The American update of the 1985 Japanese Transformers series is based on a computer game and a line of toys from Hasbro. Beast Wars may have looked snazzy in 1996, but computer graphics have progressed so far, so quickly, ... more »that the weightless animation and simply rendered backgrounds pale beside contemporary games, let alone series. The ongoing struggle between the good-guy Maximals led by Optimus Primal and the evil Predicons continues. Although there are lots of battles and shootouts, the high-tech weapons do very little damage. The characters screech and argue before undergoing transitions from their animal to mecha forms to cries of "Maximize!" or "Terrorize!" The target audience for the disc is clearly Gen-Yers who grew up watching the show and/or playing the game. Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and up: Violence. --Charles Solomon« less
"I first caught the Beast Wars in syndication back in '99. As a 25 year old at the time and remembering the G1 Transformer series of the '80s, I couldn't help but be interested in this new CGI version. But I noticed one thing was different. The exotic location (prehistoric Earth) and the brutality of the fights between the Maximals and the Predacons. Another thing was the awesome CGI special effects that were used to show the fights and other elements of the show. No more were the explosions the hand drawn red and orange clouds of opaqueness. These were some really true looking effects. And while using energy weapons, it made it all the more real looking.Now then, the first season wasn't considered to be the best of the 3 season series, but there were some really great episodes in that one. This DVD will have six episodes on it including:#7 Fallen Comrades
Optimus takes a bad hit in a fight with the Predacons, and has to heal in the CR Chamber, while a stasis pod crashes in the mountains, leaving Dinobot to take care of Optimus while the others go to secure the Maximal protoform. The Predacons are also on top of the stasis pod, and hope to reprogram the protoform inside into a Predacon. This episode sees the emergence of the two Maximals, Airazor and Tigertron.#8 Double Jeapordy
The Maximals are ambushed inside a box canyon, and lose a stasis pod to the Predacons. When Optimus gets back to base, he accuses a Maximal of setting them up, and Rattrap is the most likely suspect, so he sends the small Maximal on a mission in Predacon territory. Terrorsaur catches Rattrap, and the mouse pledges his loyalty to the Predacons. This episode sees the emergence of the Predacon Blackarachnia.#9 The Probe
Cybertron sends a probe out to search for the Maximal explorers who have gone missing since their encounter with Megatron. The probe enters Earth's airspace, and if Rhinox can make contact with it in time, everyone's going home, but Megatron wants to make sure the war ends when he says so.#10 Gorilla Warfare
Scorponok hits Optimus with a special Cyber-bee, and it turns him into a war-hungry monster. He fights against his friends, and travels to tear the Predacons apart single-handedly. Cheetor doesn't want to see Optimus get hurt, so he makes a deal with Megatron in order to obtain the anti-virus.#11 A Better Mouse Trap
The Predacons set up Blackarachnia's new weapon, so they can break into the Maximal base. Meanwhile, inside the base, Rhinox creates a new security program called Sentinel for the ship, but Rattrap and Dinobot's antics turns Sentinel against the Maximals, leaving escaping the ship as their only option, but Rattrap is determined to make up for his mistake, and stays behind. This one was one of my favorites.#12 Victory
The Maximals install a spy cable in the Predacon base, and they watch as his forces turn against him, and hit some Energon, blowing the base up. The Maximals take their opportunity, and travel to the Predacon base to take spare parts, and use them to get their ship to fly once more. Every Maximal is raring to go, except Dinobot, who decides to stay behind.So expect 2 more discs to complete Season 1 and then 2 each for Seasons 2 & 3.The above synopsises were taken from Piccolo's Place of animated show information."
More episodes of a great CG series
madnessmark | Maple Grove, MN | 08/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beast Wars is, in my opinion, the greatest CG cartoon ever created for a children's audiance without making the audiance feel childish. These episodes are much greater than the last volume and are some of the best episodes in season 1.Fallen Comrades (A): The first Maximal stasus pod reaches the planets surface and now its a race to the pod for a new ally. I like this episode because it brings the first new character to the show and also has some good action throughout the episode.Double Jeopardy (B+): After the Predicons claim one of the staus pods and convert the Maximal into a Predicon, the Maximals suspect Ratrap of being a Predicon spy. When he's sent out on a solo mission, he is captured by Terrasaur and Terrasaur uses his new accomplishments to take full command of the Predicons. This isn't a bad episode, but this process does get repeated a couple of times so it loses it's originality over time in the series.The Probe (B): A communication probe from Cybertron comes into orbit over the planet. The Maximals must now risk setting up a sattelite in Predicon territory in order to contact Cybertron. But Megatron has other plans. Meanwhile, Tarancalious tests out his new invention that prevents the Maximals from transforming.Gorilla Warefare (A): While out on patrol, Optimus is hit by one of Scorponocs cyberbees carrying a deadly virus that will terminate Optimus if the anti-virus is not injected into him soon. I liked this episode a lot because Optimus goes berserk and storms the Predicon's base.A Better Mousetrap (B+): The Predicons are trying to use a new device that will let them enter into the Maximal's base. However, while still unaware of this threat, the Maximals setup a new security system. The system, however, goes insane when Ratrap and Dinobot break the controls. Now, the new system recognizes the Maximals as intruders so Ratrap takes on the job of shutting it down.Victory (A-): When tensions rise at the Predicon's base, it causes an Energon explosion. The Maximals, who now beleive the Predicons have lost the Beast Wars, salvage the parts they need to get their ship up and running to Cybertron. Dinobot decides to stay behind, but discovers something that causes a race for time to get on the ship.As if the episodes weren't good enough, there are actually some extras on this disc. The disc features a size comparison chart, spaceship CGI test and 360 degree 3-D test of almost all the transformers in the Beast Wars series. Inluding some from seasons 2 and 3.Overall, Rhino did a great job with bringing Beast Wars to DVD and I look forward to the release of more episodes coming soon."
Better than G1 Transformers
Lincoln 6 Echo | Harrisburg, IL USA | 09/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"P>I must say as per my original review, that Beast Wars is what it says, a War. In Beast Wars you get the feeling that these robots actually do hate one another. You can see it in the fight sequences. You actually get them beating the utter stuffing out of one another. Something you didn't see with the original G1 Transformers. It's so obvious that Beast Wars was written with the original G1 Transformer audience in mind. That original audience is now in our mid-to-late 20's. So now we're grown up, but we want to see a more mature Transformers. One were Transformers actually get damaged and die due to battle. This sort of visual is now more possible due to the CGI graphics. It's pretty easy to break apart a 3D model and add damage marks on it.But what draws me to this series is that it does have some sort of continuity to it and that the show evolves from season to season. In the first season, most of the Transformers have a very organic look to their beast modes, but however in Seasons 2 & 3 they evolve into Transmetals and they show a whole new appearance and deadliness.Now in being fair and balanced with regards to the G1 Transformer series, I admit that I haven't seen one of those old episodes since, well...back in the '80s, so I've pretty much forgotten the joy of that series. But with saying that, one thing about Beast Wars it does pay homage to the original series by involving the original Autobot Ark and a surviving Decepticon, Ravage, and I believe the "spark" from Starscream. These two latest Transformer series, RID and Armada are nothing but Pokemon versions of our beloved old school shows. In fact, in Armada, the biggest plot is to "catch all the Minicons" as in "gotta catch'em all".But anyway, I give this disc 5 stars, 4 for the episodes and 1 for the extras. The extras include 3D tests for a good portion of the robots and is quite interesting to see some earlier proto-types. The episodes, although good, I thought that the first volume actually had the better line-up of episodes thus far. But if I'm not mistaken, the next two discs should have some really good episodes on them. And then of course, the following Season 2 and 3 discs are really good.Oh, just one more thing. The audio and visual quality are oustanding. 5.1 Dolby Digital and the Mainframe Entertainment CGI graphics on a Flatscreen or better TV look absolutley amazing. Beast Wars has't looked or sounded any better than this."
The Battle Rages On!
Roy Nichols | Waterville, ME USA | 09/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the second Beast Wars DVD, put out by Rhino, you see episodes 7-12. "Fallen Comrades" "Double Jeopardy" "The Probe" "Gorilla Warfare" "A Better Mousetrap" and "Victory" my personal favorites were the last three, although, they were all very good episodes. The picture quality on this DVD is extroardinary. not a speck of fuzziness or edge enhancement. and the sound quality is better than perfect. There isn't much for special features. Just character animation tests, and a couple other small things. But thats OK, the superior sound and picture quality make up for the absense of special features. The cover art is really good too. In short, this DVD is extroardinary! If you like Beast Wars at all, you owe it to yourself to buy this DVD (or VHS tapes)."
Transformers: the Next Generation
Michael Payton | Ohio | 05/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...This series's visual effects are just as dated as the original Star Trek or even ST:TNG would be, viewed years after creation. But if your only interest is in special FX the charm of shows like these are clearly going to be lost on you. ...Beast Wars is to Transformers: Generation One what Star Trek: The Next Generation is to the original Trek. Yes, we may love the original characters and series more, but the quality of the storytelling and acting (voice acting in the case of BW) is simply superior.Created as an updated version of Transformers G1 (and not based on the video game that came two years later), under the guidance of Larry (Babylon 5) DiTillio and Bob (X-Men Evolution) Forward the series evolved very quickly into one of the only good cartoons of the 90s. So highly regarded was this series that it won an Emmy Award in it's first season. The writers enfused story elements from the original Transformers comic book from Marvel and the original cartoon to create a new continuity, which continues today in the Transformers comics from Dreamwave, and later this fall will continue further in the brand new comic & toyline "Transformers Universe" which will unite both the G1 and BW generations of Transformers in a new battle against Unicron, the main villian from Transformers: the Movie.The episodes in Beast Wars volume two represent the final growing pains just before the series found it's own footing and evolved into the classic series it became by the end of it's debut season and most especially it's second season, which ended with the best TV cliffhanger since J.R. was [destroyed]. I would not recommend buying this DVD however. There is a season one box set coming this summer that will contain all 26 episodes. This series of single DVDs will not be continued and you will miss out on why Beast Wars is the most beloved Transformers cartoon among the most ... Transfans. It's worth waiting to get the entire first season [at one time]."