, right before that would happen, it went right into the next episode. This was nothing major, but I just wanted to point it out.

Audio:
     The only way to watch these DVDs is in its original language; English. I for one was quite pleased with the cast of actors they chose to do the voices. With the exception of a few [Starscream and his whininess], the dub was very pleasing to listen to.
   The character’s dialogue at some points went a little soft, but this may be due to the background sound effects [i.e. shooting and stuff blowing up]. However, there was one instance that the sound made a very noticeable change. This occurred in episode 8: S.O.S. Dinobots at around 51m52s. Sparkplug [Spike’s father] was speaking and his voice was extremely low. Luckily, this only lasted for a few seconds and then the audio resumed to normal. Other than that, there were no other problems.

Subtitles:
   I would have to say that these are the best subtitles I have ever seen. The main reason for this is because there ARE NO SUBTITLES! So yeah, great subtitles!

Chapter Breaks:
   There are 6 chapters for each episode. The way the chapters are spread out is as follows:

Chapter 1 – Opening theme song
Chapter 2 – Beginning of actual episode
Chapter 3 – Continuation of episode after the 1st commercial break
Chapter 4 – Continuation of episode after the 2nd commercial break
Chapter 5 – Just a new chapter a few minutes after the previous chapter
Chapter 6 – Just a new chapter about 2 minutes before the ending credits

So there you have it! A nicely laid out 6 chapter break throughout each episode.

Content:
      Unlike the official release of the first season, which included outtakes, trailers, and whatnot, there was no bonus material in this set. As soon as you put any one of the three discs in, the main menu automatically pops up with the opening theme song playing in the background. Your options are Play all episodes and Scene index. All three discs had the same main menu look. As far as the episode count per disc goes:

Disc 1 [Episodes 1-5]
Disc 2 [Episodes 6-10]
Disc 3 [Episodes 11-16]

In the official box set, there was a bonus disc that included special features. It is a shame that Mac/FX did not include any of those on this 3 disc set. One final note that I would like to make is that the episodes were in the order of their production number and not their original airdate.

Conclusion:
   Believe it or not, this was the first time I had ever seen Transformers. I am not one of those people who watched it when I was little and still wish it was on. But, I wish I had been one of those kids! The show is amazing. Sure the plot is simple: Decepticons try to get energy from Earth to fuel Cybertron and Autobots stop them. But the show is addicting. From the one liners to the great action scenes, this has become one of my all time favorites. Not to mention the addition of the Dinobots, Insecticons, and more!!!
   The DVDs were set up nicely with enough chapter breaks to keep me satisfied. The video and audio, despite the show’s age, was still presented very well. If you are someone who likes comedy, robots, action, or if you just like Transformers, get season 1 today! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this box set and I am eagerly waiting to watch the next batch of episodes. Until next time, roll for it!


Email me at jpolan@drew.edu if you have any problems, concerns, or comments.


Publisher: MAC
Discs: 3
Episodes: 16
Price: $21.00

Reviewer: Polanator
Reviewed On: 05/01/2004

Click on Image for Full Size


The main menu is very plain and simple looking. The two monitors each has a screenshot from the series, but it is not a video.


The chapter menu includes the title, number, and production number of each episode. There is also 6 chapter breaks per episode.


The one. The only. CYBERTRON!!! Home of the Decepticons and Autobots. Ain't it a beauty?


Here is a screenshot of nearly all of the Autobots as well as their human ally, Spike.


When you look at how happy Megatron is holding his engergon cube, don't you think of the song by the Beach Boys, "Wouldn't It Be Nice"?


Meet the Dinobots! Loyal servants of the Autobots....well....most of the time!


Megatron (leader of the Decepticons) and Optimus Prime(leader of the Autobots) engaged in one of countless battles!


So has anyone else ever wondered where the trailer of Prime's truck mode goes when he transforms back to normal?


Don't worry folks. There is no blood in Transformers. It is just lava. But Megatron still looks pretty banged up!


Wait, you mean he's not a human?! Fooled again!

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