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DVD Review: Transformers: Season 2, Volume 2 (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Transformers: Season 2, Volume 2 continues Shout Factory’s release of the 1984 series which chronicled the galactic battle of the heroic Autobots led by Optimus Prime and the villainous Decepticons led by Megatron. Each is trying to get enough Energon, an energy substance found on their world, to tip the balance in their favor and take control of their home planet Cybertron.

The second season consists of the last episodes before the 1986 Transfomers: The Movie was released. The film saw the demise of multiple Autobots and Decepticons and included several main characters. Season three would then introduce a whole new batch of Transformers for kids to clamor for. And the remaining 33 episodes are currently scheduled to be released in April, which will have all 30 episodes from the third season and the three episodes from season four which wrapped up the series.

Transformers came at a time when violence on TV was highly scrutinized, but because the characters were giant robots they could beat the hell out of each other and be injured. The writers began to develop a formulaic pattern for each episode which included minor cliffhanger, break, major cliffhanger, break, and resolution. The season had its highs and lows. Highs include “The Origin of Omega Supreme” and the two part “The Key to Vector Sigma” which gives the Transformers life. The lows include an episode about cosmic rust and the Transformer Hoist going Hollywood and taking several Autobots along as his entourage, which even the cast and crew have admitted is probably the worst episode of the series.

It’s fun to look back at these episodes and remember my 10-year-old self who was influenced by the commercials and the show to get the toys. I had them scattered all across my bedroom and the family room back in the day. It’s also great that my three-year-old daughter has expressed interest as it gives me a break from all the princess and pony shows she is currently obsessed with.

On Transformers: Season 2, Volume 1 there were no extras as Shout put as many episodes as they could on the four discs (28 in all). Season 2, Volume 2 contains the remaining 21 episodes as well as some extras. The extras include rare PSAs and archival Hasbro Toy commercials which probably led to many children begging their parents to buy them the toys advertised NOW! There’s also a concept art section, which is your typical art featurette. But the best extra is “The Combiner: Forming The Transformers Animated Series.” This featurette, which runs about 30 minutes, assembles both producers and actors from the series and goes over the complete production of the Transformers. The participants tell stories about those who worked on the show, the writing and animation process that went into it, and more.  This featurette is definitely worth your time, and for those wanting more extras, pick up the pricey, but well worth it, Transformers: 25th Anniversary ''Matrix of Leadership'' Edition which has all 98 episodes and plenty of extras.

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