Posts tagged Beast Wars Sucks
Does Beast Wars Suck? Sure does! Just ask this STANDING ROOM ONLY #Transformers panel room at #DragonCon 2011!0
The line outside to get in was a forty-five minute wait. Thanks to everyone who showed up to our panel in the Dragon*Con 2011 Animation Track.
Everyone makes mistakes.
Wasabi Anime (Green Mustard Entertainment) has been designing and hosting conventions and events since 2001. In that time we’ve had our fair share of “oops” moments. You’d think, though, that the “professionals” would be a little more polished than us at this point. You see, when you run a fan convention, there are three things you should always spell correctly:
- Your convention’s name.
- Your convention’s website (URL).
- Your convention’s guests’ names.
SO – Botcon showed up today on my Twitter to try and counter mine and Joey Snackpants “Beast Wars Sucks” mantra. (You can see it on my Twitter feed today starting at this tweet.) You know me – I LOVE arguing folks into a “fanboy rage” on the Internet… especially when it’s coming from an “official” business Social Media source.
So the BotCon Twitter led me over to the BotCon website where I saw this:
(click the image for a larger version.)
That’s right folks… They spelled Gregg’s name wrong on the website. They got his name right in the rest of the bio (which, I assume, is from text submitted by his representation that they copy/pasted) but not at the top. It seems this error has gone unchecked for almost two weeks.
Gregg’s a great guy deserving of a little more respect that this IMO.
Oh well… BotCon continues to perform to the level we have come to expect after visiting last year. So it goes.
So the official BotCon Twitter replied to this blog post’s title appearing in my Twitter feed by saying I “don’t show up on their radar.” I’ll let the failure of logic in that statement speak for itself.
That said… as of this writing, they’ve had time to post snarky replies on Twitter – but not time to fix the name spelling issue. Hasbro must be DAMN PROUD of the professional social media and web campaign that the folks at BotCon put on in their name. WINNING!
Man – this reminds me of old school JACON.
MomoCon is the largest free anime convention in the United States. Last year, the event had over 8000 attendees on the campus of Georgia Tech and this year it looks about the same. Wasabi Anime is on hand to “bring anime to the people” and (of course) to promote InvaderCON which is happening down the street in two weeks.
We came with a box of 5000 flyers for our crazy little Invader ZIM convention and we’ve handed out all of them before the end of Saturday. Thus confirming the numbers for attendance to be pretty damn accurate.
As far as entertainment, we did DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate to a standing room only crowd. For an hour and a half I talked about giant robots that turn into cars and stuff with Ryan subbing in for Joey Snackpants. The crowd loved it and we got to meet a bunch of awesome new fans… and one pissed off Beast Wars fan. (Sorry dude, that series still sucks.)
That’s right. We’re WINNING!
Then we went back to MomoCon for Mystery Anime Theater 3000 to roast the Sailor Moon R movie. Then TRAGEDY STRUCK! The college decided to close the building at midnight because they (I assume) had finally had enough of the hyper anime kids running around. This caused an issue with our panel since 1.) the movie was scheduled at 11:30 PM and 2.) it runs over over sixty minutes.
Solution? Run the movie a 3x speed and do commentary. John (also subbing for Mr. Snackpants) brought down the house with a cleverly placed Scott Pilgrim gag in the film and I scored with an obscure How I Met Your Mother gag.
Now it’s Sunday and I have been sitting at the Wasabi Anime table writing this for the past hour… and during that time, I’ve been reminded that the fans really do make it worth it. A guy recognized me from the Transformers panel and walked up to tell me how much he loved it – and then showed me his Autobot and Decepticon tattoos on his legs.
An hour before that, a woman from the Sailor Moon showing last night dropped off a picture she drew for me because “I reminded her how much she loved Sailor Moon.”
Make no mistake - THE FANS ARE AWESOME.
I was asked recently why I blog because, to the person I was talking to, it seemed like a waste of time. I quickly answered with my own question: “I’m not sure, but how much time have you wasted in your life watching football on television?”
Now, I’m not dogging people who watch football. I personally enjoy football games more in person. Shannon and I have been to the Sun Life Stadium for Dolphin games before, but I can’t say I’m a dedicated fan to any one team.
The point of my question is that everyone finds some sort of enjoyment in “wasting time.” I enjoy writing. I’ve been writing stories, screenplays and other assorted silliness as far back as I remember. Typing out my thoughts on the Internet started as part of the LiveJournal craze among my friends in the early 2000s. Since then, I always assume that there are about five people who read my rantings and ravings… and that at least three of them don’t like me, but read for the purpose of being pissed off.
So onward I go into my eighth year of typo filled thoughts from my boring ass life in South Florida.
It should be noted, though, that Google Analytics has been happy to convey that more than five people actually stop by and read some of this stuff. You’d be surprised at some of the key words that people search that lead them here.
For those of you who read regularly – yes. ”Beast Wars” was one of the top five reasons people found my blog via Google in 2010. I guess people really do want to know (or want reaffirmation of) why that series truly sucks.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go waste some time on a keyboard.
Let’s just cut to the tradition part, shall we? From now on, my birthday will be celebrated by visiting some random tourist attraction in Florida. Places already in discussion for 2011′s festivities:
Feel free to reply with other suggestions!
This year was a treat of GIANT proportions. My friends and I went to Dinosaur World for my birthday.
So what is there to see at Dinosaur World? Robot gorillas and cheetahs existing in a prehistoric world among the likes of Tyrannosaurus Rex and his buddies in a strange paradox situation.
No… wait – that’s not Dinosaur World. That’s why Beast Wars SUCKS.
Dinosaur World is a massive collection of life size dinosaur replicas dating back a number of years. Part of the fun of walking through the park is gaging the age of the statues based on whether or not they dragged their tails (as was once believed.) The place is fairly immersive with the tall trees and lush plant life along the path. To add to it, I played the Jurassic Park theme on my cell phone while we walked around.
Should you ever decide to retrace our steps along the Dinosaur World path, here are two things you should seek out:
THE WAVING BUSH
Fun was had, zaniness ensued, and plants were haunted. Good times.
[SPOILER ALERT!] If you haven’t watched the five part Transformers: Prime story “Darkness Rising” and you happen to be into the whole robots in disguise thing, well, you may not want to read this yet. Plot points will be discussed that can be considered all spoilery and stuff. Consider yourself warned.
Here we go.
According to Google Analytics, my blog attracts a decent amount of traffic from people who read my posts about conventions, food, travelling and other nick nacks of personal knowledge. The one topic that seems to work as a lightning rod to attract a pretty hefty number of clicks, though, is the fictional(?) war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons.
That’s right: I’m a Transformers geek.
My friend Joey Snackpants (and occasional guest host Tentacle Chris) and I present the (in)famous event “DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate” at a number of popular fan conventions. Thus, I try to stay up to date on the new shows that get churned out every couple of years.
This time around, Hasbro hooked up with The Discovery Channel to create a new cable station called “The Hub“. In a move reminiscent of the UPN/Star Trek: Voyager days – Hasbro took their flagship property and created an exclusive new show for their new television station:
Here, in no particular order, are the elements I took note of while watching the show. In true Interwebz fashion, I’ve labelled each with a “WIN,” “FAIL,” or “HUH?”. (The last one being not a good or bad observation; just an observation of interest.)
[WIN] THE WRITING
In the “DARE!” panel, we often remind some of the more ravenous fanboys that they remember their beloved childhood cartoons through rose colored glasses. The Autobots were the good guys; the Decepticons were the bad guys; and much of the story was guilty pleasure flavored cheese. There’s nothing wrong with that. Good cheesy writing is still good writing – just don’t look too deep for any substance beyond what’s there. Regardless of what a bunch of thirty-something year olds would have you believe, Transformers is a designed to be a kid’s cartoon.
That’s okay, though, because I love watching it with my “kid glasses” on.
In the original series, Spike and his dad were befriended by Optimus and the Autobots during a Decepticon attack in the ocean where they swam to safety. That’s right: Optimus Prime could swim. And surf.
But I digress… In Transformers: Prime, the writers did a great job of justifying story elements instead of just making them happen. How do the Autobots get saddled with three kids? The Decepticon drones see anyone allied with the ‘Bots as a potential threat who must be exterminated; they’re not in the business of trying to distinguish between robot and human for the sake of saving the human race. They’re the bad guys. (Duh!) Thus Arcee, Bulkhead and Bumblebee are assigned to protect the children who are now in harm’s way BECAUSE of the Autobots.
Kudos to the writing team.
[WIN] THE DIALOG
The best writing for children’s entertainment effectively balances storytelling that also caters to adults who are watching along. Just ask Pixar.
The dialog in the show is clever in two fronts. FIRST: There are lines that refer to adult topics and pop culture elements that kids might miss.
The first rule about robot fight club is that you don’t talk about robot fight club -Jack Darby
The series is peppered with a number of little nuggets thrown in there from time to time. Ten year olds aren’t going to necessarily giggle at the quote’s reference to a violent film about multiple personalities and soap – but parents and thirty-something year old fanboys will.
Writing bonus points go out, too, for the chuckle-worthy use of “scrap” as a Transformers swear word.
SECOND: There is a lot of fanboy placation going on in the show. Transformers Animated did this, too, but Transformers: Prime gets to do it with heavier guns in the form of the voice actors.
One shall stand. One shall fall. -Optimus Prime
Nope, I’m note quoting the awesometastic eighties cartoon movie; nor and I referencing Bayformers. That’s a quote from the fifth episode of Transformers: Prime.
[WIN, WIN and (did I mention?) WIN] THE VOICES
Peter Cullen is Optimus Prime.
Frank Welker is Megatron.
AND THEY BOTH SOUND AMAZING. Mr. Cullen could read a phone book with that intimidating bass in his voice and I am pretty sure he would keep a packed room captivated.
The other performances are all solid, too. Special kudos should go out to Steve Blum for creating an effective combination in the whiny/devious tone of Starscream’s performance.
Which leads me to:
Cliffjumper was only in the first couple of episodes, but he SOUNDED familiar. By the end of the five part mini-series though, I was still on a Cullen/Welker high so I never noticed who did the voice acting.
Once I looked it up, it all made sense: the grabbing of the horns comments; the bravado of a man ready for a fight; the sheer personality just oozing out of the larger than life attitude.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was the voice of Cliffjumper. Old school wrestling fans who watch the episodes should enjoy remembering The Rock’s logo and the connection to the character. Check out the tattoo on his arm:
When did Bumblebee become the astromech droid of the Transformers universe? I’m not to sure how I feel about the beeping voice thingy they are doing with him.
[FAIL... MOSTLY] ANIMATION
In a sure sign that age is catching up with me, I really miss old fashion animation. Transformers: Prime would have, in my opinion, been better if it were a cartoon. Instead, the powers that be opted to go with computer animation.
The problem with computer animation in today’s age is that George Lucas put his McMillions of dollars into making Star Wars: The Clones Wars on Cartoon Network. That series is REALLY REALLY PRETTY and, as a result, any CGI television show is immediately going to be compared to it.
The animation in Transformers: Prime really bothered me for the first two episodes. By the third, though, I no longer noticed it. I became used to it.
Being used to something and liking something, though, are two different things. To the show’s credit the animation is watchable and has some great looking moments (usually NOT involving the human characters) Also, it’s nowhere near the level of headache inducing visuals that Beast Wars was.
Beast Wars sucks -Tom Croom
Just a reminder.
With that all said, I understand why it’s computer animated. It makes the robots looks cool; kids today, they love the computer animated stuff; and it links the series closer to the look of the Bayformers movie. There’s some solid work in the character design. This old man just misses his childhood cartoons that were “cartoons”.
[HUH?] THE AUTOBOT BASE
I like the moving of the Autobots away from Detroit (one of less than stellar decisions in Transformers: Animated) and into Arizona. That said, how the hell did they score Airwolf‘s old hiding spot?
I’ll be watching for a heavily armed black helicopter to appear in future episodes. Cool points shall be earned by the production staff if the damn thing turns into a robot.
[WIN] NO ORIGIN STORY
If you’ve ever talked to my pal Joey Snackpants about the LONG list of things that annoy him in storytelling then you know that one of the main elements of his frustration is the constant need for writers to feel like they are required to feed an audience an origin story. How many different ways do you need hear about how Batman became Batman? With comics, cartoons and movies the tale has been told a dozen times.
If you don’t it know by now, reference one of the numerous previous works to learn the story.
Transformers: Prime immediately passes go and collects the $200. How did the Autobots get stuck on Earth in Transformers: Prime? WHO CARES? We’re never told. We don’t need to know. We’re told only what is required to move the story forward:
-There are only a few Autobots on Earth.
-The Decepticons have been off the radar for a few years.
-The government knows about the Transformers.
No long, drawn out episodes retelling the story; just smart dialog and scenes to move the narrative along while educating the viewer about the mythology. Great move.
[WIN] MEGATRON’S GUN
For those of you that have been to a “DARE!” panel you know that my number one complaint that could have EASILY been fixed in the Michael Bay versions of Transformers was the lack of a B.F.G. on Megatron’s arm.
How hard would it have been to just slap a giant gun on top of Megatron’s space jet mode? I, mean, it’s an alien vehicle so it could look like anything -me bitching during DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate
I think someone from the Transformers: Prime production team must have sat in one of the panels.
MEGATRON HAS A BIG F***ING GUN ON THE TOP OF HIS JET MODE THAT RESTS ON HIS ARM IN ROBOT MODE IN TRANSFORMERS: PRIME.
Pay attention, Mr. Bay. You could learn from this show.
[HUH?] BATTLESTAR DECEPTICONS
So, if the Decepticon drones are Cylons – does this mean we get a hot blonde character and Al from Quantum Leap in later episodes?
In case you missed it, look at the the Decepticon drone’s faces and look at the modern Battlestar Galactica series. This is either a clever nod to a fellow science fiction franchise or just the lazy borrowing of another show’s character design. I’d prefer to think it’s the first one.
[HUH?] EVA UNIT 01
Since we’re on the topic of character design – is it me, or does Soundwave look like a mech from Neon Genesis Evangelion?
[HUH?] DECEPTICON ZOMBIES
“The Simpsons Already Did It.”
Okay – not the Simpsons, but the Decepticons have created a zombie army before. In Transformers: Masterforce (never aired in America) the ‘Cons reanimated a bunch of human corpses as a makeshift army in their unending need to wreak havoc on Earth. The zombies all wore Decepticon logo t-shirts. I’ve joked for YEARS about doing an obscure costume of this at a convention. My friend Lyn beat me to it and recently wore the shirt for our “DARE!” panel at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2010.
So it seems that the Transformers are jumping on the zombie bandwagon, too. I’ll keep an eye out for the episode titled “The Walking Robotic Dead” to air on AMC.
This could very well be the best Transformers series to get churned out of the Hasbo universe since G1. It’s following all the elements of the formula that worked in the eighties:
-The Autobots are the good guys.
-The Decepticons are the bad guys.
-Optimus Prime is the leader (and not working on some scavenger ship or something.)
-Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are the voices.
-The robots turn into cars and planes and stuff and they’re IN DISGUISE.
I’ll be tuning back in to The Hub in February. Let’s hope the series stays as good as these first five episodes.
Still learning the live journal gig. In order to make conversations MORE effective, I have to break the topics into seperate entries. Okay then…
Here are the promised pics of the Transformers I acquired. I was lazy and just found the pics online… Beast Wars II Lio Convoy
Still waiting on my “BigConvoy” to come…