Starring (voices): David Kaye, Corey Burton, Jeff Bennett, Bumper Robinson, Bill Fagerbakke, Tom Kenny, Tara Strong
The Show: Season 3 of Transformers Animated opens with a blast from the past as team of AUTOBOTS guarding a SPACE BRIDGE are attacked by a team of DECEPTICONS, and on both sides are familiar faces and voices that will have old G1 fans cheering for joy. And so begins the final season of one of the greatest TRANSFORMERS series since G1 and Beast Wars, because like Beast Wars Transformers Animated acknowledges what has come before it and will even include G1 references that include the original voice actors as their original characters, themes, quotes and other hidden features than when shown will be instantly recognisable to fans.
The final season in this amazing series takes things up a notch and even takes on a darker tone than the previous season as main characters are either killed off or most of the storylines dealing with more mature themes. One of these themes was the decision to make Sari (Tara Strong), who at the end of season 2 discovered that she is actually made from a CYBERTRONIAN protoform mixed with her fathers DNA when he discovered MEGATRON’S (Corey Burton) body fifty years prior to the events of the first season, to give her an upgrade via her ALLSPARK key thus having her grow into a teenage body.
The feel and even pacing of this season has a similar feel to the third and final season of Beast Wars, although the only difference being that by the time of this seasons run on TV there were already plans to take the show on to a fourth season but sadly Animated was cancelled which left many storylines in limbo. This doesn’t hurt the flow of the season, as the final episode does feel like a proper series finale and things do feel tied up.
This season brings back old fan favourites such as LOCKDOWN (Lance Henriksen), SOUNDWAVE (Jeff Bennett), SWINDLE (Fred Willard) and even the hilarious WRECK-GAR (“Weird Al” Yankovic) but also introduces a few new faces with AUTOBOT twins JETFIRE and JETSTORM (Tom Kenny and Phil LaMarr) as the first AUTOBOTS to have jet modes. However it is the cameo appearances of characters such as RODIMUS PRIME (Judd Nelson), ARCEE (Susan Blu) and CYCLONUS as well as many others that are some of the highlights of this series, and the fact that they are voiced by their original voice actors is a humbling tribute to the original series. One other great highlight that pays tribute to Beast Wars was the appearance of WASPINATOR (Tom Kenny), formally BUMBLEBEE’S (Bumper Robinson) rival at boot camp as well as a cameo by the beast modes of the original crew of MAXIMALS at the end of the episode “Predacons Rising”.
All of this seasons episodes are fantastic and the character development, particularly that of OPTIMUS PRIME (David Kaye) and PROWL (Jeff Bennitt) is extremely strong. One of the better character arcs that had fantastic conflict was the rivalry between OPTIMUS and SENTIAL PRIME (Townsend Coleman). This is a rivalry that was first introduced back in season 1 and continues to grow to the point that one day they will eventually throw down against one another, however as is proven throughout this season, SENTINAL may think that he is a worthy leader and successor to ULTRA MAGNUS (Jeff Bennett) but his refusal to accept any responsibility for his actions or to even learn from his faults proves that he is not the right Bot for the job. OPTIMUS proves that he is a worthy leader and it has been shown throughout the series, not just because of his experience in the field, but the fact that he shows respect for his own troops and is willing to accept his own faults and use them to grow stronger. Credit also must be given to David Kaye who does a fantastic job breathing life into a more realistic OPTIMUS who has had to prove himself over and over again that he is a worthy leader.
Transformers Animated season 3 is a fitting climax to one of the best TRANSFORMERS series of all time.
Season 3 Rating
The Australian DVD
Picture and audio quality are excellent and are of a quality that even out shines BluRay.
* Profile and Toy Gallery
* Comic Cover Gallery
* Transformers Animated Manga Gallery
This seasons bonus features include a cover gallery of the Transformers Animated comics as well as the manga series. The best of the bonus features however is the toy gallery that highlights the best of the Transformers Animated toyline.
Review written by Christopher Innis
Purchase Season 3 from MadMan – http://www.madman.com.au/catalogue/view/22493/transformers-animated-season-three-collection
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.