Everyone thought the war was over but the darkest battle has only just begun. Spectacular mecha action explodes onscreen in this long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated sequel to the blockbuster anime series that spawned a ge... more »neration of fans! The legendary Admiral Hunter is missing as a deadly new adversary threatens the vulnerable survivors of the Robotech wars. Vince Grant and Scott Bernard must race against time to unravel a treacherous mystery that could spell the end of the human race! Features the voice talents of Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) Extra features include Birth of a Sequel; featurette with director Tommy Yune composer Scott Glasgow and more. Winner« less
Etionee D. (etionee) from MORROW, GA Reviewed on 9/8/2011...
Great take on a classic story! Brought back many good childhood memories!
Pay Attention to the Central Message Here
Michael D. Mallinger | Woodbridge, VA USA | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Shadow Chronicles" represents a strong effort by Frank Agrama and Tommy Yune to carry on the Robotech legacy. Since Robotech was such an extraordinary series, expectations for this film were very high. Many people who own the DVDs, comic books, and Jack McKinney novels consider Robotech to be one of their favorite shows, if not their favorite show, of all time. Given that the fans are so loyal, dedicated, and passionate, it is understandable that some of them would be disappointed if this film didn't turn out to be as spectacular as the series. But "The Shadow Chronicles" is a step in the right direction.
The outstanding characters and plot-twists made Robotech extraordinarily compelling during the 1980s. Watching the characters change and evolve as the series unfolded is what set Robotech apart from just about every other animated series (or any television series, period) at the time. In fact, very few science fiction shows since have offered the audience anywhere near the breadth and depth of the human experience as Robotech. Throw in the path-breaking themes lying just beneath the surface like bi-racial relationships, a positive view of women in the military, and a meaningful role for the United Nations in bringing people together, and the show had all of the elements necessary to remind viewers of the adversity they face in their daily lives and what it takes to be successful in this world.
This film is an effort to distill those elements into a brief, 88 minute thumbnail. On the first viewing, "The Shadow Chronicles," its characters, and dialogue seem to fall flat. In fact, many hardcore fans may have visions of "The Phantom Menace" while watching it for the first time. However, with subsequent viewings, it becomes apparent that Ariel's evolution as a person (err, Invid) is the film's central message. Her transformation from the timid and delirious alien into the moral compass of the REF effectively captures the spirit that made the series so extraordinary to watch.
Many viewers won't notice this during their initial viewing because the film has a lot of material crammed into such a short time slot. There are a lot of things going on, and it can be difficult to determine where the various characters are (Earth orbit, the deep space base, or near the SDF-3) during any given scene. Combine this with the radical departure from the vision of the Haydonites set out during "The Sentinels," and the film can be downright confusing for hardcore fans to follow the first time around.
However, as full-length feature DVDs become the future of Robotech, "The Shadow Chronicles" is a step in the right direction. At its core, the film keeps the most important elements of the Robotech legacy intact. Viewers may complain about the appearance of the characters, video-game-like battle animation, the music, or the absence of some key characters from the series, but these issues are trivial in the long run. The departure from the story line of "The Sentinels," is a larger problem since the consistency among the series, comic books, novels, and role-playing game was such an important part of what made Robotech successful. But this problem, too, can be overcome in time.
Is "The Shadow Chronicles" a good film? Clearly. Is it a great film? That's debatable. But it is obvious from watching it that Agrama and Yune have a great film in them. Robotech is very much alive, and fans should look forward to what Harmony Gold has to offer in the future."
Robotech Returns - FINALLY!!!!
indyindiemusicfan | Indianapolis, IN USA | 02/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been over 20 years since the proposed Robotech sequel series, The Sentinels, was canned. Some of the other reviewers on this page have some misconceptions about this movie, it seems... First of all, Shadow Chronicles is most definitely intended for longtime fans AS WELL AS NEW ONES. The major reason that many of the older characters do not reappear in this story is that the producers of the film wanted to make it as accessible as possible to a general audience. To be sure, you'll get the most out of it if you have a working understanding of past Robotech, and there are several nods here to the fanboys, but overall the story is general enough to be understood by the lay person. (While it is true that Harmony Gold has had difficulty utilizing the Macross character/mecha designs in the past and/or locating many of the old voice actors for this project, these are only two reasons for the absence of many of the original characters.) On to the review...
Being a longtime fan, I had mixed feelings about the prospects of The Shadow Chronicles, but I wanted to go into it as much as possible with an open mind. First, let me say that I liked the movie, and it was exciting to see something new in the Robotech universe (especially on the big screen!) after so long. I had fears that this movie wouldn't feel like Robotech, but it actually did.
There's no reason for us to expect a new project in this universe to feel like Robotech - afterall, the original series was assembled out of necessity at the time, based on existing products. There's a great difference between adapting existing material to fit your needs and creating something new from scratch, and the only thing we've seen in Robotech before in this vein was the little bit of animation completed for the Sentinels... So above all else, I'm pleased to say that I think this new project lives up to the Robotech name.
The character animation overall is quite good. I enjoyed the new character designs (and was not bothered by Rick's new look either). I did feel the new character animation was a bit more American-style and less anime-style (mostly with regard to the returning characters, strangely enough), but it is quality work nonetheless.
The movie works well as a sort of "pilot" to set up a series or more features, yet has a pretty decent story in and of itself. I think the new enemy has potential to make good villians, although I also see the possible pitfall of them becoming merely one-dimensional token bad guys - something Robotech has never had to worry about before. The cast of heroes seems promising, with enough variety yet familiarity for some interesting interactions and plot developments.
Now onto some of the negatives... First of all, I appreciate that the CGI is much easier and less expensive to put together than full old-school animation. With that in mind, I can accept that many of the backgrounds, ships, space stations, etc. have to be done CGI. If it means we can have more Robotech, I can live with it. However, the smaller hand-to-hand combat mecha are a bit of a different story. They simply don't convey the excitement of the mecha in the original series, and their movements do not have any "weight" to them. During what should be intense moments of battle, I didn't feel the excitement of the events taking place. To be fair, I did eventually get used to the CGI mecha as the feature progressed, but I highly recommend the use of traditional animation for the mecha in future installments, or at least working to make the movements of the CGI mecha more realistic and less blocky so they don't distract from the story.
However, my biggest complaint with the movie is the recreating of several scenes from the original series. I see no problem with creating new scenes in the environment of the old series (specifically the last two episodes of 'New Generation'). Indeed, that seems to be necessary in order to make this new production work. What I do have a problem with is recreating the old scenes in a way that makes them directly conflict with those of the original series. It would have been just as easy to create new scenes with the Invid characters Ariel and the Regis (i.e. events that could have occurred during the same timeframe as the original series, simply not shown on-screen), rather than changing the existing scenes to fit the arc of this new storyline. So I'm a bit baffled as to why they chose to do this, and hope they don't "mess with the gospel" this much in future installments. That and the CGI are my major complaints with this project.
In conclusion, I thought the movie was a lot of fun, though with some technical and plot problems as mentioned above. I look forward to seeing more Robotech!"
Brian J. Mcafee | Tucson, AZ | 12/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Continues the story of Robotech picking up exactly where the last episode of the TV series ended. If you haven't watched it in a while, I highly recommend watching the last three episodes prior to watching the new movie. Takes many elements of the "Sentinels" plot as well as elements from the McKinney novels, but doesn't follow them very closely (that's a good thing). I was very pleased with the movie. It does have the feel of a "pilot", but really, that's exactly what it is. It introduces a host of new characters, and has several returning characters from the original series and "Sentinels". Almost the entire original voice cast return for this movie. New voices include Mark Hamill and Chase Masterson. The Invid are there, of course, but it also introduces a mysterious new enemy. Don't look for a strong conclusion at the end. This wasn't really designed to be a stand alone product. If all goes well, we'll see more Robotech: Shadow Chronicles in the future."
Needed more Khyron...
D. Koeniguer | Great Falls, Montana United States | 02/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Some of my fondest memories as a kid were sitting down to watch Robotech in the mid to late 90s when it was briefly featured on Cartoon Network. The original show was such a gem considering the time it was made---their was so much substance to it, so much originality---and now, look what it's become...
1. The CG was awful. Macross Zero was released earlier and had CG that was far and away superior to anything this film had to offer. All of the Mecha were awkward and boxier than a 83' Volvo. It seems as if Harmony Gold was so desperate to get this film to market that they didn't take the hour and 28 minutes to actually watch it and realize that their CG was reminiscent of "The Last Starfighter". Of course...characters that we can actually identify with and a decent story helped too.
2. The dialogue was largely stilted, stiff and seemed to be either poorly written or poorly translated. Notable exception to this was Mr. Tony Oliver---still, as always, masterfully giving us the voice of Rick---if only for about three lines.
3. The techno-speak was overdone to the point of foolishness. I agree with the other reviewer---"lose this 'delta vector theta niner' [...]. Well said. We Robotech fans do not need that garbage to fill in the dead air, a simple "De-Fold" followed by something constructive would have sufficed.
4. I'm glad I'll live to see 2044...since all the women have huge racks and perfect bodies at that point in time. Too bad I'll be in my sixties. And seriously...blue hair was cool in Max Sterling's (or any Zentraedi...since they're aliens, I'll allow it) case...but can we seriously stop w/ the purple hair/mauve eyes or blue hair/blue eyes combo on every other character?
5. The movie putters over the finish line with all the grace and style of a heavily drugged elephant, wrapping up with a cliffhanger ending...which is really little more than the same situation the story opened up gift-wrapped in the trappings of accomplishment. Look at the situation...okay, the Invid left Earth (because they pretty much didn't want it anymore). What else did the humans really accomplish? The Haydonites suffered a trivial setback and the SDF-3 is STILL lost. Hooray! Our enemies either gave up fighting us or consider us only a minor aggravation! This is not the humanity-reaffirming Robotech that we know and love.
If I have to wait another ten years to see a quality Robotech product, I will...but if I'm writing another negative review in 2017, I'm gonna be upset. The title says it all...a little Khyron in this movie would've helped tremendously."