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Beast Machines: Transformers facts for kids

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Beast Machines: Transformers
Beast Machines Transformers DVD cover art.jpg
Beast Machines Transformers complete series DVD boxset
Genre
Developed by Marty Isenberg
Robert N. Skir
Composer(s) Robert Buckley
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Ian Pearson
Mark Ralston
Producer(s) Asaph Fipke
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Mainframe Entertainment
  • Hasbro
Distributor Hasbro
Release
Original network
Picture format 480i
Audio format Stereo
Original release September 18, 1999 (1999-09-18) – November 18, 2000 (2000-11-18)
Chronology
Preceded by Beast Wars: Transformers

Beast Machines: Transformers is an American-Canadian animated television series produced by Mainframe Entertainment as part of the Transformers franchise. 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. 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. Prior to Transformers: Prime in 2010, Beast Machines was also the last, and second only entirely computer-animated Transformers series produced, along with its predecessor Beast Wars. The Beast Machines intro theme was "Phat Planet", by Leftfield. It is also the final installment in the Generation 1 cartoon era, and compared to much of its predecessors, the show features more mature storytelling elements than most children's television programs.

Synopsis

Following their victory in the Beast Wars the surviving Maximals - Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Blackarachnia and Rattrap - finally return to Cybertron only to discover that their people have vanished and the world is now ruled by the mindless Vehicons. To make matters worse, the quartet are trapped in their beast forms without any of the upgrades they gained during the Beast Wars - and they are swiftly losing their memories of anything but each other. Forced to retreat deep underground, the Maximals discover the Oracle, a powerful supercomputer that reformats their bodies into new, even more powerful techno-organic forms.

The Maximals soon learn that their old enemy Megatron - who managed to break free and return to Cyberton before them - is the malevolent intelligence behind the Vehicons. Megatron has declared war on both beast modes and free will itself, imprisoning the sparks of Cyberton's entire population. With the odds stacked against them, the Maximals set out to free the sparks of their people, discover what really happened to their allies Silverbolt and Rhinox, and bring organic life to Cyberton once more.

Episodes

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

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: Kid Rhino Entertainment
  • 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

UK

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)

US / Canada 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: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2014
  • Run Time: 690 minutes

Other information

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

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.

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

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.
  • Dinobots
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

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

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

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).

Cast

  • Optimus Primal, voiced by Garry Chalk
  • Cheetor, voiced by Ian James Corlett
  • Rattrap, voiced by Scott McNeil
  • Blackarachnia, voiced by Venus Terzo
  • Silverbolt, voiced by Scott McNeil
  • Nightscream, voiced by Alessandro Juliani
  • Botanica, voiced by Kathleen Barr
  • Savage/Noble, voiced by David Kaye
  • Megatron, voiced by David Kaye
  • Diagnostic Drone, voiced by Christopher Gaze/Paul Dobson
  • Tankor / Rhinox, voiced by Paul Dobson (episodes 1-9) and Richard Newman (episode 9-onward)
  • Thrust, voiced by Jim Byrnes
  • Jetstorm, voiced by Brian Drummond
  • Obsidian, voiced by Paul Dobson
  • Strika, voiced by Patricia Drake
  • Waspinator, voiced by Scott McNeil
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