Beast Wars: Transformers- The Complete Second Season

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As this is the second season of Beast Wars, it is hard to provide an up to date synopsis, as to do so would reveal major plot points from the first season. I know most readers have already seen the previous season, but might decide to catch up after seeing this review, so I want to leave the plot twists unspoiled. Instead of a synopsis that is specific to this season, I will write one that covers the premise of the series, from the start. After epic wars, a band of Predacons manage to outrun a group of Maximals. The evil Predacons have stolen the Golden Disk, so Optimus Primal and his fellow Maximals have to pursue the criminals. As it turns out, both ships crash land on a strange planet and have to adapt to their new surroundings. The planet is overloaded with a powerful energy source, one which forces both sides to take on animal forms in order to resist the energies, which could damage them to no end. The powerful energy is dangerous, but could be harnessed for whatever purposes the wielder wished. Of course, Megatron seeks to use the power to take control of the galaxy, but Optimus Primal is determined to stop his efforts. But when a member of one of the teams turns on his own, the balance is thrown off course. Which side will endure in this unknown landscape, who will control the powerful energies?

The original Transformers was a smash success, with a hit television show and an endless assortment of merchandise. After some time had passed, Transformers retained its core audience, but fell out of the spotlight for a while. Then in 1996, a new series was introduced to American viewers that reignited the Transformers fever. The original show had crude animation, with basic visual designs, but Beast Wars sported all computer generated animation, which dazzled younger audiences. Beast Wars wasn’t just for kids however, as the storylines were well crafted and the series often pays tribute to the original Transformers. This is still a program created for a young audience, but the writing is better than what you can find on most lame afternoon shows aimed at children and teens. The animation is a little weak, but when you remember that Beast Wars isn’t a high end series, you have to cut the animators some slack. The budget wasn’t limitless and for what it is, Beast Wars looks quite cool. The characters are a nice assortment, with some good choices on transformation objects, such as insects and even a gorilla. Kind of weird at first, but after a few episodes, you’ll feel right at home. Beast Wars only ran a short three seasons, but the entire show is well worth seeking out. So Rhino’s release of The Complete Second Season is well recommended and we hope to see the third season soon.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The video here is on par with the first season, so no reason for worries. The animation lends itself to some jagged edges, but aside from that, these episodes look terrific. The prints have no defects at all, so the visuals can be as sharp and refined as possible. In other words, the episodes have good depth and excellent detail levels, which means the animation is well presented. I found colors to be vivid and bold, with no smears or overly saturated hues. Even when light sources drench the visuals in reds or orange tones, the colors hold up well and never falter. No troubles with contrast either, as black levels remain dead on and never obscure visible detail. So Rhino has preserved the cool visuals of Beast Wars, which is certain to delight fans.

Audio: How does it sound?

Just as with the first season, these second season episodes have been shined up with new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. The result is better than the television broadcasts, but don’t expect an explosive experience. The show has a lot of action, but the material is more about visuals and not audio, which limits the soundtrack. Even so, these episodes have more punch than you might think, so any added presence is welcome. The surrounds also provide some nice background audio, such as atmosphere touches. So not a lot of raw power, but some bite when needed and solid attention to detail. No problems with dialogue in the least, as all the vocals come across in clean and crisp fashion throughout.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes some animation tests, which are cool to pursue.

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