The Beast Wars saga continues as the high-octane yet deeply layered series Beast Machines. The Maximals-led by a now troubled and soul-searching Optimus Primal-must battle the powerful Megatron and his new army of Vehicons... more » while learning a whole new way of transforming that requires mind/body discipline. The future of their home planet of Cybertron is at stake! Get ready for a complex, spiritual, and action-packed chapter in the Transformers story!« less
"While Beast Machines was not as Good as Beast Wars, it's still a good series and better than a lot of people are giving it credit for. Beast Wars was pretty big shoes to fill. After years of no new transformers animation, Beast Wars came out of nowhere to be a bigger hit than anyone ever expected. It was able to capture even the support of original Transformers fans by making a strong connection to that original series and even having a few G1 transformers show up.
Beast machines is decidedly darker and grittier than Beast Wars. Here the Maximals find themselves back on Cyberton (somehow) and further they are locked into their beastmodes, and also suffering amnesia. To make matters worse they're pursued by an army of tank drones who attack relentlessly. Thus would begin the running theme of the Maximals on the run and trying to find out what exactly happened to their homeworld. Throughout they encounter old friends and enemies and old friends in new guises as they eventually learn to transform (or perhaps morph is the better word).
I consider Beast Machines a very good entry in Transformers lore and continuity. Yes some changes were made to character's personalities but it fit perfectly well with the whole plot of the new show. All 26 epsisodes are included and I'm really happy they put out the entire series in one boxed set.
Reviewed by Tim Janson"
Clearly NOT a show for a "Fox Kids" network.....
Roland "Tower" | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could tell from the first episode when it first aired that this would be very different from both G1 and BW, which I and countless others had grown up watching, and cherished. The series as a whole touched home for me on many levels; I got and understood instantly what was trying to be said and done with the series, especially messages being sent concerning Primal and Rhinox. What really surprised me was the uses of the word "genocide" and "fanatasism" among others. Even more so were lines such as "No planet is alive, Optimus; merely INFESTED, and I intend to restore it to its natural condition". And "The seeds of YOUR future lie in RUINS."
I still find it difficult to fully accept how DARK and DIFFERENT this show is. Ultimately, I feel that the series as a whole is a CRITICAL story that had to be told. There are very obvious references to what happened during WW2 concerning the 'maximal shell yards' as they're called during "Revelations Part 1 and 2", another name for the concentration camps. I experienced utter shock at what was exposed in those episodes, and the shock hasn't completely subsided. Then there is Primal's "shock revelation" during "Fallout", another storyline that is minutely ever seen on "kids" networks. A cool G1 reference that I haven't seen anyone else mention is from "Endgame 3", right after Primal says "Say farewell to arms, Megatron." He just stands in the background of the fire, missing half of his left arm down from the elbow. In the G1 episode "Dark Awakening", Zombie Optimus' arm pops off while he's trying to fight Hotrod. I can easily understand and accept all the inherent "problems" this show had; I was one of them for a while. One thing I tell people who are always shocked by my description of the series, is that this is, for all intents and purposes, is a CGI/sci-fi version of Schindler's List. I studied WW2 as a requirement in junior high, and the connections are unmistakeable between the that time period and what happened during the course of this show. There is even an obvious connection between Megatron and Hitler. They both wanted to eradicate a part of themselves in others that they couldn't face in themselves: Hitler's particular religion he was born into, and Megatron wanted to eradicate his Beast Mode, something he clearly shared with his enemies.
I am very glad I decided to get this on DVD; it's too important a story to not view and learn from. Most of the episodes were written by the head writers of the Fox Kids X-Men show from the 1990s, and that series has tons of references to WW2 and other issues throughout the series. It's no surprise that the writers incorporated those elements and amplified them.
I highly recommend this series.
James Ballenger | San Diego CA | 02/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am amazed by how opposite each review is. I grew up on the G1 shows, I saw the movie the day it opened, I love me some Transformers. I passed on the Beast Wars initially because I feared anyone treading on my precious memories. However after catching an episode after Starship Troopers, I was hooked. Great show, passable animation. I dug on how the G1 characters were still referenced, making the show canon with what I was familiar with. Then I saw Beast Machines! This is what I had been waiting on; a well written plot driven story line. Having a cherished character (Rhinox) become a bad guy, brilliant! The really sinister manipulation of our heroes. Stunning animation. My biggest problem was that I wanted more. The current crop of Transformers shows are simply painful to watch. I think that anyone that enjoyed Beast Wars but hated Beast Machines, should not buy this; you already know who you are. But for the casual Transformers fans, (gearing up for the Michael Bay movie) I whole heartedly recommend this."
A Very Good Sequel
Samuel Walters | Brooklyn, NY United States | 02/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beast Machines, the sequel to the critically and commercially successful Beast Wars, had a lot to live up to. The writers could have very easily played it safe and made a generic Beast Wars 2 kind of series. Thankfully, they did not. Instead, the took their chances on a profound, complex storyline and ambitious character arcs. As with any risks, there are the possibilities of mistakes -- and this series has some. Some of the character changes are too extreme (Rattrap comes to mind) and some of the storylines are almost too esoteric (the Noble/Savage storyline, for example. It's phenominal, but it really takes what it means to be a "Transformer" to an all new level). The successes, though, far outweigh any missteps. And the ultimate message of the series -- balance between technology and organics -- not only pre-dates Matrix Revolutions, but is also done in a far more immediate and effective way. So while Beast Machines is not quite as good as Beast Wars, it is, nonetheless, a worthy series for any sci-fi fan."
Continuing where Beast Wars left off... But it's not really
Rodrigo Barros | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's great that this show is finally coming out on DVD. It begins right after the end of Beast Wars, and everything is a mess. The Maximals are back on Cybertron, they're trapped in beast mode, can't transform and there are tons of robot tanks, bikes and jets after them! They don't know what's going on, how they got there or where their friends are, they just know they have to survive. But Optimus is receiving strange messages from "The Oracle", and after they find it, they find out Megatron has taken over Cyberton and killed every transformer there ever was! Now, reformatted by the Oracle, the Maximals need to adapt to their new biomechanic bodies, learn to transform and try to stop Megatron before he absorbs the sparks of all cybertronians!
This series takes some getting used to. You obviously go in expecting more Beast Wars, and that's not exactly what you get. The characters have evolved. Optimus is like a sensei, Cheetor has matured, Black Arachnia is all Maximal, but misses Silverbolt. The biggest changes were inflicted in Ratrap and Rhinox, though. I won't say what happened to Rhinox, it's a huge spoiler to those who haven't seen the series. But I was initially incredibly disappoited with Ratrap, and that's what made me turn away from this at first. His design was radically changed, and they messed with this character to a point where, in an episode, he betrays his friends. After I got kinda used to his new looks, I gave the show another chance, and was not disappointed.
Would more Beast Wars have been better? Sure! But this is Beast Wars 2, it's a sequel, the series evolved. Give it a chance. If you really care for these charaxcters, you won't be disappointed. THey're still your old friends, they just grew up... and changed clothes. ;)"