Beast Machines

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Beast Machines: Transformers
Beast Machines Transformers DVD cover art.jpg
Beast Machines Transformers complete series DVD boxset
Format Animated television series
Created by Hasbro
Voices of See Cast
Composer(s) Robert Buckley
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Christopher J. Brough
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s) Mainframe Entertainment
Columbia TriStar Television
Broadcast
Original channel Fox Kids, YTV
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run September 18, 1999 – November 18, 2000
Chronology
Preceded by Beast Wars: Transformers

Beast Machines: Transformers is an animated television series produced by Mainframe Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures Visual Programming and Columbia Tristar International Television (Latin-America). Hasbro has the full distribution rights to the show as of 2011. It was a direct sequel to Beast Wars taking place within the continuity of the original Transformers series.[1][2] The show ran for two seasons, airing on YTV and Fox Kids from 1999 to 2000. Of the Transformers animated series produced in North America, Beast Machines was the only one to have been completely conceptualized and outlined in advance, lending it a more serialized and linear storyline than the others. The Beast Machines intro theme was "Phat Planet", by Leftfield.

Characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

The show ran for two seasons with a total of 26 episodes (13 in each season). The first season begins shortly after the events of the third season of Beast Wars, and the second season begins immediately after the first season. The second season was subtitled Battle for the Spark.

DVD releases[edit]

Beast Machines: Transformers (Episodes # 1-5)

  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating: PG in Canada
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 107 minutes

 Canada /  United States

Beast Machines - Transformers: The Complete Series

  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 700 minutes

 Canada /  United States

Beast Machines - Transformers: Series 1

  • Format: Dubbed, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language English
  • Region: Region 2
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 July 2007
  • Run Time: 264 minutes

Beast Machines - Transformers: Series 2

  • Format: Dubbed, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language English
  • Region: Region 2
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 19 November 2007
  • Run Time: N/A

 United Kingdom

Beast Machines - Transformers: Season 1 - Volumes 1 & 2

  • DVD Release Date: 20 June 2007
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Region: Region 4

Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)

Beast Machines - Transformers: Season 2 - Volumes 1 & 2

  • DVD Release Date: 23 October 2007
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Region: Region 4
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)

 Australia

Other information[edit]

Written into a special edition comic book was a character by the name of Primal Prime. Appearing only in this book, he is a side character to the Beast Machines story and was later written into the toy lines of both Beast Machines and Transformers: Universe. In the Universe story line he eventually gains a new body, which combined with Apelinq to create Sentinel Maximus.

The head writers used to post and answer questions on a message board known as Bottalk.

Toys[edit]

The Hasbro toys for Beast Machines are infamous for the fact that many bear little resemblance to the characters on the show, in both shape and color. They were also scaled out of proportion to each other. The reason for this was that although basic concept sketches were made of the major characters, the show creators and toy creators developed the characters independently from that point in the first year. After the first year of toys was released, a number of slightly more show-accurate toys were released.

Many of the characters created as toys never made it on the television series, although some did appear in the comic books. Oddly, the transforming plant Botanica from the television series was not made into a toy for any of the related toy lines.

Another characteristic of this toy line was its packaging. Unlike other Transformers lines, wherein each toy had a photo or illustration of themselves on the front of the packaging, almost all Beast Machines packages had an illustration of Cheetor on the front - regardless of character or faction. The one exception was Nightscream.[3]

The toys released in the Beast Wars Returns (a release of Beast Machines in Japan) toy line by Takara were recolored to more closely resemble the show colors. Molds from the drones in the Vehicon Army, which bore more resemblance to the Vehicon Generals, were recolored and used as the Vehicon Generals instead in the Beast Wars Returns toy line.

A line of simple McDonald's Beast Machines toys was sold which did look more like the show characters, and this line was recolored for release in other countries by other fast food restaurants.

Non-show groups[edit]

A number toy sub-groups didn't make it into the animated series, but had small stories on their toy boxes.

  • Beast Riders
Two deluxe sized vehicles that resembled heads of animals and could be ridden by larger figures. Both were redecoed once each, but their boxes remained unchanged.
  • Deployers
Three sparkless Maximal drones that turn into weapons usable by larger toys. All three were redecoed in new colors, but their boxes remained unchanged. The dark blue recolor of Rav was used to represent the character of Chro in the 3H Comic series, which the three Deployers in their original colors also appeared in.
A set of Maximals, all recolors of older toys from the Beast Wars, Beast Wars Neo lines. Commanded by Magmatron and T-Wrecks, members included Airraptor and others. Like the Deployers, they appeared in the 3H Beast Machines comics.

Non-show characters[edit]

Beast Machines Mirage

A number of characters appeared in the Beast Machines toy line who didn't make appearances in the television series. These included:

  • Blastcharge - A Vehicon who turns into a six-wheeled missile truck. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Buzzsaw - A Maximal who transforms into a wasp. The character does appear in the Transformers: Universe comics.
  • Battle Unicorn - A Maximal who turns into a unicorn.
  • Che - A Beast Rider whose form is a cheetah head. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Chro (Name given to purple Rav repaint) - Appears in Wreckers comics.
  • Dillo - A Maximal Deployer who turns from an armadillo into a weapon. The character does appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Geckobot - A Maximal who transforms into a flying lizard.
  • Hammerstrike - A Maximal who transforms into a hammerhead shark.
  • Longhorn - A Maximal who turns into a bull. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Mechatron - A Beast Rider whose form is a dragon head.
  • Mirage - A high speed Vehicon race car. The character appears in Apelinq's War Journals, his drones appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Mol - A Maximal Deployer who turns from a mole into a weapon. The character did appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Nightviper - A Maximal who transforms into a cobra.
  • Primal Prime - A repaint of Beast Wars Optimal Optimus. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Quickstrike - A Maximal who transforms into a wolf. The character does appear in the Transformers: Universe comics.
  • Rav - A Maximal Deployer who turns from a bird into a weapon. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Scavenger - A Vehicon Demolitions expert. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Skydive - A Maximal who turns a pterodactyl. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Snarl - A Maximal who turns into a lion. The character does appear in the un-produced Wreckers #3, and the Transformers: Universe comics
  • Spy Streak - A Vehicon stealth jet. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.

Transtech[edit]

After Beast Machines ended, Hasbro planned a follow-up series called Transtech. The series was supposed to bring back some of the characters who died in Beast Wars along with some characters from the original 1980s cartoon, all in new, organic-looking bodies, with vehicle alternate modes instead of the animals used in Beast Machines. Many concept sketches and even a few toy prototypes were made, but Hasbro scrapped the idea, bringing Car Robots to American markets as a placeholder until Transformers Armada.

Concept sketches or prototype toys have been seen for Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Depth Charge, Megatron, Nightscream, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Shockwave, Soundwave, Starscream and a new character called Immorticon. There were also rumors of a Transtech Dinobot.

It is generally believed that the concept for Transtech Cheetor inspired the design of Transformers: Cybertron Brakedown and the concept for Transtech Megatron inspired Armada Megatron.

Transformers: Universe[edit]

The storyline of Beast Machines is continued in the short-lived comic book Transformers: Universe by 3H Publishing, which has stories taking place during the second season of Beast Machines (In the Transformers: Wreckers comic) and after the Beast Machines story (in the Transformers: Universe comic).

English Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

According to commentary of the Beast Machines DVD the series was initially to be called Beast Hunters. The character Jetstorm was initially called Skybolt, but the writers changed the name to make it harder to theorize Silverbolt's connection to the Vehicon. The first five episodes of the series were filed with the name Skybolt, and later edited to reflect the change. At one point, Thrust was going to be carrying Silverbolt's spark, but the writers decided to have him carry Waspinator's spark instead on a whim. In the episode Home Soil, the character Thrust made a gesture similar to the middle finger to Optimus while racing to the crashed ship and in the episode "Savage Noble", Thrust also made a gesture similar to the middle finger to Cheetor when they briefly banded together to search for Savage. In the flashback featuring Waspinator, the heads of Inferno and Quickstrike make cameo appearances, as do the pre-humans Hammer, Jack, Una and others.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of Transformers on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  2. ^ "A brief history of the Transformers". Malaysia Star. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  3. ^ TFW2005.com - Ultra Jetstorm - See gallery for box packaging

External links[edit]