Shout Factory! puts out the DVDs we all want but never seem to be able to find. Shows like Freaks and Geeks, Mystery Science Theater 3000, the 80’s GI Joe, Rocko’s Modern Life, and most recently they’ve begun releasing the 90’s classic Beast Wars: Transformers. I found season 1 at my local Target, only to later discover (after opening the DVD of course) that the ENTIRE SERIES is available from Shout Factory online. The show lasted three season and as of right now, seasons 2 and 3 aren’t yet available by themselves. The complete series is available for $49.99 (plus s&h) where as each individual season will be $19.99, so you save ten bucks by getting the complete series along with not having to wait.
For those of you who weren’t fans, Beast Wars takes place after the original Transformers series when the Maximals (this series version of the Autobots) and the Predicons (an off shoot of the Decepticons) crash land in the distant past on Earth. One of the earlier kids shows to use CG animation, Beast Wars was ahead of it’s time in not just animation style but storytelling as well. It’s one of the first kids shows I can remember that would often take a much darker tone than most other shows of it’s era. Now a days we still say it’s odd for kids shows to do that, but in reality it’s a much more prevalent move for show creators these days. The tone led to Beast Wars having just as many adult as there were kids watching. Season one deals mostly with the arrival of the Maximals and Predicons on Earth as they attempt to get their ships operational, prevent the Predicons from gaining more Energon sources (Energon being the main power source for Transformers) and the battle over escape pods they find crashed across the world. The show continually dealt with the differences between good and evil as well as the grey area that is often in between, as is evident with the character Dinobot who leaves the Predicons and becomes a Maximal.
The DVD also has new featurettes that the previous releases didn’t have including an art gallery, character models and a feature called Maximize! Creating a new breed of Transformer. The show preserves it’s fullscreen format like most past shows and there’s no attempt to “stretch” the image which is nice. With the episodes themselves coming in at around 10 hours for just season 1, Beast Wars gives you a LOT of bang for your buck. Transformer fans who are new to the series of cartoons and shows thanks to the films would do well in checking it out!
PETER felt like an idiot when he realized the show was released in full online but seperately the seasons wouldn’t be out until later this year except for season 1. He now pays for his mistake by having to slowly watch season 1 so he isn’t left “Transformer-less” for a few months.