Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
July 15, 2012 by Dennis Amith
Possibly the best “Transformers” animated series yet! “Transformers: Prime – One Shall Stand” takes the final four episodes of season 1 and the first three episodes of season 2 and puts them together to make one action-packed, enjoyable story arc featuring Optimus Prime and Megatron in an uneasy alliance to take on Unicron. Also, what happens when Optimus Prime loses his memory and reverts back to Orion Pax? “Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” is highly recommended!
© 2012 Hasbro Studios. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand
TV AIR DATE: 2012
DURATION: 154 Minutes
COMPANY: Shout! Factory
RATED: TY Y7
RELEASE DATE: Ju;y 31, 2012
Directed by David Hartman, Todd Waterman, Vinton Heuck, Shaunt Nigoghossian
Written by Steven Melching, Nicole Dubuc, Joseph Kuhr, Duane Capizzi, Marty Isenberg, David McDermott, Mairghread Scott
Producer: Mandy Safavi, Rafi Ruthchild, Steven Puri
Executive Producer: Stephen Davis, Jeff Kline, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Supervising Producer: Duane Capizzi
Animation Producer: Therese Trujillo
Music by Brian Tyler, Matthew Margeson
Edited by Michael William Miles
Casting by Lorena Gallego
Art Direction by David Hartman
Featuring the voices of:
Sumalee Montano as Arcee
Kevin Michael Richardson as Bulkhead
Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet
Tania Gunadi as Miko Nakadai
Josh Keaton as Jack Darby
Frank Welker as Megatron
Andy Pessoa as Rafael “Raf” Esquivel
Steve Blum as Starscream
Ernie Hudson as Agent William Fowler
Markie Post as June Darby
Alexandra Krosney as Sierra
John Noble as Unicron
With UNICRON’s awakening, extreme measures needed to be taken. An unlikely alliance formed between AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS to defeat UNICRON, a foe who could spell the end of the Earth. The action unfolds as the AUTOBOTS battle alongside MEGATRON against the evil UNICRON. Enemies became allies, allies became confidantes, and with the Matrix of Leadership, the planet Earth was saved.
Though at immeasurable personal cost, when OPTIMUS surrendered the Matrix, he lost more than the collective wisdom of the PRIME. He lost himself. With the power of the Matrix no longer within him, it would stand to reason that OPTIMUS has reverted to his pre-PRIME state as the historical archivist ORION PAX. MEGATRON manipulates the impaired OPTIMUS into joining the DECEPTICONS. But does the OPTIMUS and AUTOBOTS’ true key to salvation lie in the trusted hands of a teenaged boy named Jack?
The award-winning “Transformers Prime”, regarded by many fans as one of the best looking and also best written “Transformers” animated series so far, the series is being planned for a third season release for 2012-2013.
While a Blu-ray and DVD release of the first season of “Transformers Prime” has been released, many were kept in suspense as the first season concluded with Unicron the Chaos-Bringer attacking the autobots and in a surprising move, Optimus Prime and the Autobots form an uneasy alliance with Megatron.
But in the process, something bad happened to Optimus Prime. Is he alive?
While a season two will likely be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the near future, for fans who want to know how the storyline involving Optimus Prime/Unicron/Megatron ends, will get to see it in the seven episode arc titled “Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” which will be available on DVD courtesy of Shout! Factory.
So, what is “Transformers”?
“Transformers”, the popular entertainment franchise that many generations have grown up with, may it be playing with the toys or watching the animated series back in 1984, playing the video games or reading the comic books.
Needless to say, since the early ’80s, millions have experienced “Transformers”, especially in recent years with the release of film trilogy or the animated series which continues to air on television and of course, the many toys that continue to be popular with collectors and also children.
But within the last three years, fans have watched the animated series known as “Transformers Animated” becoming the latest “Transformers” animated series to be showcased on television beginning in 2007 and would last for three seasons through 2009.
Fans knew that there will be a newer version of the series coming out, but the question is what kind of series?
In 2010, the video game “Transformers: War of Cybertron” was released and was a well-received by gamers but also video game critics and it was revealed that the upcoming animated series would be set in the same universe as the video game.
And then by November 2010, Hasbro unveiled “Transformers: Prime”, a CG animated television series which would air on The Hub and would first begin with a five-episode mini-series. And with one season having now been completed in 2011, a second season is set to air in 2012.
And it’s this latest series that has been creating a lot of buzz among fans and viewers. With the CG animation and slightly darker storyline, the series would go on to win a Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation” for background design and color design.
As many fans have waited for a video release of “Transformers: Prime” and because the series is CG-animated, many have hoped for a Blu-ray release. And it appears that Shout! Factory has listened to the fans and are releasing “Transformers: Prime – Season One” on Blu-ray in March 2012. The Blu-ray features all 26 episodes including the 5-episode “Darkness Rising” mini-series.
A quick summary of “Transformers Prime”
“Transformers: Prime – Darkness Rising” would take place three years since the Decepticons have lasted attacked Earth and the Autobots have awaited their return.
One day, Arcee and Cliffjumper went to search for Energon near a rock cliff. But not long after arriving, he is attacked by the Decepticons and in the process, all the Energon is destroyed but Cliffjumper is captured.
Upset about the Energon, Starscream confronts Cliffjumper and kills him.
But by the time Optimus Prime, Arcee, Bumblebee, Ratchet and Bulkhead arrive to help Cliffjumper, they realize they have arrived too late. But now they know the Decepticons are back and they are the only five Autobots that must defend and protect humankind.
As Arcee goes to town to let off steam after her friend Cliffjumper has died, a human named Jack Darby who works at a burger shop sees a motorcycle (which is Arcee) and hopes to purchase one when he makes enough money. And as Jack gets on the motorcycle, he is unaware that Decepticons have arrived and are going after Arcee.
So, now Jack is brought into the fray and Starscream wants both Arcee and Jack dead. But while trying to escape from the Decepticons, two more humans: a young genius named Rafael “Raf” Esquivel and the mouthy foreign exchange student Miko Nakadai see all the action taking place and now their lives are in danger.
Optimus Prime now wants these three to be protected as the Decepticons are after them as they are thought to be assisting the Autobots.
But while Starscream is intent of leading the Decepticons, Megatron, who has been missing for three years, has returned. And this time, he has Dark Energon and plans t use it to raise an undead army of Cybertronians in order to defeat his nemesis Optimus Prime and the Autobots.
Will five Autobots be enough to defeat Megatron or the Decepticons?
And this leads us to the remaining 20-episodes of the first season of “Transformers Prime”.
The series takes place after the events of “Transformers Prime – Darkness Rising”. Megatron’s death has now given Starscream a chance to be leader of the Decepticons, but not many of the Decepticons respect him and thus, hope they can revive Megatron by finding Energons on Earth.
Jack, Miko and Raf continue to work with the Autobots, while Agent William Fowler occasionally calls in the Autobots whenever he is in need of help.
But meanwhile, Starscream and his Decepticons is doing all he can to make sure they get the Energons and to find the secret location of where the Autobots are hiding.
As the Autobots take on various new Decepticons who have shown up on Earth, they quickly learn that there are humans, just as dangerous as the Decepticons known as M.E.C.H., a terrorist organization led by Silas who has been in search of “living technology”.
As for Megatron, despite his body being out of commission, he is trying to be revived by his fellow Decepticons, but will the power-hungry Starscream allow it?
And an unforeseen nemesis by the name of Unicron returns.
Which leads us to “Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand”…
Note: If you have watched season one, you may want to skip this summary
At the conclusion of season one, Unicron has been reborn. But as Megatron is powerless to fight against Unicron and Optimus Prime and the Autobots, surely not being strong to take him on by themselves. By joining forces, perhaps they will have a chance in fighting back against Unicron.
But with young Raf being injured by Megatron earlier, will Optimus and the Autobots want to help Megatron?
Unfortunately, they have no choice and thus, both Optimus and Megatron must join forces in order to fight against Unicron. But doing so, comes with a price.
With the Matrix of Leadership being used, Optimus Prime has now lost all memory of being a Prime and his memory has been reset. Thus making him think he is still the Cybertron data clerk, Orion Pax. And because Optimus/Orion have been separated away from the Autobots, Megatron is taking advantage of the situation by telling Orion that he is a member of the Decepticons and that the Autobots are the true enemy.
Meanwhile, the Autobots must find a way to rescue Optimus before he is led astray even further by Megatron!
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” is presented in widescreen format. The CG animation for this film is absolutely wonderful as we can see details on the metal of various robots. You can see scratches on the metal, the reflection of light and also glass windows and the reflection. From Optimus Prime’s glass windows on his chest showcasing reflections to Megatron’s steel body and also the damage on the overall body of Cliffjumper, I was quite pleased with how this series looks! But also detail is featured in the overall scenery as well.
Bare in mind, having watched “Transformers Prime” on Blu-ray, for videophiles, you will of course see much more detail and clarity when season two is released on Blu-ray (the Unicron season one episodes are now available with “Transformers Prime: Season One”).
But overall, great detail and lighting for this TV series on DVD.
As for audio, dialogue is presented in English and Spanish Dolby Digital stereo and dialogue is clear and understandable. The voice acting is terrific and the fact that voice talent Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron) of the original “Transformers” animated series are back for this series…Fantastic!
“Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” comes with the following special feature:
- A Look at One Shall Stand – (12:12) Jeff Kline, Duane Cappizzi and Steven Melching talked about the challenges but also the preparation that the writing staff had in creating the story of “One Shall Stand”.
- One Shall Rise, Part 2 – (22:06) Sketch animatics from the episodes featured on “One Shall Stand”..
“Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” comes with a slipcover case.
Is “Transformers Prime” possibly the best “Transformers” animated series yet? I asked this question to “Transformers” fans and I know it’s subjective for every fan that has grown up with “Transformers”. I grew up with G1 and I know friends who grew up with “Transformers: Beast Wars” and felt that was their best series ever.
But I know I’m among a small group of fans who have grown up with the series back in the ’80s and still have admiration towards the various incarnations of the “Transformers” series, still buy the toys occasionally and are passionate about the storyline and how various studios treat the characters and to not stray too far of what fans have come to love about the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons
While the storylines of “Transformers” tends to change from series to series, the storyline of a battle between Autobots and the Decepticons still remains. Especially between Optimus Prime vs. Megatron. And as a father who has a child who is just as passionate as I was growing up with the series, I have to say that for me, “Transformers: Prime” is wonderful series.
By saying that, of course, G1 will always be true to my heart because I loved the amount of characters (especially the amount of toys produced) and several years ago, I gushed about how much I loved “Transformers: Cybertron” because of how many characters were integrated.
With “Transformers: Prime”, I admit that I was weary at first because of the few characters featured. Similar to “Transformers: The Animated Series”, we had a core group of Autobots and Decepticons but I’m so used to more characters, the merrier.
There is strong sense of quality with the writing for this series and I feel that these later episodes for season 1 and the earlier episodes of season 2 tend to look even better than when the series first started. And as a “Transformers” fan, when you have someone as powerful as Unicron involved, you know these episodes are going to be exciting. Especially when Optimus Prime and Megatron must join forces. That was fascinating but also a story exploring Optimus Prime when he was known as Orion Pax, a data clerk.
There are far too many things (cool things) that happen throughout this seven episode arc and not only is it action-packed and exciting but you really get good character development, especially showing how much the Autobots and their human companions need each other. How strong their bond is!
So, I absolutely enjoyed these episodes! But…and there is a but… this applies to fans who grew up with the original series and the first “Transformers” animated movie, and that involves Unicron. I expected a major battlest against Unicron, something so amazingly difficult and something that was so huge, that it would take many episodes to tell the story. Unicron is way too powerful and while the storyline arc involving Unicron does work for this series, as a longtime fan, I felt the stories dedicated to Unicron was too short and should have been a major threat than he was featured in this series.
Yes, they talk about how powerful Unicron is but the overall confrontation went too quickly that I would have liked. But other than that minor criticism, I enjoyed the episodes featured on this DVD.
As for parents who are wondering, “how old should my child be to watch this series?”. Personally, I would say that as long as they older children, 7 or older at least.
For example, the first episode of this arc has the youngest human friend, Rafael, getting injured in battle and could have died. Granted, there is no way Hasbro would have a child be so injured, let alone die in a series targeted towards people of all ages and many young viewers. But there is a scene where Jack’s mother, a doctor, had to save Raf’s life by giving him medical attention. Other than that, the series is child is pretty much accessible for children. You get the robots fighting with each other, but that’s about the extent of how things get in these episodes. Nothing too frightening.
And as mentioned earlier, the CG animation for this series is great! Typically, there are a lot of shortcuts taken on TV series but the creators of the series definitely made sure there was a lot of detail on both the Autobots and Decepticons but also various objects and environments. So, animation for “Transformers: Prime” was much more than I expected for an animated series but I admit, it is the most ambitious “Transformers” animated series yet but the crew managed to pull it off with great efficacy.
And as for the voice acting, the voice acting is wonderful! I was surprised was how many big names they brought in to do voices for the characters. Legendary Optimus Prime voice actor Peter Cullen and legendary Megatron voice actor Frank Welker (“G.I. Joe”, “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”) are back. They are joined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (of WWE fame and “Fast Five”) as Cliffjumper, Steve Blum (Logan/Wolverine for “X-Men”) as Starscream and Ernie Hudson (“Oz”, “Ghostbusters”) as Agent Fowler. But for any longtime “Transformers” fan, the fact that Cullen and Welker are back to do the voices for Optimus and Megatron is fantastic!
It’s important to note that this is a seven-episode arc that features the final four episodes of season 1 and the first three episodes of season 2. These episodes are tied together seamlessly, so it seems as if you are watching a movie. But If you want the full collection of “Transformers Prime”, season 1 is available on Blu-ray and DVD and when the third season comes out, expect the second season to be released on Blu-ray and DVD as well.
Overall, as a longtime “Transformers” fan, and as a fan who has appreciated every series, “Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand” is an enjoyable DVD featuring the battle against Unicron but also featuring episodes of Optimus Prime losing his memory and reverting back to Orion Pax. Featuring awesome visual CG graphics with a well-written storyline, as a fan and a father, I felt that the creators of this series did a fantastic job in creating the “Transformers Prime” series that will appeal to the new generation of “Transformers” fans but also many of us who are older but are still young at heart.
If you can’t wait for the “Transformers Prime” season two box set and want to watch these episodes now (which does make a great commuting DVD for the children during summer vacation), then I definitely recommend “Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand”!
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