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Robots in Disguise retro review thread

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:43 am
by andersonh1
Episode 1 - Battle Protocol!
"What do ya know, somebody must have forgotten to lock the gate at the petting zoo."

The show I taped off Fox Kids way back in the day deserves another viewing. I remember at the time being annoyed by the silly humor and wanting more deep, dark drama like the just-ended Beast Machines, but these days I love how light-hearted this show is. The goofy villains and running gags are just fun, and the Predacons contrast nicely with the more serious and dangerous Decepticons when they turn up.

"Battle Protocol" sets the narrative in motion as the obligatory kid sidekick of the series, Koji, watches his father Dr. Onishi deliver a speech on the other side of the world, only to be attacked by the Predacon leader Megatron. This guy's vocal scenery chewing reminds me of a sort of cross between G1 and Beast Wars Megatron, and maybe that's what the producers were going for. Optimus Prime intervenes after collecting Koji and traveling to New York via the global space bridge, and the fight escalates when Megatron calls in his troops, forcing Optimus to do the same. In the end, Prime fails to stop Megatron from kidnapping Dr. Onishi, setting up a story arc which will take some time to complete as the Autobots search for him in addition to trying to defeat the Predacons.

Koji is a pretty likeable character, all things considered. On a scale of 1 to 10, with Daniel from G1 and Carlos from Armada being close to a 1, and Jean from Victory being closer to the high side, I'd give Koji a 8 or 9. With his father being kidnapped, there's a reason he remains associated with the Autobots, and he has no annoying accent or personality tics. He's a bright, brave, friendly kid, and I don't mind him being in most of the episodes. And the show's lighter tone makes him a better fit than he might be in other series.

The episode is a little slow, but then it's all setup. I find it interesting that both Prime and X-Brawn appear to act as working vehicles for humans when they're not on a mission. Side Burn is already flirting with red sportscars... does he not realize they aren't alive like him? Megatron must have left his best troops guarding the other worlds he claims to rule, and taken the leftover troops to go to Earth, anticipating an easy job there. If I was a self-respecting Predacon, I don't think I'd pick either a toad, a flying squirrel or especially a skunk for my alt mode.

Re: Robots in Disguise retro review thread

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:42 am
by andersonh1
Episode 2 - An Explosive Situation

Sky-Byte makes his first appearance here, following a truck down a highway with only his dorsal fin sticking up out of the road. He swipes a battery from the truck and eats it, commenting that it isn't enough energy. The Predacons in general are stealing batteries this episode, though the trio think flashlight batteries are the answer, leaving the exasperated Megatron a little angry. Sky-Byte shows up and suggests obtaining a high-energy bomb that some terrorists had hidden in a red sportscar, and Megatron agrees. After some hijinks with the bomb, which could destroy the city if it detonates, Optimus is able to push it into space with his waterstream attack, along with Sky-Byte.

My favorite part of the episode is the ending where Sky-Byte, warrior poet that he is, critiques Earth literature. "What sort of nonsense is this? 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'? Best or worst, make up your mind!"

Re: Robots in Disguise retro review thread

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:58 pm
by Shockwave
This episode has my favorite part of the whole series: Megatron: "Did you really think these batteries would be enough to power our base?!" Slapper: "Well, yeah, sort of." Cracks me up every time.

Re: Robots in Disguise retro review thread

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:18 am
by andersonh1
Shockwave wrote:This episode has my favorite part of the whole series: Megatron: "Did you really think these batteries would be enough to power our base?!" Slapper: "Well, yeah, sort of." Cracks me up every time.
I love it in the first episode where X-Brawn tells him to measure his tongue, and he actually does it!!

Re: Robots in Disguise retro review thread

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:03 am
by andersonh1
I have watched a ton of these and haven't kept up with reviews at all! Typical for me, really. :) But I didn't remember seeing last night's episode when it aired on tv years ago, and it made me and my kids laugh, so I've jumped way ahead here.

Episode 22 - Sky-Byte Saves the Day!

"My dear hostages need me!" - Sky-Byte

This episode has so much fun material in it. Sky-Byte plans to knock down a tower in order to become more famous and feared, though Slapper, Gas Skunk and Dark Scream are dubious. Koji and of course, Kelly, are on top of the tower when it begins to fall. Optimus Prime sends the Build Team to keep the tower up. It's all fairly straightforward, but then Wedge starts trying to find out what Sky-Byte wants in return for the safety of the hostages, when Sky-Byte had never actually taken hostages. The comedy of errors just escalates from there, with Sky-Byte accidentally knocking down the last strut holding the tower up, the Predacons and Wedge actually holding the tower upright, Sky-Byte desperately trying to figure out what he wants from Optimus Prime in return for the safety of the hostages, and Wedge using his treads to scratch Sky-Byte's itchy back. All the kids on the tower start cheering for Sky-Byte once they see him holding the tower upright, and Sky-Byte is deeply moved because he's never been cheered for. "I wish Megatron would cheer for me" he thinks. And then he tells everyone who wants to save the hostages to raise their hands and they all do! And almost drop the tower! It's hilarious.

And the action portions of the episode are pretty good too. The Decepticons try to stop Optimus Prime, who for once doesn't hold back and not only flips Ruination and blasts him, causing him to break into his component members, but also seriously damages Scourge to the point that Scourge is shooting sparks and smoke from his wounds and is forced to retreat. My daughter observed that Optimus Prime is a lot like Superman, in that he's enormously powerful but almost always holds back to avoid causing serious damage to opponents out of a sense of morality. Not this time!

The tower is saved, and everyone goes home, with the Predacons recovering from holding up the tower, while Sky-Byte remembers that he never got the O-Parts he demanded, and then he wonders what they are anyway....

Loved it. Great episode.