The Transformers (TV series)

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The Transformers
"The Transformers" animated series title card.jpg
Created by
Based on Transformers
by Hasbro & Takara Tomy
Developed byDick Robbins (seasons 1–2)
Bryce Malek (seasons 1–2)
Flint Dille (seasons 3–4)
Marv Wolfman (seasons 3–4)
Steve Gerber (seasons 3–4)
Chief directorsKozo Morishita (seasons 1–3)
Jae Ho Hong (season 4)
Creative directorJay Bacal
Voices of
Narrated byVictor Caroli
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Japan (seasons 1–2)
  • South Korea (seasons 3-4)
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes98 [1] (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Nelson Shin
  • Gwen Wetzler (seasons 1–2)
  • John Walker (seasons 1–2)
  • George Singer (seasons 2–4)
  • Gerald Moeller (season 3–4)
  • Roger Slifer (season 3)
Running time23–24 minutes
Production companies
Toei Animation [2] (seasons 1–3)
AKOM (seasons 3–4)
Distributor Claster Television (United States)
Sunbow Productions International (Internationally)
Original network First-run syndication [3]
Audio format Stereo
Original releaseSeptember 17, 1984 (1984-09-17) 
November 11, 1987 (1987-11-11)
Japanese-exclusive seasons
  1. Transformers: The Headmasters
  2. Transformers: Super-God Masterforce
  3. Transformers: Victory

In the 1980s, episodes from the first and second seasons as well as the third season's "Five Faces of Darkness" and "Return of Optimus Prime" were released on VHS and Betamax by Family Home Entertainment.

Between 1995 - 1999, Canadian home entertainment company Malofilm (later renamed as Behaviour Distribution) released several episodes of the series on VHS, and some under the Transformers: Generation 2 name. None of the Malofilm VHS cover art was specifically related to the contents of the episodes either, as they were all various segments of promotional art related to the 1986 animated feature The Transformers: The Movie.

Region 1

Seasons 1–4 were released on DVD in the U.S. by Rhino Entertainment Company/Kid Rhino Entertainment (under its Rhinomation classic animation entertainment brand) (a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner) (a division of Warner Music Group) between April 23, 2002, and March 9, 2004. [16] Due to missing 35mm film stock, some sections of the Rhino Entertainment release use earlier incomplete animation, often introducing errors, such as mis-colored Decepticon jets, Skyfire colored like Skywarp, missing laser blasts, or a confusing sequence where Megatron, equipped with Skywarp's teleportation power, teleports but does not actually disappear. This version also added extra sound effects that were presented in the remixed 5.1 surround soundtrack and later remixed 2.0 stereo soundtrack, but not present in the original broadcast version.

In 2005, Rhino lost the rights to distribute Transformers on DVD. The license was subsequently acquired by Sony Wonder (a division of Sony BMG). Sony Wonder announced in October 2006 that they would re-release the first season of the series in 2007, with the other seasons presumably following. [17] In June 2007, Sony BMG dissolved Sony Wonder and moved the label to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, without releasing any DVD sets. [18]

In May 2008, Hasbro re-acquired the rights to the Sunbow library of shows, including Transformers. [19]

In March 2009, Shout! Factory announced that they had acquired the license from Hasbro to release Transformers on DVD in Region 1 with Vivendi Entertainment. They subsequently released The Complete First Season on June 16, 2009. Season Two Volume One was released on September 15, 2009. Season Two Volume Two was released on January 12, 2010. [20] Seasons Three and Four was released together in one set on April 20, 2010. [21] These releases corrected most of the newly introduced Rhino animation errors, but this was necessarily accomplished by using lower quality sources taken from the original broadcast master tapes. Rhino's added sound effects were discarded in favor of a sound mix more faithful to the original mono audio.

On October 20, 2009, Shout! Factory released the complete series in a box set for the first time in Region 1. This set, dubbed Transformers: The Complete Series - The Matrix of Leadership Collector's Set, features all 98 remastered episodes along with all new bonus features. [22]

DVD nameEp. #Release date
The Complete First Season: 25th Anniversary Edition16June 16, 2009
Season Two Volume One: 25th Anniversary Edition28September 15, 2009
Season Two Volume Two: 25th Anniversary Edition21January 12, 2010 [20]
Seasons Three and Four: 25th Anniversary Edition33April 20, 2010 [21]
Transformers: The Complete Series - The Matrix of Leadership Collector's Set98October 20, 2009

Region 2

Maverick released Season 1 in the U.K. in 2001. Three individual volumes were released (though the episodes are in the wrong order), a box set of the three disks, which included a fourth disk containing bonus features, and one volume of Transformers: Generation 2 with five episodes that had the Cybernetic Space Cube graphics added. They also released a volume of Transformers: Takara, which included the first six episodes of the Asian English dub of Transformers: The Headmasters .

Metrodome Distribution released Seasons 1–4 in the U.K. between November 17, 2003, and October 11, 2004. Their first release was a budget-range DVD of the Transformers movie, released through Prism Leisure. The seasons were released in four box sets: Season 1, Season 2 Part 1, Season 2 Part 2 and Seasons 3–4. Notably, Season 2 was released first by Metrodome because Season 1 had been released by Maverick. Metrodome's releases use the remastered production masters, which originated with the Rhino release of the series (and contain all the inherent errors). Additionally, they include Magno Sound & Video's 5.1 audio (with added sound effects), but use a modified version of their 2.0 track.

DVD nameEp. #Release date
Season One16October 11, 2004
Season Two Volume One28November 17, 2003
Transformers: The Movie — Reconstructed98September 5, 2005
Season Two Volume Two21May 3, 2004
Seasons Three and Four33August 30, 2004

Region 4

Madman Entertainment released the four seasons in six box sets in Australia and New Zealand (Region 4): Season 1, Season 2.1, Season 2.2, Season 3.1, Season 3.2 and Season 4.

They later released the remastered Shout! Factory version of Transformers in the same volume arrangement as the American release. In 2007, Madman Entertainment released a 17-disc complete collection box set.

Other releases

A collector's tin box set was released in Asia by Guangdong Qianhe Audio & Video Communication Co., Ltd. under license by Pexlan International (Picture) Limited. The set includes the entire series, The Transformers: The Movie , a set of full color postcards, a rubber keychain, and a full color book (graphic novel style) that serves as an episode guide. While the book is almost entirely in Mandarin, the chapter menus contain English translations for each episode. The set is coded as Region 1.

In July 2009, Transformers G1 Season 1 (25th Anniversary Edition) was made available for digital download via the PlayStation Network's video store in the United States for $1.99 per episode.

On October 10, 2010, The Hub (formerly Discovery Kids, later Discovery Family on October 13, 2014) started airing the original episodes of the Transformers G1 series on the network (alongside Beast Wars: Transformers and Beast Machines: Transformers ).

Related Research Articles

<i>The Transformers: The Movie</i> 1986 animated film

The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated science fiction action film based on the Transformers television series. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986, and in the United Kingdom on December 12, 1986. It was co-produced and directed by Nelson Shin, who also produced the television series. The screenplay was written by Ron Friedman, who created Bionic Six a year later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grimlock</span> Fictional character from the Transformers franchise

Grimlock is the name of several fictional robot characters in the Transformers robot franchise. He is usually portrayed as the leader of the Dinobots, a subfaction of Autobots who can transform into metal dinosaurs. Grimlock was known for his dialogue being spoken in the third person. In 2007, USA Today polled people as to which Transformer they want to appear in the second installment in the Transformers film series; Grimlock came in tied for second with Devastator, and he appeared in the film instead of Grimlock. Despite this setback, Grimlock would eventually appear on screen along with his Dinobot friends in the fourth installment of the Transformers film series.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Starscream</span> Fictional character from the Transformers franchise

Starscream is a fictional character in the Transformers media franchise. He is one of the most frequently occurring characters in the franchise, appearing in almost all of its different continuities. Starscream is generally depicted as the second-in-command of the Decepticon leader Megatron who transforms into a jet fighter and leads the Seekers, a group of Decepticons who share his body type. Across most continuities, Starscream's defining trait is his desire to overthrow Megatron and assume command of the Decepticons. This is usually out of greed and selfishness, though in some continuities, Starscream has been shown to genuinely care about the Decepticon cause and wish to bring it back on the right path, perceiving Megatron as a corrupt leader who led the Decepticons astray. Alternatively, other incarnations of Starscream have been portrayed as unquestionably loyal to Megatron or as an antihero who has tried to make peace with the Decepticons' arch-enemies, the Autobots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Autobot</span> Faction of sentient robots from the Transformers universe

The Autobots are the main protagonists in the fictional continuities of the Transformers multimedia franchise, and are depicted in a collection of various toys, cartoons, films, graphic novels, and paperback books first introduced in 1984. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are opposed by the Decepticons, the main antagonists in the universe of the Transformers, headed by Megatron. Both Autobots and Decepticons have "sparks", which function as souls and contain their minds and personality. They can transform into machines, vehicles and other familiar mechanical objects, as well as mimic organic lifeforms (Dinobots). Autobots typically transform into cars, trucks and other road vehicles; some exceptions transform into aircraft, military vehicles, communication devices, weapons, or robotic animals. These Autobots are often grouped into special "teams" that have the suffix "-bot" at the end, such as in Dinobot.

Transformers is a media franchise produced by American toy company Hasbro and Japanese toy company Takara Tomy. It primarily follows the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, two alien robot factions at war that can transform into other forms, such as vehicles and animals. The franchise encompasses toys, animation, comic books, video games and films. As of 2011, it generated more than ¥2 trillion in revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Ultra Magnus is a fictional character from the various Transformers storylines in the Transformers franchise, generally appearing as a chief lieutenant of Optimus Prime.

Soundwave (<i>Transformers</i>) Fictional character from the Transformers franchise

Soundwave is a fictional character appearing in various Transformers continuity lines within the Transformers franchises. His most well-known disguise that is of a micro cassette recorder. Throughout most of his incarnations, he is an underlying loyal lieutenant of the Decepticon leader Megatron. He is commonly depicted as Megatron's communications officer and in some interpretations, only speaks when mocking the Autobots.

Jazz (<i>Transformers</i>) Fictional character from Transformers

Jazz is a fictional robot character from the Transformers franchise. He is usually portrayed as a music-loving robot that speaks using African-American Vernacular English. In certain continuities he is shown as being Optimus Prime's good friend and right-hand man.

Jetfire is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers franchise. He is almost always depicted as an Autobot with flight capabilities and a jet or space shuttle as an alternate mode. In some continuities he is a former Decepticon.

<i>Transformers: Armada</i> Television series

Transformers: Armada, known in Japan as Super Robot Life-Form Transformers: Legends of the Microns, is an anime series which debuted on August 23, 2002. As the first series co-produced between the American toy company Hasbro and their Japanese counterpart Takara, Armada begins a new continuity/universe for Transformers, with no ties to any of the previous series, including its direct predecessor Transformers: Robots in Disguise in 2001. It inspired two sequels, Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron.

<i>Transformers: Cybertron</i> Japanese/Canadian television series

Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force in Japan, is an anime series which debuted on January 8, 2005. It is set in the Transformers universe. Produced by Aichi Television Broadcasting, We've, Tokyu Agency and Gonzo, the series is directed by Hiroyuki Kakudō and Manabu Ono, with Hiro Masaki handling series composition, Takashi Kumazen designing the characters, Mitsuru Ōwa serving as the mechanical and prop designer and Megumi Ōhashi composing the music. A corresponding toy line was released with the series.

Cliffjumper is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers franchise. His name is usually associated with an Autobot whose toys are often red repaints or remold of Bumblebee toys.

<i>Transformers: Generation 2</i> TV series or program

The Transformers: Generation 2 was a Transformers toy line that ran from 1992–1995, in conjunction with a corresponding comic book series and edited reruns of the original cartoon beginning in 1993. The prior Transformer television series, comic books and toys became known as 'Generation 1' or G1 retroactively, and are now officially referred to as such by toymaker Hasbro. Generation 2 was discontinued as the first Beast Wars: Transformers toys began hitting the shelves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Optimus Prime</span> Fictional character from the Transformers franchise

Optimus Prime, known in Japan as Convoy, is a fictional character in the Transformers franchise. The Transformers characters were developed for an American market after Hasbro representatives visited the 1983 Tokyo Toy Show. The characters were modified and the coloring was changed; notably, Optimus Prime was colored red, white, and blue. The popularity of the Transformers toys resulted in comics, movies, and a TV series.

Transformers: Generation 1 is a toy line from 1984 to 1990, produced by Hasbro and Takara. It was a line of toy robots that could change into an alternate form by moving parts into other places, and it was the first line of toys produced for the successful Transformers toy and entertainment franchise. The line was originally called The Transformers, with "Generation 1" originating as a term coined by fans of the toys when the Transformers: Generation 2 toy line was released in 1992. Hasbro eventually adopted the term "Generation 1" to refer to any toy produced in that era.

<i>Transformers: Animated</i> American superhero animated series

Transformers: Animated is an American superhero animated television series based on the Transformers toy line. It was produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Hasbro Entertainment and animated by The Answer Studio, Mook Animation, and Studio 4°C (shorts). The series debuted on Cartoon Network on December 26, 2007, and ended on May 23, 2009; running for 42 episodes across three seasons. In Japan, the show debuted on April 3, 2010, on both TV Aichi and TV Tokyo.

<i>Transformers: Prime</i> 2010–2013 CGI animated television series

Transformers: Prime is an American computer-animated television series based on the Transformers toy franchise by Hasbro that aired on the Hub Network from November 29, 2010, to July 26, 2013. The series focuses on the Autobots of "Team Prime", consisting of Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Arcee, Bumblebee and Bulkhead, and their human allies as they attempt to protect the Earth from the villainous Decepticons and their leader Megatron.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an American animated robot superhero television series for children produced by Hasbro Studios and Darby Pop Productions in the United States for Cartoon Network. It was also animated by Polygon Pictures in Japan. It is the stand-alone sequel to Transformers: Prime that ran from 2010 to 2013 on The Hub Network, featuring characters and storylines mostly self-contained from the events of its predecessor as well as an overall more lighthearted tone. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman did not return to the new series. In the United States, the series ran on Cartoon Network from March 14, 2015, to November 11, 2017.

Transformers: Cyberverse is a cel shaded computer animated series based on the Transformers toy franchise by Hasbro. The series debuted on Cartoon Network on August 27, 2018.


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