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First Look at Transformers Beast Wars Season 1 DVD In-Hand Preview

Reported by Jay Cochran - 12:53 PM 2011.05.24
Shout! Factory is on a mission to re-release all the Transformers cartoons. Starting with Generation 1, they have moved on to the Beast Wars series with the release of Season 1 DVD set that will be coming to stores nationwide on DVD June 7th 2011. There will also be a Beast Wars collector box set available on the same date exclusively sold by the Shout! Factory store. Tformers takes a look at what is in side the first release of the popular CGI cartoon that Shout! Factory sent us for preview preview below.

The first season of Beast Wars comprised twenty six episodes that are featured here on four separate DVDs. We will save the reviews of these cartoons as they have been seen and reviewed many times already. If you've not seen the Beast Wars, this is a great introduction as the first season spends much of its time setting up the plot scenario and introducing the characters.

The characterizations are key to the story, and really are the key to many of the shows that have been produced since. Even the present day movies and TV shows like "Transformers Prime" have maintained the Beast Wars model of a small team representing each faction. Likewise, the robots have been translated to different names and forms over the years, but their character roles remain much the same. That said, I still prefer this team to them all so far. There is a certain intensity and level of drama to the Beast Wars that I have not experienced with any other Transformers series. I think it is a combination of factors. Complex character development, incredible voice actors and the lack of a sugar coated kids make for a dark and engaging serial that kept me coming back for more every week.

I was really hoping some miracle of science would bring us a HD versions of these classic CGI cartoons, but that is just not to be. Surely, due to the technology of the day. The renderings we have are what we have. That said, they do look surprisingly good. The aliasing and a touch of interlacing are visible on my PC monitor. In the DVD player, these look the best I have seen them yet. Even scaled to 1040p. The audio is also crisp and full heart pumping fidelity. Something often overlooked, the Beast Wars music and sound effects totally rocked!

The bonus material on the Shout Factory! release is pretty decent. We get all the extras from the past DVD releases and more. In addition to the 3D characterize models, there is an art gallery showing a large number of character designs featuring a variety of sketches and the final box art renders for many of the main-line Beast Wars characters.

The real bonus is the all new addition of the "Maximize! Creating a New Breed of Transformers" mini-documentary on how Beast Wars came to be. The seventeen minute clip features Hasbro's Arron Archer, Steve Drucker and Rik Alvarez as well as Chrtopher Brough of Mainframe talking about the genesis of the series and some of the challenges they faced making the toys and the cartoons. Fans of the series will really enjoy the feature packed with details that shed much new light on the series.

Overall, I am impressed with the job Shout! Factory has done on this release of the Beast Wars. Fifteen years later, everything has been visibly improved and is presented as best possible. With approximately 10 hours of Beast Wars goodness packed into one set. This old fan highly recommends this release to any new comers to the series. You can find it in stores nationwide on June 7th, 2011. Likewise, I am sure original Beast Wars fans will be enjoying these shows again in this release or in the full Beast Wars Collectors edition box set that will also be coming out June 7, 2011 exclusively from the Shout Factory! at shoutfactorystore.com.




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