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The Original Transformers Season 2 Part 2

Review by Jeffrey M. Jacobson (2003 May 2)

Transformers is ™ Hasbro and Takara. Transformers Program content: ©Sunbow Productions, Inc.

Video

This set seems to be free of the errors that plagued Rhino's Season 1 set as far as I can tell. (See my season 1 set review for more info on that.) The video quality (sharpness, etc) is good.

There is one glitch that I noticed in "Trans-Europe Express" at about 11:54 into the episode that lasts about four frames. There are some weird blocks floating around the screen. (I'm not sure what the technical term for it is.) I tried playing this on both my stand-alone DVD player and also my computer, and the glitch was there both times in the exact same place. Therefore the problem is with the DVD itself.

Glitched frame

Rating: 4/5

Audio

Unfortunately, Rhino is still adding in sound effects that were not present in the original episodes. The audio situation is worse on this set than it was on the previous two. All of the audio tracks (both 5.1 and 2.0) have had extra sound effects (ones that weren't originally there) added to them by Rhino.

Note to Rhino: Please stop adding in extra sound effects!!!!!!!! It's really simple to not add in extra sound effects to a tv show. In fact, at the same time I am typing this, I am also simultaneously not adding in sound effects to every TV show and movie ever made! Yes, leaving a sound track alone requires absolutely no effort at all. So, why continue to pollute this series with extra sound effects?

On the plus side, there was a problem with the episode "War Dawn" that has been fixed in this version. When it originally aired, the second act of "War Dawn" was played too slowly. (I don't know how this error originally occured. Whether the dialog was recorded at the wrong speed, or if the film was played at the wrong speed when being transfered from film to tape, or some other cause, I don't know.) In this version, the audio is played at the correct speed. But like the other episodes in this set, it has cheezy, Rhino-added sound effects inserted into it.

Rating: 0/5

Special Features

Misc.

Episode Order

The episodes on this disc (and all of the previous Rhino boxed sets) are in production order. Unfortunately, this order is not the same order that the episodes were intended to be shown in.

(The blacked-out text contains spoilers. To read this text, simply highlight it with your mouse.)

For example, in the episode "Child's Play" at the end of the episode some of the Autobots leave an alien planet in a toy rocket ship. The episode "The Gambler" picks up where "Child's Play" leaves off, with the Autobots still inside the toy rocket ship, heading to Earth. But in this DVD set the episodes "Quest for Survival" and "The Secret of Omega Supreme" are shown in between "Child's Play" and "The Gambler".

Another example: The episode "Aerial Assault", which features the Combaticons, is shown on this set before "Starscream's Brigade", the episode in which the Combaticons are created!

Packaging

The first thing I would like to say in this section is that I am much more concerned with the content of the discs than the package they come in. As long as the packaging protects the discs, and the DVDs can be easily removed when you want to play them, then I will be pretty happy with the packaging. But there are some simple things that can be improved here. 

Like the previous two sets, the DVDs come in a "gatefold" packaging. I (and a lot of others) would prefer the packaging style of Fox's Family Guy or Futurama DVD sets.

Also, the artwork on these sets isn't very good. (And why is the Autobot symbol in scattered pieces on the cover?) There is one drawing where Ironhide is drawn with Megatron's legs and someone else's pelvis! In the table below I've included a scan of this drawing, along with the screenshot (of Megatron) that they apparently used as a reference for Ironhide's legs. If a chimp drew this, it would be impressive. But by human standards, it is awful. Not only is the reference they used of Megatron and not Ironhide, but the back of Megatron's right leg in that scene is not colored in, making that leg appear to be flat. And Rhino's artist copied this error!

I know there are many artists out there (myself included) who could have done a much better drawing than this. Dreamwave Productions is currently making Transformers comics. Why not hire one of those artists to do the artwork?

Why does Ironhide have Megatron's Legs?
Rhino's drawing of Ironhide.

Rhino's horrible Ironhide drawing.

Megatron

Rhino's reference for Ironhide's legs was - MEGATRON'S LEGS?!

This screen shot is from very early in "The Key to Vector Sigma Part 1".

Summary

This set would have been good if Rhino wouldn't have polluted the episodes soundtracks by adding in sound effects that were never intended to be there. But now these episodes are ruined.