'Transformers: Complete 1st Season (25th Ann.)'
(Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Chris Latta, Corey Burton, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (1984) 2009 / Shout! Factory)
Overview: Four million years after crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet, sentient robots with the ability to disguise themselves as common vehicles awaken on present-day Earth. Engaged in a crucial race to find a new energy source for their home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots must defend the innocent people of Earth against their archnemeses, Megatron and the power-hungry Decepticons.
DVD Verdict: Growing up with "The Transformers", my brother and I were like most kids in the 80's who were literally in love with the toys, the cartoon and comic books.
But moreso, being impressed with the technology that went into having a robot transforming into a car, an airplane, a gun, a dinosaur and an insect. It may seem commonplace now but back then, it was an amazing time to have these die-cast metal/plastic robots that transform, using the television series as a basis of what robots we wanted to get (and hoped our parents would buy) and have these all out battles.
The first season of "THE TRANSFORMERS" was just an amazing cartoon series at the time and I'm still impressed by it 25-years-later. Watching it now, especially comparing it to a lot of Transformers animated series that have come out in the last two decades, the series continues to remain quite strong compared to the newer incarnations of Transformer-related series (especially with the toys that had die-cast metal, which were really awesome back then compared to some of the plastic Transformers toys that are sold today).
Personally, there is nothing bad I could say about this release. SHOUT FACTORY learned from Rhino's mistakes of how to issue the series on DVD for the Transformers 25th Anniversary and how to please fans but also admit the challenges they had in restoring the original broadcast versions with a new stereo soundtrack created from the original audio. Especially, releasing the first season for such a low price.
I also enjoyed the addition of the "Triple Changer: From Toy to Comic to Screen - The Origins of the Transformers" which really gave us a behind-the-scenes look on how the series created and the process of coming up with the names of the characters and more.
Again, there's nothing bad I can say about this release. If I had to really nitpick, sure I can wish for cleaned up video in the hope that thousands of instances of dirt, debris and scratches were removed (which I do hope they do if they intend to release the series again via High Definition) and I would love to have more Hasbro toy commercials but overall, I'm quite content with the release as is.
If you are a fan of "The Transformers" and like many fans who have wanted to own the first season on DVD without breaking the bank, now you can own it for a low price with a much superior release compared to the last. The series has been restored to the original broadcast versions and no more missing animation or any audio problems. This release is quite solid and is simply the definitive DVD version of 'THE TRANSFORMERS - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON' to own. [DAA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Restored To The Original Broadcast Versions With A New Stereo Soundtrack Created From The Original Audio
Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen – The Origins Of The Transformers
A Printable Script