by Kroze Kresky, Media Editor
Transformers fans have had it pretty well within the past few years with the complete pop culture onslaught the Transformers license has been doing. The newest iteration of the TV show Transformers Prime has been knocking it out of the park with its production quality and amazingly in depth storyline that have taken the series to darker places it really hasn’t explored much before all the while paying tribute to everything that has come before. The newest DVD release from Shout! Factory Transformers Prime – One Shall Stand collects the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2, cutting it together in a full feature length movie form adding new footage to bridge gaps between episodes (much like the previous movie format release Darkness Rising).
Megatron has been hard at work looking and gathering up a deadly material called Dark Energon (which is said to be the lifeblood of the almighty destroyer god Unicron) in order to finally put an end to the Autobots vs. Decepticons battle once and for all! Little does Megatron know that Unicron is actually asleep in the core of the Earth just waiting to be woken up with a surge of Dark Energon.
This 153 minute epic movie release chronicles the epic conflict that ends season 1 with Unicron as he wakes, threatening to destroy the entire earth and so the Autobots and Decepticons must join forces with each other if they are to survive this new threat… even if it means both sides taking some losses. But the storyline doesn’t end there! Continuing on with the beginning of season 2 storyline Orion Pax, Optimus has lost his memories and is now tricked into working with the Decepticons as we find out the history behind Megatron and Optimus’ rivalry. Is it possible to restore Optimus’ memories in time before he gives the Decepticons access to a hidden cache of Cybertronian weapons?
The DVD looks top notch (especially on HDTVs) and the fight scenes will blow people away with how much action they manage to cram in to this show. Everything about it screams quality. Even the voice cast continually manages to impress time and time again with how much emotion and heart they put into these characters. Peter Cullen here does a fantastic job portraying a more naive version of Optimus in the second half of the feature in a way that we really haven’t seen the character approached before. Frank Welker as always does an amazing job voicing the ruthless Megatron, and his back and forth with Cullen are some of the biggest highlight’s on this disc. Josh Keaton also gets quite a decent amount of time to shine as the small squishy puny human Jack Darby when the character really needs to step up and become a leader and get the job done. Finally Jeffrey Combs gets some really nice moments as Ratchet here reminiscing about his previous history with Optimus.
- “A Look At One Shall Stand” With Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi and Steven Melching – 12 minute interview around a table discussing the production process for the show and these episodes.
- “One Shall Rise Part 2 Animatic” Full 22 minute episode length animatic showing the evolution of the episode.
If you are looking for a quick way on catching up with the show in progress, grabbing Transformers Prime – One Shall Stand on DVD along with Darkness Rising is the best way to get up to speed with season 2. The 7 episodes featured here work great in feature movie length format and really shows how cinematic and high quality Transformers Prime as a show is. Some may even prefer it over the recent Bayformers productions. The writing will surprise newcomers as it is some of the most complex writing we have seen from children’s animated shows in a long time (right beside Avatar). Long time fans will love how it integrates perfectly with the brand new War for Cybertron, and Fall of Cybertron video games, containing so many references and re-imaginings of fan favorite characters (Here’s looking at you Unicron). Granted, it is important to note that if you already have the Complete Season 1 set that you already have half the content on this disc, and the other half will be on the upcoming Season 2 set release but seeing these 7 episodes put together in a feature like this is quite worth the double dip in this reviewers opinion. Next time someone asks for you to throw in one of the Transformers movies, show them this and let their mind be blown by this little show which much like the robot stars themselves transforms to be an epic action packed movie in disguise!