Rewatching Old Classic Kids Shows 1B: Transformers - Heavy Metal War-The Master Builder-Make T

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this. It’s going to be an enjoyable ride!

    We're starting off with the original 1984 series of Transformers, and specifically for this thread, we're discussing the following three episodes, selected for us by Mark M:

    1. Heavy Metal War
    2. The Master Builder
    3. Make Tracks

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Remember too, no spoilers. This is admittedly less applicable in these threads than if we were watching a whole series through, but don't give away any major plot points from other episodes.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
    Mark M likes this.
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Glad that the second thread has begun! To quote Prime, "Let's roll!" :D I'd just like to point out that I have a habit of comparing things with other shows and movies that I have seen. So if you see a lot of "this reminded me of that" in my reviews, please forgive me. ;)

    Heavy Metal War
    I liked the plot of pitting the main hero against the main villain. The Autobots' adherence to their laws, despite not fully trusting the Decpticons is very admirable. Goes to show that for some people, all isn't fair in love and war. Naturally being a ThunderCat fan, this reminded me of the ThunderCats' code and their strong belief in it. Also Starscream's quip at Megatron ("Forgive me, but I believe your boast sounds vaguely familiar") and Megatron claiming in the end that he will be back after the Autobots assume that he is dead, echo Mumm-Ra's character.

    A couple of plot points did bug me though. The Autobots say that Teletraan-1 will let them know if Megatron is cheating. However, the machine does no such thing. How could it? It was miles away from the fight site. It was only after losing the fight when Prime is being repaired do they learn form Teletraan-1 about Megatron's trick. That whole part didn't make sense.

    Another thing was the Decepticons said that they built the Constructicons. How is that possible? That would be like humans creating humans (and I'm not talking about reproduction!;)) If the Transformers can create themselves then it implies that any fallen member can be "replaced". It kinda takes away the whole mystique of how these sentient robots came into being.

    There were quite a lot of animation errors in this one. The smaller ones can be easily overlooked but one that really stood out was when the Autobots (in their vehicle mode) arrive at the battle site and then transform into their robot forms but Ironhide does the opposite. Then in the next scene he is shown in his robot form. Also during the fight, there is one scene in which there are two Starscreams!! o_O

    The Master Builder:
    A good story, focusing on a secondary character. Grapple is a character that one can easily identify with. He has talent, but it is not being utilized. So his urge to prove himself just becomes stronger. Then he gives in to temptation. His intentions were good, but as Alan Grant says, "Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions". Holds true here as well. :)

    I felt that Prime could have been more supportive of Grapple. The guy comes with a great idea to generate lots of energy (something that the Autobots need) and Prime just brushes him off. Sure Grapple hadn't worked out all the kinks, but that does not mean that Prime should have rejected the idea all together. It would have been better if Prime had told him that Grapple (and maybe another Autobot) should start working on a design to protect the Solar Power Tower from the Decepticons, like maybe a fail-safe switch or a special key or combination or something that would not allow the Decepticons to use it. Can you imagine the leader of any powerful country in the world today saying that we shouldn't build this very useful power generator because it might fall into the wrong hands??!?!?!?! :confused

    One thing that was odd was the Decepticons CCTV camera located conveniently in the middle of nowhere! ;) Also I don't recall seeing Powerglide in his robot form. I liked the idea of the Autobots again relying on their brains and using Devastator's strength to their advantage. A certain red-haired feline hero in the same situation would have probably blasted the daylights out of Devastator using his sword! ;)

    Make Tracks:
    Another enjoyable episode focusing mainly on a secondary character. It was nice to see the Autobots helping the NYPD to catch common criminals. It shows how the alien robots have sort of blended in to the human society. The writers also did a good job of showing Tracks' vulnerability, first with him being unable to transform with his dented hood and also the main power wire that Raoul accidentally cuts.

    The two goons at the beginning reminded me of Rocksteady and Bebop in their human forms from TMNT. Also Tracks' initial relationship with Raoul was very reminiscent of the relationship between Michael and KITT in Knight Rider. The whole talking car thing was kind of amusing. :)

    One funny animation goof is when Powerglide and Cosmos are chasing Starscream, they head into a "SHOPPING MAIL". :biggrin
    LiamABC and Mark M like this.
  3. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I initially wanted to list Desertion of the Dinobots but since Liam said this would be two weeks we thought it best to pick standalone episodes.
    Glad you enjoyed these episodes.

    Sadly there are numerous animation errors in the Transformers cartoon....just wait until you see some of season 3 LOL. ;)

    I should have pointed out Heavy Metal War is the end of Season 1 hence they ending.

    I think the next three episodes will be more enjoyable.
    Wilycub likes this.
  4. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    My own thoughts on these episodes:

    Heavy Metal War
    The season 1 finale you say, Mark? That figures. It fits. There is a sense of this episode being very big. The stakes are very high in this one. That fits.

    Interesting take on the old standard. Reminiscent of "Excalibur" in Thundercats, and "The Challenge" in King Arthur And The Knights Of Justice, the main hero and main villain going one-on-one. I have no doubt Leoric and Darkstorm would have had a similar encounter in Visionaries if the show had continued. This was on the whole a pretty good version of the form. As usual, the baddie didn't play by the rules!

    Wilycub, I agree with much of what you said here. The ancient code stuff, yes, reminiscent of the Code Of Thundera. Absolutely agreed too on Megatron's moment at the end when we find out he hasn't been destroyed after all. Very Mumm-Ra-esque. And fitting again for the season finale. And Starscream's line about how familiar Megatron's boast is . . . classic villain sidekick line. Thundercats and Visionaries both have similar moments.

    Agreed on the whole "Teletran I will know if Megatron is cheating" point. How come it only pointed it out later on? Shouldn't there have been some sort of signal sooner? I would have understood if the Constructicons had properly nobbled the computer at the start, but they didn't. They didn't even damage it when they broke into the fortress. And speaking of the Autobots' base inside a volcano - Defenders Of The Earth anyone? (OK, Transformers did it first, but DotE did the same thing!)

    Overall, I'd have to say this was a pretty good episode. Makes me want to see more.

    The Master Builder

    This one is a little iffier. I agree entirely with Wilycub again here, Prime should not have dismissed Grapple's idea so lightly. "It could fall into enemy hands," - so come up with a failsafe! Even if that's not Grapple's strength, surely there's someone on the team who is good at creating security features? Also, the Constructicons just popping up and saying to Grapple and Hoist, "let's team up!" - I was convinced that Megatron had told them to do this, but no! (This happens to very good effect in an episode of another show we might watch on these threads, Spiral Zone.) And then Megatron just did the usual arch villain posturing when he saw them next, and then it was his operation from there on in anyway. It just didn't sit right with me. It might have been better if the Decepticons had discovered it by chance and taken over before the Autobots had managed to install the security features. Oh well. Still, it was fun to recognise Peter Renaday (best known as Splinter in TMNT, but also to me as Mandrake in DotE, and Prince Valiant's father) as Grapple. Odd to hear him voicing a character who isn't possessed of great wisdom!

    Make Tracks

    This one is a little better. Maybe it's my love of a mystery, because we don't know what the Decepticons are up to until about 2/3 of the way through the episode. Although it seems like there's a bit of "psychic assumption" going on here. There's not really enough for the Autobots to go on to draw the conclusion, however accurate it turns out to be (!), that these small-time crimes are linked to a master plan of Megatron's. Agreed with Wilycub again on the Autobots helping the police catch criminals - and also, by contrast, the Decepticons recruiting help from criminals! And then not keeping their end of the bargain . . . I think we should have seen what happened to those criminals after that, after Megatron shot at them, they just fled and didn't appear again, unless I missed something.

    That wire was a good plot point, and really added to the vulnerability factor. You see the wire give out again, and Tracks is going onto that conveyor belt unable to transform - he's in big trouble. You're wondering how he's going to get out of there. Then Raoul comes to the rescue, in a way that does actually work. The relationship between Tracks and Raoul is pretty good, two misfits bonding in their time of loneliness. Also, Tracks, I recognised Michael McConnohie (Ectar in Visionaries) as his voice there.

    Some general points - yes, this series looks pretty good. Of course every cartoon has animation errors, it's inevitable. Nobody's perfect, so I'll let them slide. Music-wise, I recognised the hand of Rob Walsh in the incidental music (Defenders Of The Earth, Inhumanoids), very nice! The season 2 version of the theme, well, it has a bit more energy to it, and the arrangement is definitely better, but still the written song is weak. Like I said last time, Kinder & Bryant . . . a very un-dynamic duo for me. Give me a Shuki Levy theme any day! King Arthur And The Knights Of Justice, Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors . . .
    Mark M likes this.
  5. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The thing is it's a lot of power. The Autobots aren't warriors. They have enough to deal with stopping Megatron as it is. They couldn't really afford to decrease their attack force and leave even a small group on guard and risk Megatron getting control of that much energy.

    As for the camera in the middle of nowhere a lot of cartoons had their computers have that ability like Thundercats etc. I always found that odd lol.

    I am glad both you Liam and Wilycub liked these episodes and hope you enjoy the next ones even more. :D
  6. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I like your version better! :) The whole Constructicons wanting to join forces seemed a bit too out of the blue.
    I didn't pick on that. I'll have to rewatch it to hear the voice again.
    Definitely with you on this. The Season 2 theme song, while improving on the first season's arrangement, still doesn't quite give me goosebumps. Would have loved to hear what Shuki Levy could have done with it.
    At least in most TCats episodes it was the voyeuristic Mumm-Ra spying on the TCats from his cauldron. While overly convenient, I can accept that the cauldron, much like the Eye of Thundera, can show its master whatever interesting thing is happening. But to have hidden cameras in completely uninhabited places just pop-up at the right time is a bit too much! :confused
    I definitely enjoyed them! Nice picks Mark. :thumbsup Looking forward to your next set of suggestions. I guess the reason why no one else suggested any other episodes or even voted on the ones suggested by Mark is that no one really is familiar with/has seen the show in its entirety.
    I can imagine that. With the multiple sections of coloring and shading, there are bound to be quite a few animation errors. I ignore most of them but I just pointed out a few that seemed funny or stood out too much. :)
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.
  7. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Season three has a lot. Especially scenes jumping from Earth sky to space backgrounds.
    I think for season three as a bonus episode we will watch ''Carnage in C Minor''. Aside from being a poor story it is famous for the amount of animation mistakes in it.
  8. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Well, you've got plenty of time to pick and choose. That's for week 5, after all, and we're only on week 2!
  9. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I was just browsing Youtube and found a lot of fan versions/remixes of the Transformers theme song and many of them were quite good. I think the actual theme from the cartoon should have been a bit more punk rock. Right now it feels too mellow especially the vocals. Maybe a slightly faster tempo, more loud vocals, stronger drum beats and of course some electric guitar, it could have been so much better. :)
    Mark M likes this.
  10. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    You'd still have to change the lyrics at least, and possibly the tune as well . . . so basically just start afresh with something new!
    Mark M likes this.
  11. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Maybe you two will prefer the movies theme tune more. :D
  12. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I have seen the movie a couple of times, back in 2002 and 2004 respectively. I remember the soundtrack being a bit more rocking. I seem to recall my friend Andrew (who showed it to me) wondering if it was Lou Gramm from Foreigner doing the singing. But no.
  13. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I think I have heard the alternate version of the Transformer movie's theme done by Vince DiCola. It was quite nice, but in places sounded a lot like music from "Rocky IV". No surprises there as DiCola was the composer of "Rocky IV" as well. :)
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.
  14. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The theme from the 2008 Animated series.
  15. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    OK, that's a little better . . .
  16. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The newest Transformers series Combiner Wars didn't even have a theme tune...
    But CW is an awful series. Worst Transformers cartoon ever. Bad writing, poor animation and terrible voice acting.
  17. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I agree. It certainly has more energy than the 1984 version. :)
    Mark M likes this.
  18. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    If you want a really good theme song, check out the theme of King Arthur And The Knights Of Justice. You won't be disappointed. At least, not by the theme tune! The show is hit and miss, but the theme tune is awesome.
    Mark M likes this.
  19. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    It's also a pretty good show. The animation takes a bit of getting used to but it is a fun series.
    The KAATKOJ theme is pretty good.
  20. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    That's pretty cool! One can't go wrong with Shuki Levy. The guy really knew his stuff :)
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.

Share This Page